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Hirai says: six years until PS3 games use full system potential

It seems like Kaz Hirai is making his interview rounds today, as this next bit comes from the latest issue of the Official PlayStation Magazine (OPM if you're acronymically inclined). It's been said before that the PS3 isn't going to let developers squeeze all of the power from it for a while, but Hirai finally put a fairly specific (we mean generally vague) date on this optimization of the PS3's potential. "The power that we've packed into PS3 will really manifest itself in software titles that come up four, five or six years down the line."

That's a long time! But looking at the most recent PS2 releases, we can't say Hirai is really straying far from what history tells us. Games now look oodles and boodles better than when the PS2 launched, so the same should be true for the PS3.

In fact, keeping the parallel with the PS2 alive, Hirai mentioned the difficulty developers are having coding for the PS3: "
If you look back at the commentary we received when we launched PS2, there was a lot of talk to the effect that 'It's very difficult to program for' and 'It's easier on a Dreamcast'. It's happened before." He goes on to say that if people said it was easy to program the PS3, he'd be worried. That wouldn't be pushing the envelope for technological development, he explains. What do you guys think? Is Sony showing a bit of their trademark arrogance, or are they totally right in saying these things, because as Hirai said, it has all happened before?

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(Page 1)

1. Kaz is chanelling Kenny!

Posted at 5:04PM on Sep 3rd 2007 by Kspraydad

2. Problem is Kaz, people want kick-a55 games now not 6 years down the line (MGS excepted) - how is making the power of the PS3 hard to get at, a good thing for customers?

Posted at 5:13PM on Sep 3rd 2007 by MrFlibble

3. He is absolutly spot on the mark.

Whilst the PS3 may be slightly behind the 360 today, the 360 is east to develop for,, and does not contain anything radical. It's therefore reaching the limit of what it can do.

The PS3 is just scratching the surface.

Posted at 5:31PM on Sep 3rd 2007 by Stephen

4. thats bullshit. killzone 2 will run at 30 fps cuz it cant run at 60, 2 gig levels. I really think they know how to use it already. the ps3 was made for developers. if its not gonna be killzone, then delepopers will never reach the full system potential. example: rockband will be made for ps2. Look at all the ps2 ratchet and clank games.... and Where does 6 years come from?????

Posted at 5:32PM on Sep 3rd 2007 by dan

5. Graphics aren't everything... *points at Nintendo*

Making it hard to get gives developers something to build on for a sequel?

12 years and I'm still looking for a game which can stop me from playing Transport Tycoon for at least 2 hours a week.

Posted at 5:32PM on Sep 3rd 2007 by Phil

6. That is one of the advantages Playstation has is the future. All their platforms they have made were built to last long and keep getting better game experiences.

I like what I see now with the PS3 and I can't wait for the future.

Posted at 5:34PM on Sep 3rd 2007 by Andy

7. I've been saying this for a long time.NOTING and I mean NOTING that is going on with the PS3 is different from what happen to the PS2. Lets me explain

Both the PS2 and the PS3 were the highest price console on the market!!!

Both the PS2 and the PS3 are hard to code for!!!

Both got bad press at launch for playing movies!!!!

Both the PS2 and PS3 seem inferior to there rivals!!!

Both the PS2 and PS3 didnt start seeing there blockbuster games until 2 years after launch.

Both the PS2 and PS3 lead the way for new movie formats even though people "didnt care"..

History repeats itself for this company which is why i dont understand why people act all shocked.

Fact is we havent seen the full power of the hardware yet and we can expectthis console to at least have a 7 year cycle.......PLEASE tell me a company that can say that other than SCE

Posted at 5:38PM on Sep 3rd 2007 by Urbanstorm

8. @dan

Look at the difference between these games.

http://media.ps2.ign.com/media/014/014660/img_1258728.html

http://media.ps2.ign.com/media/829/829741/img_3800018.html

Even look at the first games on Xbox 360 and Gears of War. Are you stupid or just ignorant?

Posted at 5:39PM on Sep 3rd 2007 by Andy

9. 6 years, eh?
Why, is that when a game will come to the EU network?

LOLZOIDS!!!1!!1"22!!!

Posted at 5:51PM on Sep 3rd 2007 by russ

10. He said full potential.

I'd agree closer to the four/five year mark for developers to truly understand a dev kit. As examples given, look at the PS history, then the PS2 history.

Microsoft's box run off a modified DirectX9 API. This has been PC industry standard for almost a decade. The API is reaching its end as DX10 and newer hardware are coming along.

And polygon count has been stated to not be the feature for PC gaming (consoles too I'd agree) it will focus more on bitmapping and and texture shading.

With the developers learning more for the PS3 we can expact some great games in mid-08 into early 09. But I'll wager in 2010 MS will probably drop a new console featuring DX10 and PS3 hardware will move on to OpenGL2.5 or maybe even OpenGL3 since the nVidia GPU used supports it.

Eitherway, in 2010 we'll look back at the launch titles and say "damn those games are ugly."

Posted at 6:07PM on Sep 3rd 2007 by railven

11. Andy, while I agree with the idea of your statement (that the average game will typically look better overall during a console's lifespans), the examples you gave were really quite poor.

One is a gameplay screenshot of an early PS2 game recorded with an analog cable by IGN. The second is an in-engine shoot of a non-gameplay angle (probably a replay) at an ungodly resolution the PS2 (or PS3) isn't even capable of rendering, 3200x2400. Yes, NHL 07 looks a lot better than NHL 2001, but those were poor examples.

Posted at 6:10PM on Sep 3rd 2007 by Strike Man

12. I wouldn't say it's the "trademark arrogance"...more like trying to put a positive spin on a bad situation. The PS3 is more difficult to program for which = higher development costs for a lower return (due to a smaller install base), yet the install base needs new killer games to grow...brand will only carry you so far. The next year could be a make or break year for PS3. The 360's install base will only grow and the return equation will be even more difficult for developers to justify sinking the extra resources into PS3. I don't think it'll take 6 years to get the most out of the PS3. I DO think it'll take more time for powerful, easy-to-use developer tools which makes developing for the PS3 a more economically feasible proposition. In 4 years it will SEEM like developers are getting more out of the PS3, but it'll be more due to better developer tools than anything else.

Posted at 6:10PM on Sep 3rd 2007 by Eric

13. Another example:

Look at games such as Doom3, Gears of War and Bioshock. Those games look unbelievable and they run perfectly fine on dated hardware (such as a Radeon 9800+) but for the best performance you'd want something with Smooth Shader 2.0+

The newer video cards from nVidia and ATI/AMD have been stated to to not have a higher polygon versus prior generations but they focus on higher clock speeds to increase the fill rate. That with newer more efficiant pixel shaders (Smooth Shader 4.0 in DX10) you get graphics that look amazing running on similar hardware of the last two generations (in terms of polygon count.)

If you can look at Bioshock and Lost Planet:
on the 360 (reduced DX9 API), then compare it to a PC running a decent DX9 hardware, then finally on a PC running decent DX10 hardware.

Same polygon count, but a huge difference in quality/graphical detail.

Posted at 6:12PM on Sep 3rd 2007 by railven

14. @ Strike Man

True they are bad examples but they still make my point. It doesn't matter if the dev tools got better, they had more time or they figured out the hardware, the point is they looked beter.

Posted at 6:23PM on Sep 3rd 2007 by Andy

15. I'm a little worried with this comment. If the PS3 reaches it's full potential in 6 years that means that this system will be around for 10 years? I know Sony made this statement awhile back (10 year life) but do you think that the PS3 will still be the best technology in 6 years from now? I'm sure Nintendo will have a more powerful system by then. Looks like I might as well put the PS3 away for half a decade and pull it out in the year 2013. Does that sound right to you guys? Good games for the PS3 in the year 2013? That's a long ways away...

Posted at 6:23PM on Sep 3rd 2007 by x silence x

16. He is not being arrogant. Everything he said is true. Just wait...the PS3 will dominate.

Posted at 6:34PM on Sep 3rd 2007 by Dehshizknight

17. It may take a long time for the Cell to be fully utilized, but the RSX offers nothing dramatically new (like the 360's Unified Shader Model), so I wouldn't expect games to improve all that much graphically. I would prefer to see graphics toned down slightly, and have 60fps personally.

Posted at 6:39PM on Sep 3rd 2007 by canuch

18. Kaz is saying that we would have more technolgy to make great games utilizing the potential of the console. I am with Kaz every step of the way.

Posted at 6:57PM on Sep 3rd 2007 by Plaguespitter12

19. So i paid £425 at launch and he's telling me im not gonna get the most out of my console for 6 years? Brilliant. In 6 years the PS3 will be sold for £100 ($200) with a 500gb HD, emotion engine and blu ray drive knowing my luck.

they say only fools rush in....what have i done??

And to make matters worse , i have previously said my logic about an FF7 remake on the PS3 coming out in 2017, meaning my PS3 is going to be broken by the time FF7's remake arrives.

Look at it this way. Im 17 now. In six years ill be 23. I will probably have my own house/flat, own car, MAYBE even a kid. Does Sony really think i'll be able to play games in that situation?

I love Sony to death but this comment is annoying.

Posted at 6:59PM on Sep 3rd 2007 by insane257

20. First of all did you guys even read the article? Or does half the people hear post based on the name of the threat?

He said "four, five, or six" not specifically Six.

I doubt it will take six years. Maybe four to five. And why is everyone counting from now? In the article it isn't specified from day of launch.

I'm going to assume he meant since the dev kits rolled out which was sometime in late 05/early 06. So add four years to those numbers and you get my estimate: late 09 to early 10.

Jeez people have some stupid logic. They don't even base their comments on anything.

It be easier if you guys just said "six years? OMG I'll be dead by then."

Posted at 7:06PM on Sep 3rd 2007 by railven

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