Guerilla Games has talked about what it’s like to program on the PlayStation 4 and the news is good; it’s easy to work with.
One of the biggest problems with the PS3 was the tricky hardware, which many programmers found difficult to work with, and it led to quite a number of buggy ports, one example being Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The PS4 however, uses PC-based architecture, and during the console’s announcement in February, Sony stated that it intended to make the new console easier to work with. Until now, we’ve just had to take their word for it, but now Guerilla Games, developers of the upcoming Killzone: Shadow Fall, have confirmed it: "PS4 is really easy to program for!" revealed the developer’s lead tech Michael Valient in a detailed presentation they published on their website, "[The] GPU is really fast! GDDR5 bandwidth is awesome!"
Screencap from the Killzone: Shadow Fall demo
Along with the enthusiastic praise, Valient offered some stats for the demo which debuted at the PS4 announcement in February: The demo used 3GB of graphic memory and 1.6GB for the CPU. In addition, the demo ran at 1080p at 30fps. Industry expert Richard Leadbetter is impressed: “Using 3GB of graphics is an eye-opener… and that's with FXAA (no multi-sampling)”
It should be noted that Guerilla games is owned by Sony, but even so, praise this strong doesn’t happen often. It will be interesting to note the reaction from 3rd party developers, but if it’s as strong as this, it will be very good news for future PS4 owners: Easy hardware will mean plenty of interested developers, as well as a good library of ports… working ones. Guerilla also released the following image; a comparison of debris in Killzone 3, vs. the new Killzone: Shadow Fall. The difference in complexity is notable.