PS4 development a 'radical change' for Sony, says Ubisoft

Ubisoft Montreal CEO says PlayStation 4's PC-based architecture a "pleasant surprise."

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From a development standpoint, the PlayStation 4 is a "radical change" for Sony from past platforms. That's according to Ubisoft Montreal CEO Yannis Mallat, who told CVG that building games for Sony's next-generation platform will be "less complex" thanks to the system's PC-like architecture.

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"From what we can talk about, which is the PlayStation 4, it's been a radical change from those guys," Mallat said.

The executive then provided an anecdote to demonstrate the difficult nature of making games for the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3. He said one day he noticed a book on a developer's desk that turned out to be the documentation support for coding on the PS2.

This book was written in Japanese, and the programmer said he would need to take Japanese language lessons to get the most out of the system. It was then that Mallat said he recognized how tough it was to make PS2 games, but the situation only became more troublesome with the PS3, he said.

"That day I understood how complex it was to develop on PlayStation 2. So we were eager to find out what the PlayStation 3 would be in terms of architecture, and it was pretty much the same but more complex," Mallat said.

Mallat explained that when Ubisoft began building next-generation games like Watch Dogs and Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, the developer did so on high-end PCs. As it turned out, this was the right move, as the PS4 boasts similar architecture, Mallat said.

"PlayStation 4 really comes as a pleasant surprise because indeed it's a very familiar architecture," he said. "I think it's paying off for us deciding to develop on high-end PCs early. It's a less complex transition."

The PS4 is officially due out this holiday season, though region-specific availability is unknown. According to a past report, the system will launch in November beginning at $430.

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