You've heard it time and time again: the PS3 is not easy to develop for. However, the folks behind Sony's flagship FPS, Killzone 2
, will disagree. Guerilla Games' Managing Director Hermen Hulst spoke to GameDaily
about the working as a PlayStation-exclusive developer. "Like us, if you are native to PlayStation, our tech director doesn't say it's particularly difficult. It's specific, but it's not difficult like PS2 was difficult – PS2 was a difficult [machine] to crack, but PS3 didn't take us a long time to get up and running." Hulst does admit that multiplatform developers may have more trouble working with Sony's console "because it is very different" from other consoles.
Development Director Arjan Brussee not only sees PS3 as an easier system to develop for, but also believes Sony's proprietary architecture can be easier to deal with than the Xbox 360. "I actually think PS3 is a simpler architecture than some of the other consoles; you just have to have a certain mindset on how to address it. I think the Cell-based processor with the SPUs and the super high speed DSPs that you can throw all your calculation tasks at gives us a model that's way easier to program for, even for junior programmers, than the general purpose multi-core type of architecture, which the PC and Xbox 360 have." Brussee notes that offloading certain processes to the SPUs allows programmers to take full advantage of Cell's processing power.
The remarkable visuals of Killzone 2
certainly gives credence to their claims. Perhaps Guerilla should follow Insomniac's steps
and allow the development community to learn some of their PS3 programming tricks.