PlayStation 4 lead system architect Mark Cerny knew in 2007 that "clearly we had some issues with the PlayStation 3," he told Gamasutra this week. That's the time when, just a year after the PS3 shipped, he began to read up about the X86 processor, the unit that ended up being incorporated into the next-gen system announced in New York City last month.
"The biggest thing was that we didn't want the hardware to be a puzzle that programmers would be needing to solve to make quality titles," Cerny said, referring to the PS3's Cell processor that was powerful but often described as difficult to work with.
In 2008, Cerny began meeting with developers, asking them what they would like to see from a future PlayStation platform. He said he had to handle these discussions delicately. "It's not like we could come out and say we were developing the next generation of hardware; we certainly couldn't say that in 2008."
The PS4 has yielded praise from high-profile developers since its announcement. Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford said last week that he is "really excited" about the platform, celebrating Sony for inviting Gearbox to the table to brainstorm ideas for the PS4.
Meanwhile, id Software veteran John Carmack said he is pleased with the PS4 system specs. In addition, Avalanche Studios cofounder Linus Blomberg said the PS4 will outpower most PCs for years to come.
The PS4 will launch this holiday season, though Sony has yet to reveal price or region availability details for the next-generation platform.