I got a chance to handle the PS4 at this year’s Tokyo Game Show. The graphics definitely look prettier than I’ve seen on the PS3, but otherwise, it handles pretty much like it should. But I’m looking at it from the player’s side. That’s the output. What about the input? That’s where you have to ask the developers.
Continuing with their interview series on Sony’s upcoming monolithic console, Weekly Famitsu asked a new batch of game developers to weigh in with what they think about the PlayStation 4. Take a look at what they said.
Akihiro Suzuki (Dynasty Warriors series)
You’ve developed the Warriors series on the PS2 and PS3. How does the PS4 compare with the previous consoles?
With the PS2 and the PS3, each console has been a jump in specs from the previous hardware, and while I have been able to develop titles that utilise those specs, it would take quite a lot of time to realise that level of quality. It’s difficult to comprehend a console’s characteristics and bring out its capability. However, with the PS4, that operation is extremely easy. The response to adjustments is good and it’s easy to bring out its performance.
Yoshinori Ono (Deep Down)
How is developing for the PS4 for the first time?
We’d been working with the PS4 before we started developing Deep Down, but even since then we had impressions like “it’s very easy to get ahold of,” “it’s easy to scratch where it itches,” “you can quickly realise the sort of result you want to show.”
We were able to reach the level of quality that we showed at the February PS conference relatively quickly after starting development. We could tell that it would be fairly easy to move something of that quality at something like 60 fps in real time.
I look at the Deep Down visuals we have now and think, “Nice one, Capcom!” so I feel that given the time, we could do a lot more. With the PS4, you could say that I’m not satisfied so much as I feel it has further untapped potential.
Toshihiro Nagoshi (Yakuza series)
What are your impressions of the PS4?
“I can tell that the PS4 is extremely powerful. However, how it’s utilized comes down to the people who configure the games — the director, the producer, the planner… They’re part of the key, and the fact that the designers and programmers are the ones who are tasked with expressing those configurations has not changed. I’m reminded every day that if you take responsive steps, the way a game looks and plays can become much better. I intend to send people the message that “games can still change this much” so I hope people will compare [Yakuza: Ishin!] with my previous works.
Hiroyuki Sakamoto (Yakuza: Ishin!)
What are your impressions of the PS4?
The PS4 has plenty of memory, the CPU speed is fast… It doesn’t have any weak points. Until now we’ve often had to spend time dealing with the memory, but with the PS4 it feels like what we made comes out as we’ve made it. So the overall impression from the development floor has been, “we can’t cut corners anymore.” If we cut corners, you can see the difference with other titles. It feels like we’ve entered a level where we have to ask how we can use these specs and show something to express a good game.
Tetsuya Nomura (Final Fantasy XV)
Do you feel that life-like real time graphics are possible because this is a next-gen console?
The theme of Final Fantasy XV is “An illusion based on reality,” so the concept is creating an image that seems like it takes place in the real world. Having a fantasy play out there is a big point of Final Fantasy XV. I think it would be difficult to realise that level of expression on any other console.
Did you discover anything about the PS4’s performance during development?
As a developer, the biggest concern is the memory. The more the memory you have, the harder you can push it.
In what sort of way do you want to “push it?”
The more data you can have in the memory, the shorter the loading times become, and the game can play out over a large scale. The large memory also contributes to much of the visuals taking place in real time. Also, considering the number of character motions and types of weapons used in battle, being able to have that data be available in real time makes Final Fantasy XV well suited for the PS4, I feel.