Naughty Dog will keep its engine tech for PS4 development

Uncharted and The Last of Us developer says creating an all-new engine between PS2 and PS3 "caused a lot of turmoil."

Naughty Dog has said it will keep the proprietary engine used on PlayStation 3 titles like Uncharted 3 and The Last of Us for PlayStation 4 development.

The Last of Us game director Bruce Straley said that Naughty Dog intends to avoid the "turmoil" it suffered when creating an entirely new game engine for the PlayStation 3.

"We learned a big lesson coming from PS2 to PS3," said Straley in an interview with Digital Spy. "There was a lot of hype over what [PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360] was going to be. It was all going to be like movies, like a prerendered cutscene-style fidelity."

"That turned out not to be true," he added. "What we're able to do now is pretty damn close, but it took Naughty Dog four games to get there--one of the top developers in the industry with some of the most amazing scientists working in our programming department."

"We scrapped everything at the beginning of Uncharted 1, and we had a perfectly good engine with the Jak & Daxter franchise.

Straley says that Naughty Dog had a "perfectly good" engine powering the Jak & Daxter titles on the PlayStation 2. "We could have started with something there and then built off of it and only changed the pieces and parts as we needed, when we needed," said Straley, adding that the choice to develop a new engine for the original Uncharted "really caused a lot of turmoil."

The team at Naughty Dog "learned our lesson" and so intends to take its current engine to the PlayStation 4. "As we move into development into next-gen, we want to take our current engine, port it immediately over as is, and say, 'OK, we have a great AI system, we have a good rendering system.'"

Naughty Dog intends to improve the engine to make use of the PlayStation 4's next-gen technology, but adds that "only when we hit a wall will we say, 'When do we need to change something? When do we need to scale it?"

"It's one of those things that you learn in development," concluded Straley. "We've gained something from this experience, and now we want to apply it moving into next gen."

Naughty Dog's PlayStation 3-exclusive The Last of Us will be released on June 14.

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martingaston

Martin Gaston

Hi! I'm Martin, for some reason or another I have managed to convince the people who run GameSpot that I am actually wor
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199 comments
SpinDie25
SpinDie25

Throwing out an old engine and starting from scratch seems like a ton of work and extremely costly. In my eyes, if you have an engine that looks and runs good, than recycle it and upgrade it when needed. I would rather a game company not have to waste resources working on the engine itself when they could just focus on gameplay gameplay and CONTENT. 

Even if a game company says they are using an "all new" engine i don't see any issue with them borrowing things from their old engine and improving them if needed. 

Although dice claims battlefield4 is using a "whole new engine" i know straight away that that is not 100% the truth because there is no way they would just right click billions of dollars worth of battlefield 3 engine technology and delete it. Bf4 footage almost looks as if it was taken right from bf3. So i think we need to take "new engine" with a grain of salt. 

Considering how big the video game entertainment industry has become i don't know why there is not some sort of legal branch that sets guidelines of what qualifies for a "new" game or just an expansion pack. It's hard to know what to believe when you are hearing all these claims of "all new engine" coming from the very company who wants to sell you the product to begin with. I wish there was some third official party to chime in on what actually qualifies as a "new" engine. Of course the guy actually selling you the hotdogs is going to say his are the best.

I also think there should be a legal branch that justifies if a game meets the guidelines to be classified officially as a NEW game, or just an expansion pack. Because i think what activision is doing with their recycled $60 expansion packs each year is just highway robbery. I think a game should only qualify for a hefty $60 pricetag if its a NEW game with a NEW engine. Other than that, in my eyes, any game that uses the same engine as its previous release is an expansion pack.

zowbaid
zowbaid

This article is making me question DICE's supposed frostbite 2 & 3 engines. If ti's really that frustrating to make a new engine, then maybe those guys are just upgrading current tech.

Nightrain50
Nightrain50

It really depends on the flexibility of the current engine if they can patch in all the new tech bells and whistles than it will be fine, if you can't, they'll have to scrap it. No need to reinvent the wheel until the wheel is obsolete.

Viral-venom13
Viral-venom13

I dunno i mean sure building a new engine was turmoil but the results were spectacular in the games that were created by it. They may choose to not want to create new engines but to me new engines means new progress and well with progress naturally comes stress so you may take an ass-kicking at 1st but the end results can leave you in amazement if your willing to take the chance and go the distance! They are the developers though, they know what their dealing with so i'll just wait to see what new awesome games they come out with!

Trickymaster
Trickymaster

There' no need for a new engine. In fact there is a need for  new hardware that can handle this beauty. It's a miracle that PS3 is not exploding while running this. The effects are high-end.


On PS4 they will be able to add even more objects with that level of detail, shorter loading times and so on.

FARQZLL
FARQZLL

i'd say they would have a engine that can transfer well to next-gen unlike most. After making a game or 2 & pushing the engine to its very limit, only then they will have a good understanding of the architecture & witch way to approach the build of a new Engine. As well as being able to take there time.. GOOD WORK... Naughty Dog.

videogamer008
videogamer008

i understand some of it but the Uncharted series for PS3 were the best and i hope that they don't stop making Uncharted series for PS3... how can i say it in a different matter without getting into trouble or screamed at on here..

painpas
painpas

After playing there games over the years in all honesty there is no developer right now that I would blindly buy any game that they make except Naughty Dog. They are the most consistent developer and talented in my opinion by make great games in more than one genre. From platformer, kart racer, racing game to action adventure puzzle shooter they are just at a level where Rockstar is. Believe it or not they are the only 2 that I can guarantee you may not like the subject matter but the games will be great for those who can stomach the subject. ND can do what they want. Plus if UC3 came out at 1080p 60 fps on PS4 with some addeed effects I bet you could not tell it was last gen when all is said and done. They are that good. LOL!

BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

Funny thing about them walls you usually dont see them before you run straight face first into them.  Naughty Dog you might be on top right now but you should pay attention to the history of other successful companies around you much better studios felt their stuff was unbeatable and fell pretty hard when a new console jump happened.  Look at square enix that company kicked serious ass now its just a mere shadow of the awesome it was but hey I could be wrong though..

EL_Bomberdor
EL_Bomberdor

Obv they feel the engine they have is more than good enough for the first 3-4 years of the PS4 life cycle and with that they can focus their money on the games. As they said, when they hit a brick wall and feel they need to upgrade, they will, so all good.

vivalatour
vivalatour

I heard if it ain't broke don't fix it till it is , I heard that somewhere ? the movement in Uncharted was some of the best I ever seen if not the best !

knife_expert96
knife_expert96

Sounds good to me but they really should make a new engine about 3-4 years into next gen.

DrKill09
DrKill09

You know WHY companies switch engines between generations?  Because a PS1 engine would look like garbage on ps2.

Not to mention, new engines allow you to better use the hardware, and add more depth and scope to your games.

Just compare GTA3 to GTA4.  4 feels so much more massive.

Anyway, thanks for letting us know your PS4 games will be fugly as hell, and not as large scale as other developers. 

rad8045
rad8045

Love watching all these experts commenting on game engines as if they have any idea on what there talking about lol.

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

Intelligent strategy. Can't wait to see what happens.

RealHarry
RealHarry

Good decision. I'd rather they make good games rather than push the boundaries of the PS4, right off the gate. That'll come in time. Since publishers bitch about how expensive game production is, and that lead to DRM on XBox One to prevent used game sales, Naughty Dog doing what they can to optimise their resources is a good thing. 

They put all their eggs in one basket with Uncharted, and luckily for us, they made it since they could've easily been lost to the shuffle.

Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

"Naughty Dog will keep its engine tech for PS4 development"

Way to limit your fanbase and revenue.  That's what we call a "bad marketing decision"

hystavito
hystavito

"That turned out not to be true,"....    Nice way of saying that it was all lies. :)

godzillavskong
godzillavskong

ND. Playstations ace in the hole. Their Lebron James of developers.

FARQZLL
FARQZLL

in my eyes NG made the ps3 what it is to this day & beyond with the last of us ... give them more money Sony so they can build a new team for a new engine now, while they take the current engine to the limits of next-gen ....DONT EVER LOOSE Naughty Dog SONY or there ppl....

edant79
edant79

I trust you Naughty Dog. Preform your craft, and I'll buy your shit every time.


....its only money.

haze_blaze
haze_blaze

Have to admit... I find it a bit disappointing that they won't be totally revamping the engine to take advantage of the PS4 tech. I felt like the new engine on the PS3 was one of the things that gave them a major advantage in terms of visuals and presentation. 

However, we won't know how well the new engine capitalizes on the new PS4 tech until we see Naughty Dog's first PS4 game... and I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt if they feel they don't need an entirely new engine. 

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

I really want to know what they are working on for PS4. I hope they show something at E3.

skeet1964
skeet1964

Okay, serious question?  Why do there have to be so many different rendering engines.  Seems like there are some really awesome ones out there already (Unreal, Frostbite, Cryengine, ....).  Why do companies feel like they have to develop their own in house engine, why not use what is already there?  Seems like they are all pretty similar too, can't see a whole ton of difference between the ones mentioned above.

bubba_1988
bubba_1988

After U2 the studio split into 2 teams, with the more experienced members working on the last of us, it left the less experienced members to turn out the disappointment (compared to U2) that was Uncharted 3.

speedy5212
speedy5212

Guys, the engine itself is not a direct indicator of the game's qualities and visuals (Unity, UE3,etc). Just saying it out there before someone fights over that their PS4 game will be like U3 or limited by the engine.

bubba_1988
bubba_1988

I just hope they continue making new IPs for the PS4, I wouldn't mind a one or two sequels the the Last of US, but i really hope we saw the last Uncharted. 

Infinity_Gauntl
Infinity_Gauntl

I can't wait for the last of us.....One of the few titles left for this gen that I want.

kaka7023
kaka7023

They'll probably get a new engine, a few years after the PS4 has been out.

uglypinkmoose
uglypinkmoose

well that's smart... hope they don't have any trouble not upgrading completely... I'm sure it ill be fine... and this way they can get to making games right away 

Gamer_4_Fun
Gamer_4_Fun

Hopefully the actual game will be as detailed as the cinematic of Uncharted 2 and 3, which were pre-rendered.

deathstream
deathstream

When your "game" is 75% cutscenes, you don't necessarily need a new engine.

santinegrete
santinegrete

Then they'll have time and resources to polish gameplay... hooray!

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

I'd say Naughty Dog's reputation is well deserved, and for them to come out and say next gen doesn't necessarily need a new engine speaks volumes. This is a massive contrast to EA who it feels like is creating a new engine every time they release a Battlefield. If ND think they can pull it off then I'm inclined to believe them. And this can only be a good thing by keeping the cost of production down.

BelaidKL
BelaidKL

Well.. It looks great and all now.. But I doubt they'll keep it through the entire next-gen cycle.. I can imagine by 2020 those graphics may look a little bit out-dated

NbAlIvEr10000
NbAlIvEr10000

Well, I think there engine is great and can't wait to see what Uncharted 4 will look like on the PS4.  One thing I would change though is to not "over-animate" Drake like they did in UC3..... it really caused problems for that game.  Also, don't screw up the aiming system like they did when the game was first released.

ffspyda
ffspyda

And here i was hoping for the next ND game to have that SW 1313 demo rendering we saw in last years E3...oh well, one can only dream 


vforvitiello
vforvitiello

well dice kept frostbite, so i dont really see an issue.

fireandcarnage
fireandcarnage

thats sorta unfortunate because im sure it was their development of a new engine for the ps3 that gave them the expertise to optimise their games for the system, and while yes it is pc components is the ps4 im sure there is enough difference in system build and software to affect performance on a preexisting engine, 

Halloll
Halloll

can't wait for Uncharted Kart Racing!

cboye18
cboye18

And where is Jak and Daxter? i'm tired of playing real life games anyway...

vaibhavp
vaibhavp

as long as they keep making quality and competitive games.

immortality20
immortality20

Oh boy, old engines! That's the last thing I'd think Naughty Dog would do, I thought they would want to learn the PS4 inside out and make other developers look bad like they did with the PS3. But nope, might as well keep using the same engine for another gen?

yeah_28
yeah_28

It sounds like a good decision, plus they could just update the renderer later if they need more quality.

Just_Tom__
Just_Tom__

If they had trouble when developing their this gem game, can't wait to see what they can do when shit runs smoothly.

anarayan
anarayan

Makes sense. Don't fix it if it ain't broke!

HaloinventedFPS
HaloinventedFPS

They don't need a new engine, next gen consoles are not powerhouses, their current engine will scale just fine with PS4's 7850 equivalent



Axile11
Axile11

what engine does Naughty Dog use?

ashyblood
ashyblood

Isn't Naughty Dog the people who made Crash Bandicoot back in the day? I can't believe they're the ones behind Uncharted and The Last of Us. I'm thoroughly impressed.