The Last of Us PS4 restricted by disc space, not hardware

Naughty Dog discusses the technical side of The Last of Us Remastered.

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The PlayStation 4 version of The Last of Us is by and large the same exact game as what was released on the PlayStation 3 last June, only with improved visuals. With the PS4's hardware being so much powerful than that of its predecessor, the challenge for Naughty Dog becomes more a matter of what it actually has space for on the disc, rather than what the system is capable of.

"Our cinematics are now running at 1080p and 60fps, and that involved rendering them all from scratch," explained creative director Neil Druckmann in an interview with Edge (via CVG). "It's interesting that now [instead of a technical bottleneck], the bottleneck is 'Can we fit all this on the disc?'"

Blu-ray discs, which are now used by both Microsoft and Sony's consoles, offer capacities much higher than those of DVDs, but they still don't offer an endless supply of space. Last year, Killzone: Shadow Fall maker Guerrilla Games indicated its FPS could have taken up 290GB had the developer not altered the way it was handling data.

While there will have to be some limit on how big it ends up being on the disc, The Last of Us Remastered for PS4 will look nicer than its PS3 counterpart. Whereas the PS3 version often used higher-resolution assets in cutscenes than it did while you were actually in control of the action, the PS4 version can make use of better-looking assets during gameplay.

"We don't build it with high assets in mind to then port it, but it did give us a leg up," Druckmann said. "If we hadn't done that, we might not have made the call to bring it over to PS4."

Enemy character models that could look blurry at close range on PS3 will be improved in Remastered, as will be the lighting models, according to Druckmann.

Shortly after it was announced, Naughty Dog co-president Evan Wells talked up the quality of visuals gamers could expect in Remastered. "The graphic fidelity has been turned up to eleven," he said. "We've got 1080p, we're pushing the draw distances further, we're creating higher resolution character models, better lighting, better shadows."

The gameplay itself won't be changed for Remastered, but the DLC released for the PS3 version will be included from the start. Retailer listings have suggested the game will cost $60 and be released on June 20, although those details have yet to be officially announced.

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