Sony’s First-Party Devs Vs. Third-party Devs next Generation.

Posted November 7, 2012 by Shamarri Miller in Editorials

For the larger part of this generation Sony have dominated most third-party studios when it comes to graphical prowess. One needs to only look at Sony’s past and upcoming games. Games like Killzone 2 and The Last of Us clearly dominate the majority of third-party games in their respective genres. However with the next generation of consoles approaching this could all change.

The reason this may all change is because Sony is looking to make development on the PS4 a lot more developer friendly. They currently have applied this mantra with the Vita. The interesting thing about this move is that for the first time ever on a PlayStation console the development environment is going to be friendly enough for most third-party developers to access the true potential of the PS4.

Accessing the true potential of the PS3 this generation was only a viable option for Sony’s first-party studios, as most third-party developers found the PS3’s architecture to difficult and foreign, and also felt it was too cost prohibitive to develop a PS3 specific engine to make their games look and run better on Sony’s platform. This also was a reason that mutiplatform games on the PS3 usually lagged behind their 360 counterparts when it came to performance, Bethesda’s Skyrim comes to mind.

Much like its split RAM configuration, the PS3 architecture has split my feelings towards certain third-party developers this generation.

On the one hand, I view Sony’s first-party developers as technical geniuses who skills can’t be matched. Naughty Dog and Guerrilla games are the main cluprits for this way of thinking. Naughty Dog are responsible for the stellar looking Uncharted games, which are true technical marvels and are definitely the best looking third-person action adventures games. While stablemates Guerilla Games released Killzone 2 and 3, which have yet to be matched on technical merit by another first-person shooter.

But then I think are Sony’s first-party studios really that good or is it just them taking the time to take advantage of the PS3’s unique architecture? Because the onus to prove the PS3 is a graphical power house falls on their shoulders and not third-party devs.

But then I also think, Are third-party developers just lazy?  Stick with me now. Sony’s first-party developers have proven without a doubt that the PS3 is more powerful than the Xbox 360, yet most multiplatform games run better on the 360.

Third-party developers are the same guys we hear clamoring about how they are ready for the next generation. However, I have yet to see one of them truly take advantage of the PS3. They practically neglected every technical advantage the PS3 had over the 360, in order to maintain pairity between the multiplatform games, and this was mostly at the detriment of the PS3. So developers how about you leverage yourselves to take advantage of the PS3 a bit more?

But then I think this may all be Sony’s fault as well. Their failure to create a more dev friendly development environment on the PS3 has bit them it the ass. It is a bit absurd, when the only way for a third-party developer to truly get the most out of the PS3, they would more then likely have to use a custom engine.

But one thing is for sure, next generation the development environment of the PS4 will be more developer friendly. This will definitely settle the questions, Are Sony’s first-party studios really the better than most third party-developers? Or are third-party developers just lazy? Personally I’d like to believe that the third-party studios can match Sony’s first party studios, this would be the best possible outcome as gamers would have better games. And who knows the competition may push Sony’s developers to dig even deeper next generation. Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure I can’t wait to have these question answered next generation as every one will have to “Nut up or shut up.”

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Shamarri Miller



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