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PS3 Not Difficult to Develop For according to U.K. developer Volatile

Discussion in 'Nvidia' started by Air Raid, Jan 30, 2006.

  1. Air Raid

    Air Raid Guest


    PS3 Not Difficult to Develop For, says Volatile

    Lyndon Homewood, lead PS3 programmer for U.K. developer Volatile,
    believes developing for Sony's next-gen console shouldn't be any harder
    than making PC games. It should be easier to get things up and running
    than on the PS2, he says.

    Some in the industry have voiced concern over the difficulty developers
    could have with Sony's PlayStation 3 because of its advanced,
    complicated Cell architecture. However, British developer Volatile,
    which is currently working on the PS3 zombie adventure Possession,
    recently commented to The Guardian newspaper's game blog that the
    multi-processor console is not as complicated to write for as some
    might be led to believe.

    In fact, because the PS3 utilizes a trimmed down version of Open GL
    called Open GL ES, anyone who has programmed for the PC should have
    little trouble adapting to Sony's next-gen console, explained
    Volatile's lead PS3 programmer, Lyndon Homewood.

    [ "The graphics capabilities of PS3 will, I think, be slightly above
    the absolutely top-end graphics cards on the PC..." Lyndon Homewood,
    Volatile ]

    "ES is designed for things like set-top boxes and mobile phones, where
    you want the fundamental graphics but don't need some of the fringe
    stuff that Open GL has. Because you've got that on PS3, it's going to
    be much easier than the PS2 to get something up and running - there are
    hundreds of books out there for it, so you can do your background
    reading. All the documentation is there," he said.

    Homewood also praised the use of Cg, a modified version of the C
    programming language which should make working with vertex shaders and
    pixel shaders much easier and should enable developers to more quickly
    get big results from the GPU.

    "All of this is already available and won't be a massive leap from what
    you're seeing on PCs with high-end graphics cards. But obviously on
    PS3, you've got eight chips to spread the processing cost over - the
    main PowerPC chip and seven SPE chips. In a PC, there's just one CPU,
    two in a dual processor machine. Having an eight CPU multi-processor
    system in your living room is pretty flash," said Homewood. "At the end
    of the day it's just a multi-processor architecture. If you can get
    something running on eight threads of a PC CPU, you can get it running
    on eight processors on a PS3 - it's not massively different."

    Homewood does point to one drawback, however. Apparently the main
    processor can access all of the PS3's video memory but the seven SPE
    processors only have access to their own 256K of onboard memory; this
    means that certain processes would have to be streamed through a small
    amount of memory. This is not a problem on the Xbox 360.

    The Volatile programmer also predicted the graphical level that PS3
    gamers will experience. "The graphics capabilities of PS3 will, I
    think, be slightly above the absolutely top-end graphics cards on the
    PC, but you've got much more processing power in the box so you're
    going to see a lot more physics, a lot more generated geometry," he
    said. "With water ripples, for example - they're pretty much
    algorithms, you have a flat plane of triangles and you run some sort of
    mathematical algorithm over it to generate a surface rippling effect -
    well, you will have the processing power to do these sorts of generated
    geometry effects On PS3. You could actually put one chip aside just to
    do that..."

    While these comments are certainly encouraging, it's important to keep
    in mind that they are just one developer's account. Others may not be
    as pleased as Homewood with the PS3's "ease" of development.
    Air Raid, Jan 30, 2006
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  2. Brenden D. Chase, Jan 30, 2006
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