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John Carmack talks Cell and PS3 development

During E3, the saint of first person shooters sat down to talk with G4TV and discuss the PlayStation 3's development strategy. Seeing as how he pioneered the modern day shooter and single-handedly codes some of the most cutting-edge graphics engines, people listen when he has something to say about this sort of thing.

During the interview, he admitted that the PS3 will have more power backing it than the other guys. That's exactly the way Sony wants it though, and the price reflects that. However, the most interesting part came when Mr. Carmack said Sony made a mistake with the PlayStation 3.

The mistake wasn't with the price though, it was with the Cell architecture. We're months away from launch, and it's still no secret that the PS3 is hard to develop for. Okay, so this isn't the first time John has said this. But he reiterated that the fragmenting of code which developers are going to have to do for development is an unnecessary evil. Even so, he still thinks the PS3 will bank on Sony's core following, despite these issues. We'll have to wait and see how much the price affects that following though.

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Reader Comments

(Page 1)

1. I'm a little curious to how he knows so much about the PS3. Unless he is personally developing a game then he should be about as clueless as a person who doesn't know how to code a game.

I'm sure he has sources that can give him some info but if he hasn't actually seen the code and recieved devkit software to use then how does he know?

Oh well, not trying to insult the guy. I loved Doom 3, and the previous Dooms, just a little curious to how he knows so much. (I hope he's making a PS3 game!)

One good thing is... he didn't insult Sony like everyone and their grandma is doing now. Just said the code is difficult but then so was PS2's.

Posted at 3:14PM on May 15th 2006 by @[email protected]

2. I heard he is making a PS3 remake of Doom 3... another sequel for PS3 WOO-HOO!! *sigh*

Anyway, as I've been predicting and said on other threads, the PS3 has a higher peak if optimized, but its lack of ease in development will screw its advantage for cross-platform games.

Posted at 4:20PM on May 15th 2006 by boots (former bd)

3. Remember how many Xbox games suffered PS2 graphics because it was the least common denominator...if for no other reason that the 360 has a huge will be the Least common denominator. Which I think is great. Every game being designed for a very capable system with Online at it's core is good for all platforms. The PS2 held back developers big time last gen. Now there is no huge bottleneck between PS3 or 360...except to say the Cell processors.

Posted at 6:38PM on May 15th 2006 by jon

4. No offence to Carmack we all know he's a genious but... You must be loosing ur skills, how can he said that after what we've just seen with Getaway, Final Fantasy XIII, and most importantly Metal Gear Solid 4?

Also the PS2 was hard to code for as well, but still it has huge ammount of badass games ;) Just look at God of War for example, i would buy a PS2 just for that game, it beats most current gen games by far.

And guess what? PS3 is easier to code then the PS2.

Posted at 6:53AM on May 16th 2006 by Metalmurphy

5. I have a prediction. Most games will look the same (or very simmilar) on the Xbox 360 and The ps3.

Yeah ps3 is more powerfull (but harder to program for). I understand that. . .but so was the regular XBOX vs. PS2.

Here is what I predict.
EA decides to make a game
EA keeps cost down, shares development between systems
EA doesn't take advantage of "system" advantages but baselines the game
EA saves money
EA Sells lots of games anyway
EA says, why spend a lot of extra money optimizing for ps3 when I can still sell 15M copies of J. Madden without optimizing?

Posted at 7:24AM on May 16th 2006 by chris the marketer

6. then the following season you find that game for 6.99 at your local gamestop.

I boycott EA, they're evil.

PS3 will dominate, and i'm glad video games will have to be optimized for cell this will minimize the ports from companies like EA, UbiSoft etc.

Ports ruin the industry, if ports is what we wanted then why not stay on pc? If all the 3 systems had nothing but first party titles they'd all walk away as winners. Like you said Post # 5, the end result of porting is more money through lower quality not higher quality games.

ps3 here i come!!!! (40$ a week until Nov gets me a premium with accessories in games wutt wutt!!!)

Posted at 10:00AM on May 16th 2006 by darry

7. Re: @[email protected]

"1. I'm a little curious to how he knows so much about the PS3. Unless he is personally developing a game then he should be about as clueless as a person who doesn't know how to code a game."

John Carmack is a genius dude. You need to recognize that this guy has been programming since he was a kid. For all we know, he DOES have a PS3 dev kit, as well as a Wii and XB360 kit.

I'm quite sure he knows what he's talking about. After all, he's programmed PC games which utilize multi-core processor code as well as SLI rendering optimizations. And, his PC games are one of the few examples that support multiple displays in console mode. Oh, plus...he is a rocket scientist.

Posted at 1:29PM on May 16th 2006 by Silverfrog

8. 'id Studios'?

Posted at 3:11AM on May 17th 2006 by Joost Schuur

9. Silverfrog, I didn't mean for it to sound like I was calling him an idiot. I know he isn't. I'm just curious as to how he knows so much about the PS3.

He could have a PS3 devkit but why would he have one so early? Unless he was making a game he shouldn't be near one. Every single PS3 devkit should be in the hands of developers who have been making their games even before the devkits were released. They need to get their games ready for launch or around launch.

Posted at 11:11AM on May 17th 2006 by @[email protected]

10. getting a devkit != making a game
(at least, not right now).

i mean, he could've gotten one of the early devkits (the recent one was an update of that, as hardware finalized, of course)

practical standpoint...

why would he get one if he wasn't making a game, -yet-? well, you can't decide whether or not to make a game for something without KNOWING about it, right? what better way than to look at the devkit. is it expensive? yup, does he (and id Software) have the $$$ to do that? hell yea.

you didn't think thy made their decisions willy-nilly, now, did you?

Posted at 5:31PM on May 17th 2006 by Goobers


Get exclusive first details on Secret Agent ClankCheck out the PlayStation Fancast podcast!PS3 Fanboy interviews Everyday Shooter's Jon Mak


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