Hardware architect Mark Cerny says the PS4’s developer friendly design will help it launch with a slew of great games.
The launch of the PlayStation 3 wasn’t exactly what one might call smooth. Some dedicated gamers lined up for days, and even weeks, hoping to snag one on release day. Despite this early excitement, the next few years would see the console suffering from slow sales, owing in large part to its high price point and arguably small library of games. Eventually, PS3 sales, driven by price drops and a gradual expansion of its software line-up, would pick up. Having fought hard to level the playing field however, Sony is now intent on making sure the launch of the PlayStation 4 goes better. According to Sony, a big part of its plan will be giving consumers a pile of great games to play right out of the gate.
“The launch lineup for PlayStation 4 — though I unfortunately can’t give the title count — is going to be stronger than any prior PlayStation hardware,” said Mark Cerny, lead architect of the PlayStation 4. Central to this strong launch has been correcting one of the primary complaints developers had for the PS3: it was difficult to make games for. “There was huge performance there, but in order to unlock that performance, you really needed to study it and learn unique ways of using the hardware,” said Cerny. “The hope with PlayStation 4 was to have a powerful architecture, but also an architecture that would be a very familiar architecture in many ways. We want to make sure that the hardware is easy to use.”
Hopefully, Cerny isn’t embellishing and the PS4’s launch line-up winds up being the thing that gaming legends are made of. If not, Sony could arguably find itself in more of a bind than it did with the launch of the PS3. The original PS3 was expensive but also boasted one of the cheapest Blu-ray players of its time, as well as backwards compatible with PS2 games. The PS4 won’t have backwards compatibility and Blu-ray players are, by and large, now a lot cheaper to buy solo than they were in 2006. While Sony devotees will likely buy the PS4 the same way they did the PS3, the console really needs a good line-up from the word go. Otherwise it could fall prey to consumers not willing to wait and more than happy to take their gaming elsewhere.