Cerny: Full hardware capabilities of PS4 may take 'three to four years' to be harnessed

PS4 architect says that while the system is easy to begin working on, the hardware's full potential won't be accessed until 'year three or year four'.

PlayStation 4 lead architect Mark Cerny believes that while PlayStation 4 developers are already quickly adapting to content creation for the new system, the real customisation and utilisation of the machine's true power won't be until "year three or year four of the console".

In an interview with Polygon during Gamescom, Cerny outlined the need to create an obvious visual gap between the capabilities of current and next-generation systems.

"We set our target at 10 times the PlayStation 3's performance, because that's what we felt we needed to achieve in order to differentiate the titles," Cerny told the website. "When I did pitches to developers about the hardware, I talked about what I call the Akihabara test. Akihabara is an electronics district in Tokyo, it's just full of stores where you can buy just about anything you plug into a wall socket. I knew that at some point, there'd be out on the sidewalk a PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, and they might even be showing the same game, and the PlayStation 4 had to be powerful enough that when people walked by, they had to look at the PlayStation 4 and say, 'Wow, I have to have that.'

"I believe we are at that level of performance," Cerny said. "I mean, the million pre-orders we have is, I think, speaking to that."

Cerny went on to say that while the PS4's new architecture is already familiar to develop for given its PC similarities, it will still be three to four years before the real capabilities of the system are identified and harnessed.

"It's a supercharged PC architecture, so you can use it as if it were a PC with unified memory," he said. "Much of what we're seeing with the launch titles is that usage; it's very, very quick to get up to speed if that's how you use it. But at the same time, then you're not taking advantage of all the customisation that we did in the GPU. I think that really will play into the graphical quality and the level of interaction in the worlds in, say, year three or year four of the console."

The PlayStation 4 goes on sale on November 15 in North America, and November 29 for Europe, the UK, and Australia. The device will launch in 32 countries globally this year.

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Discussion

1397 comments
Blue_Tomato
Blue_Tomato

All I care about if they can finally fix their online shop so that I can purchase games from my region on my credit card. Their shop is so easily confused if there is anything at all outside the normal, such as me living in a different country than my card was issued in. Woo, mindblowing problem to solve. A lot of people have these kinds of problems for years now. Wake up Sony!

cyclonebw
cyclonebw

Yea it doesn't have a GPU equal maybe to the best PC card but games for the PC aren't even close to requiring that $1000 card anyway.  I would take a system with games like GTAV and secure online servers that prevent hacking, any-day over a $1000 graphics card that won't be harnessed for 5 years.  

Seifer24
Seifer24

at what frame rates ...

30?

deadly_yank33
deadly_yank33

All sony peeps can say is that they have 1 million preorders....wow this cerny guy must be really happy with that considering his piece of trash company is in debt....

you guys have fun with that $400 graphics upgrade that you get to play all those indie games on....and have fun with p2p hosting on the lagstation network...ohhh and I almost forgot!? you guys get a useless, gimmicky touchpad on your controller to make it more like the Wii U!!! hooooray for ps3.5!

LucisXV
LucisXV

I can't wait to see the new quality!

Izak80
Izak80

With PS4 Sony has made all the right calculations. I'm not an orakel but i Think PS4 will be a hard nut to crack for Microsoft.

Gargus
Gargus

That's the way it is with all new hardware. It takes time to get used to the new tools for creating games. Its just like the ps3 wasn't much when it came out but flash forward to uncharted 2, or heavy rain and the comparisons to launch were astounding.

BoozerX
BoozerX

Just compare AC2 with AC3.

Chrypt22
Chrypt22

I call horse shit.  First off, this is x86 architecture that is nothing new to dev's who develop anything for a PC.  Again, the graphics processors in these systems are nothing special that hasn't been seen before.  Basically what he is saying is that, when they stop making games for the 360 and PS3 then the quality will go up as everyone until then will be playing slightly upgraded versions of the older consoles. 

foxbow
foxbow

Cool i can wait four years and for a modest price drop before i buy.

edinko
edinko

Hype and buzzwords that is the true next gen.

The so called next gen consoles are already outdated even before release this time. For example DICE has to compromise the BF4 PS4 version. It will probably run on a sub1080 resolution.

cashx002
cashx002

"The Last of Us.." So we'll get another one of these masterpieces before the PS5. 

SlayerX13
SlayerX13

...and the PS3 is future proof.

Sony talks a lot but fumbles when it comes to backing it up.

Patel Yash
Patel Yash

ps4 is better than xbox. I have experiend.

Printul_Noptii
Printul_Noptii

Let's just hope it will have decent games and good online play, of course PCs are better and more powerful but this doesnt make the PS4 a crapfest, have in mind that for what it is, its pretty powerful and offers entertainment right out of the box. The problem with most PC gamers is that they think that everyone wants to put up with hardware upgrades and PC tech but the truth is that most people out there (especially people who game on consoles) just want to put in a disc and play the damn game on the fly, I know because I do and I am a PC fanatic. Bottomline is that the PC has unlimited potential including playing games at higher quality but consoles appeal to the masses because they are easier to use from a pure technical standpoint and need less upgrades and offer entertainment !

Printul_Noptii
Printul_Noptii

The good news is that next gen consoles finally caught up a little with PC capacities and that cross platforming will be easier which means less exclusives unleast there is a contract but I hope that everyone profits in the end, console and PC gamers.

Caelan Langford
Caelan Langford

Thats true, button next gen the only games that aren't a bitch to program on are the ones that use direct X, which is retry much only BF3

GameBeaten
GameBeaten

Doesn't this apply to every console ever?

wyan_
wyan_

Insert Nick Cage youdon'tsay face

lonesamurai1
lonesamurai1

It's just sony hype something they love to do. PC this and PC that it's lame drivel.

yobobjm
yobobjm

Why can't we just use the word supercharged in it's actual application, the automobile.  Where calling something supercharged actually means something/ makes sense.  

lonesamurai1
lonesamurai1

Look forward to a future of 720p 60fps or 1080p 30fps console boys.

lonesamurai1
lonesamurai1

That's the same old crap console gamers bring up. Except for Gears of War i personally find console exclusives to be watered down consolized kids games. Sony needs to quit comparing that thing to a PC, they started that crap in February and haven't let up yet. It's not in the same class. Years down the road PCs will have photo realistic graphics with more ways to play.

Incubus420
Incubus420

Sony has perfected the this concept.  It's like Vino, or fine wine for you kids.  All of their systems have started out with some duds here or there, but as the generation ages and the skill of developers, especially first party, gets better; you'd observe a marketed increase in the quality of games.  Great examples are God of War, The Last of US, FF12 etc. 


lonesamurai1
lonesamurai1

Sony said the same thing about the PS3, they are the absolute kings of hype.

lonesamurai1
lonesamurai1

Why oh why sony, Supercharged PC? sony is so silly.

Chaos_Dante_456
Chaos_Dante_456

Well that's been the case with just about every generation hasn't it? No console has had games that have taken full advantage of the system in the first years

Icepick_Trotter
Icepick_Trotter

I don't get it, what's the point of making these claims when everyone knows both Xbox1 and PS4 have practically identical guts... Are you advertising for Microsoft too?

Tomorrow they'll say you should get a Vita to use as a controller because games are so much better on 2 screens, and then high-five a confused Nintendo...

hystavito
hystavito

I'm sick of this "supercharged" word :).

FLOPPAGE_50
FLOPPAGE_50

The PS4 has what? a 7870 or something around there? I wonder how powerful this console will feel around 2020, when PCs have already entered the next gen.

mulatto79
mulatto79

@deadly_yank33 are u a fanboy or something be happy with ur fagbox 1or box 3 whatever call that dvr looks about boxes i have a lot of those on my house 

sohaibali1
sohaibali1

@Chrypt22 You make me laugh. Why aren't pc games 10 times ahead of consoles? because pc's have variety of graphic cards and other hardware to utilize one hardware after another is hard for any developer but in the end even the highest rated graphic loses fps to lower class cards sometimes due to not utilizing game for that hardware and requires frequent updates from makers of graphic cards and operating system to also support it. all ps4s will have same gpu and unified ram which makes it even more easier then PCs to develop. but even the gpu have compartments like most new cpus multi-threads to harness the most power efficiently requires good programming from the developers. hope this helps.

dpclark
dpclark

@Printul_Noptii 

If a console forced me to use a mouse and keyboard then I would not buy it.  I agree with your remarks and would add that I like the ease of using a controller on the couch.  Even though a PC can  have a controller, PC games are not made for controllers.  Console games are made for ease of play without the need for a flat surface or bulky keyboard.  (Yes, I have a high-end PC too.)

edviges
edviges

@Printul_Noptii period... I think consoles offer more variety than PC. I remember for instance... Red Dead Redemption... and Mortal Kombat... only available on PC this year..

dpclark
dpclark

@lonesamurai1 

Sad but likely mostly true.  However, I am buying a PS4 because PC's are random number generators...

Sargoroth
Sargoroth

@lonesamurai1Or rather "Years down the road PCs COULD have photo realistic graphics". The majority of games nowadays are developed for consoles, and just portet for PC (RTS games aside). Why would they go through the trouble of making AAA games with expensive photo realistic graphics just playable on elite highend PCs not too many people can afford. It just won't sum up. So the best PC in the world doesn't mean much if the games are always/most of the time on console-level.

Lazerproof
Lazerproof

@lonesamurai1 They then went on to prove that concept....or were you completely absent for the PS2 and PS3's life cycle?

rarson
rarson

@lonesamurai1  

I'd say they were definitely right, since the late-cycle games (for both 360 and PS3) look drastically better than launch and year-one titles.

But that pretty much goes for most consoles ever launched.

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

@FLOPPAGE_50 Right NOW you can spend 3K on Titan, I7 Extreem... on a PC an by far out power the consoles....

Still NO game is made for that power. <- (peroid) Consoles are a lot different than PC's and less power on a console is equivalent to a more powerful PC.  

Go back to 2005 when Xbox launched. Buy a PC that cost 400.00 see how it does playing today's games.... OH you CAN'T because the minimum specs for a PC game in 2013 is higher than what that PC can do, yet Xbox 360 and PS4 are able to play those games quite well in fact.   

torreth1
torreth1

@FLOPPAGE_50 OH Brother! You PC fanboys are pathetic. Two guys go out to buy a microwave. As they stand in an isle and compare two of the highest rated brands a man walks up from behind and says "Microwaves are sooo underpowered compared to stoves. My stove can heat things up so much better than microwaves. Can your microwaves make toast?". The dudes turn around in unison and say "If I was looking for a stove thats where Id be looking!!!".

Dark-Exsphere
Dark-Exsphere

@dpclark @Printul_Noptii some games are better made for pc than it is for console... look at games like Dragon Age, Witcher 2, Mass Effect123. Keyboard makes it easier to play. i Recall having to pause the game every 4 seconds during a firefight in Mass Effect on 360 because i had to use a menu to use abilities not the 123 keys on a keybaord

aborgraffiti
aborgraffiti

@Ravenlore_basic @FLOPPAGE_50 No something like crysis 3 or bf3 played at 120fps or 4k resolution need a 3k computer. I have a computer from 2007 with one uprgrade which is the graphics card which was $200 and I can play games like bf3 on 1080p on ultra at 50-60fps that's WAY better than an xbox. Xbox and ps3 do not play games well they play them horribly. See how much cheaper it is actually to use a PC one $200 vs a yearly $60 plus over paying on games. 6 * 60 = $360 vs 1 * 200 = 200 even if you didn't buy a single game you still over payed by 160 dollars.

Cypress131
Cypress131

@aborgraffiti @torreth1 @Cypress131 

A much higher percentage of people who actively play video games (minus casual), are much more computer savvy. That's who they market towards. Their comparisons of consoles are mainly to try and win these people over, when in truth the two are extremely similar and will most likely offer extremely comparable graphics...

aborgraffiti
aborgraffiti

@torreth1 @Cypress131 @aborgraffiti PCs are not for everyone you have to know your way around a computer most people (at least in america) aren't good with technology, they might know how to use social media but that's about it. There are a lot of people using their computer right now but very little of them no how many cores they have, how much ram, what resolution they're at or even what any of that means, most people are too lazy or just don't care enough to figured it out. Basically why do it when you can just let MS and Sony hold your hand through it.

torreth1
torreth1

@Cypress131 @aborgraffiti @torreth1 Then I would say most people could care less about PC power or graphics and would be more interested in console power and price. Thats where their interest in specs is delivered. So why brag about how powerful some kind of device they arent interested in is?

aborgraffiti
aborgraffiti

@torreth1 Yah I'm the first person out of anyone I've met to become a PC player, people don't even know games can be played on PC none the less that the graphics are better. Microsoft overstepped privacy and DRM problems. People were mad about always online, the kinect always plugged in, region lock, things that are annoyances. People can replace their consoles with a PC it will do everything that a console will do and more just like a fliphone and a smartphone.

torreth1
torreth1

@aborgraffiti @torreth1 @RedDragonGecko  Microsoft got blasted for attempting to do more than consumers wanted or expected and crossing the device devide. They learned not to overreach the product expectation. Once again, how is that attempting to be the same device? A phone competes against a phone thats the world of marketing. A console is not directly competing with a PC's power. They dont share the same device name or type. The reasons that people most often choose consoles shows that there are  two target consumers that have different sensibilities that go much further than simply knowing which one is most powerful between the two. Do PC gamers seem to think people choose consoles because they dont know what PC's can do these days?NO! There are solid reasons consoles are more attractive to most people.

aborgraffiti
aborgraffiti

@torreth1 @RedDragonGecko  A console is just a very limited PC clearly they aren't "Just for games" as people like to say. Why would X1 use a modified windows 8? why do they have Netflix and Pandora? why do they try to integrate social media? A better analogy would be two guys look at a flip phone and a guy walks up and says those are so under powered my smart phone can browse the internet so much better, watch movies, has a better screen, download games ect. Then one of the guys says well we can't afford that. lmaooo

torreth1
torreth1

@RedDragonGecko @torreth1 Perhaps your tears can wash away your own stupidity. I wasnt trying to make a clever analogy, but rather a point. I could care less how entertaining it is. There are too many people in here trying to bring a gun to a knife fight. I see nothing in this article or the console wars that have to do with PC gamers. A PC is a PC and a console is a console. Who cares how they compare to each other if they arent trying to be the same thing, they just do a similar thing to an admitted and limited point. Consoles are competing. PC users act like someone stepped on their shoes and tried to outdo them. I havent heard anyone from the development team from either company say they were trying to beat PC specs or graphical fidelity.