The Playstation 4 is going to be friendlier to indies
I’m seeing a lot of potential in the Playstation 4. Granted, it’s potential that’s going to benefit people with faster ADSL lines, but it’s there nonetheless. Whether a dedicated gaming console such as the PS4 can exist and still remain successful remains to be seen, but so far, it looks good. Game streaming, social functions making the entire process quicker, faster and less annoying are some of the key aspects here, but it’s all about the games at the end of the day. Sony’s Mark Cerny describes the PS4 as being the “most open console” possible. And it looks like indie game developers are going to share some of that love.
Speaking to Gamasutra, SCE Worldwide president Shuhei Yoshida described how Sony was attempting to create a console that was an accessible platform for any level of game designer, including indie developers. “We believe in smaller developers. They are very creative and they go out of the norm to do something really amazing”, Shuhei said.
So we really want to make it easier for them to come to our platform and publish. And we know there are many things we can do, in talking with these guys and asking what they want us to do. And one effort we’ve been doing in that context is the PS Mobile platform. That doesn’t even require the purchase of a dev kit. It’s totally software driven, and they can develop games… on PC, for example. And once you decide to publish it, you want to test it on the final hardware, but you don’t have to acquire a pricey dev kit.
The approach to PS4 we’re internally working on is, I hope to see somewhere in-between the current model that we have on PS3 and the PS Mobile totally software-driven model. We could continue and go and expand the PS Mobile approach, but the beauty of developing games on console is we allow the developers to go really deep into the hardware, and to unlock the potential. And so in order for us to do that, the developer has to have the dev kit to work on. So at least initially, we have to provide the dev kit to make games on PS4.
I’m still amazed most days at some of the games that the indie scene can pump out. Games which may not be the prettiest, but are pretty damn addictive. if Sony can create an ecosystem for these specific titles, then the more the merrier.