In an in-depth look at CryEngine 3 (the latest iteration of Crytek’s incredible tech) in this month’s Edge magazine, Mark Atkinson, Crytek’s director of technology, has plenty to say about the hugely promising console versions of the engine. “Everyone said we couldn’t do this on a console,” he said to Edge, “We did it.” Claiming the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of CryEngine 3 are “equivalent to medium- to high-spec PC settings” and coming complete with all the dynamic scenery and destructability from its big brother, we have high hopes for the first games to use this beast.
Development of the cross platform tech wasn’t easy though, as Atkinson says. “It’s been tricky, but we’ve got a strong PS3 engine with all the major systems running on SPUs. With middleware, what you want is for someone else to do all that so the developer can just concentrate on making games. We have parity between the platforms now: both run at the same speed.” Although this ‘same speed’ clearly depends on what the engine is doing at that particular time. “If the game’s shader-heavy it runs a bit faster on 360; if it’s compute-heavy with physics and particles, then the SPUs take over and it’s a bit quicker on PS3.”
See for yourself in this video, from GDC, comparing the two console versions of CryEngine 3:
Evidently, then, it appears the guys at Crytek have managed to wring the most out of both consoles, and created an engine that will surely rival the likes of Unreal 3 once the developers have gotten their hands on it. If you want to read more of the interview and get more information on CryEngine 3, you can read the initial console impressions on the Edge website here, and the rest of the article referenced above can be found in the actual Edge magazine, issue 202, which is on the shelves now (with BLUR on the cover). Go buy it.
You can also read the official CryEngine 3 announcement press release here.