> The reason why the current clutch of Playstation games are getting better
> because developers have built tools and designed code that finally makes
> maximum use of the hardware.
It was the same for the NES, the SNES, the N64, MD, etc etc etc. The
developers get their hands on a new machine, write a game, then take
everything they learned and write a better game, and a better game after
that and so on. Then the console gets replaced and they have to start all
> If it took them 5 years to get the current PSX games up to this standard
> long will it take for them to get up to speed with a platform that is
> ridiculously more powerful and therefore more difficult to develop for.
The same amount of time. "More powerful" does not necessarily mean "More
complex". Was Doom any less of a challenge to write 5 years ago than Quake3
is to write now? I don't think so. Technology has improved VASTLY but then
so have the various APIs, toolkits, development tools, modelling and
graphics suites etc etc.
> When your target platform can throw huge amounts of 3D graphics in real
> and perform huge calculations faster than your development platform It's
> going to be far more difficult and expensive to develop for. To hell with
> compression (Compression on a DVD disc...???) or funny algorithms, it's
> inherent complexity of the platform that makes it exclusionary.
The PS2 is first time that specs have been released that out-strip PCs, and
I for one am going to wait a while before I believe that Sony can deliver a
$200 dollar console with 3 times the floating point power of a
top-of-the-line P3. Not saying I don't think they'll do it, but it sounds
just 'too good to be true'. Such a machine would indeed be more expensive to
develop for - but I doubt Sony would be charging very high prices for their
development boxes, they've learned how to treat their developers.
As for being a more difficult platform to develope for - no way! It's
faster, and has graphics capabilities that bring it up level to most modern
PC accelerators - so what? This is nothing new. I honestly think that most
of the work in writing console games is fighting the constraints of the
hardware, finding ways of doing what you want to do with limited RAM,
processing speed, colour depth, resolution etc. A console that is faster,
has loads of memory, and can handle high resolutions is not necessarily a
problem in itself.
And as for compression - you might have 650MB of space on the CD-ROM to play
with, but when you've only got a couple of megs of RAM available, you want
them as small as possible, oh yes.
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