Killzone Dev On Why The PS4 Isn’t Like A PC At All

This month’s Edge magazine features a fair bit of content on the new PlayStation 4 based on its now-distant New York showing. That said, most of it appears to be ending up online even before the mag hits the shelves, probably due to the way subscriber copies were carved up and syndicated across the web yesterday. The latest piece? An article outlining why, despite recent reports to the contrary, the PS4 isn’t like a high-end PC at all.

Enter Guerrilla Games’ technical director Michiel Van Der Leeuw, who, via some choice soundbiting from the online editors of the mag, suggested that those describing the PS4 as a PC are ‘trolls’ and ‘fanboys’. Quite.

“That’s difficult because people are trolling, right. What do you say to a troll? You don’t feed the trolls, that’ll make them grow,” he’s quoted as saying in reference to the comparisons. “I mean, it has always been a piece of high-end hardware that we put in a box, we find exactly the right components that complement each other and make a really good gaming experience.”

“This is exactly the same thing – it is a console.”

“The fact that the best pieces of hardware are also devised from, or optimised versions of, the stuff we find in PCs doesn’t make it any less a console. I can imagine if you find people with a vested interest to say PC gaming has won, they will find lots of great arguments in the fact that we use some of the same parts. But you know that’s just fanboys on the internet, I guess.”

Van Der Leeuw points out that the PS4 doesn’t suffer from any of the “inefficient” bridges that a PC might, and says that the careful configuration has reduced the chances of any bottlenecks.

“Whereas if you have a PC very often your buffs, or your express buffs are very slow compared to your video RAM which is GDDR5 and your main RAM then is even slower than that, but you compensate by sticking buffers in there… there’s a lot of things to contemplate in the fact that it is a replaceable-parts architecture. This [PS4] is where all of the parts are designed to work together, naturally.”

The Dutch studio apparently made a number of major changes to the various components of the PS4 over the months and years.

“We actually had parts of both Killzone 3 and very early Killzone 4 art assets running through simulators to try to find out how it would behave on our speculative hardware that didn’t exist – trying to find bottlenecks in the hardware that we could fix before we could even think about the chip,” added Van Der Leeuw.

Read our Shadowfall preview here.

Source: Edge Magazine.

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24 Comments

  1. Plus, of course, it’s missing the biggest resource-hog/bottleneck of all: Windows.

    • You can’t be too hard on a very good Operating System (ie. Windows 7) that’s trying to be the foundation to most of the software available on the planet! Anyone buying a gaming rig knows that they’re losing very little to the OS. The biggest factor being memory and that’s relatively cheap when you’re about to pinch-off £1000 for a beast of a PC.

      • Only thing is if you want to put in more than 4GBs Ram you need Windows 7 Premium, and if you want more than 8 you need to buy Professional. For no reason other than the code limits it, kind of annoying.

      • @an-dz I think you may be miss informed
        The 32bit versions of both those won’t let you above 4gb but the 64bit premium you can go upto 16gb and with pro and ultimate you can go up 128gb ram. I have ultimate and have 12gb ddr3 ram set up in triple channel mode.

      • There was an interesting article on SemiAccurate about how much is lost to the OS on Windows 8 tablets compared to iOS and Android. Short version is that “SemiAccurate has been saying for over a year, Windows 8/WART needs many times the hardware that iOS or Android needs to deliver a similar experience.”

        http://semiaccurate.com/2012/10/31/microsoft-surface-can-not-compete-against-real-tablet/

        Rumour has it that the next Xbox will be based on Windows 8 and that “Microsoft’s hopes for the new Xbox to be more than just a games machine – the hardware is believed to reserve a significant amount of RAM for media functions.” It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

        http://winsupersite.com/xbox/xbox-vnext-and-always-online

        http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/df-hardware-spec-analysis-durango-vs-orbis

    • To be fair, a games console only has to play games, a Wondows or Mac machine has to facilitate the creation, alteration and viewing of every format of code going, and be flexible enough to be changed if it can’t do these things. Computers and consoles are different beasts, the fact that they’re becoming less different is to do with today’s technology and the demands of the developers. If they want a windows it’s a good thing that they get one!

      • Wondows, haha, sounds like a Gene Wilder creation.

  2. Some of these quotes seem to be taken out of context. Why does he refer to “PC winning” at all?

    • Where?

      • Think he is referring to this:

        “The fact that the best pieces of hardware are also devised from, or optimised versions of, the stuff we find in PCs doesn’t make it any less a console. I can imagine if you find people with a vested interest to say PC gaming has won, they will find lots of great arguments in the fact that we use some of the same parts. But you know that’s just fanboys on the internet, I guess.”

        To me, that statement sounds a little like they feel the PC brigade have already claimed a win as it uses similar or the same parts, but that is a little like saying a sandwich & toast are the same just because they both utilise bread.

  3. I’m sick to death of PC gamers get all in a huff about the PS4. It’s like you’re threatening to kidnap their own kin with the way they react.

    When it comes to the visuals… the new consoles will be wonderful (for a while) and the PCs will dominate once again. Sure, top of the line PCs will already have the grunt… maybe… but that’s so much money spent on such a rig that it’s simply unfair to compare them to a console retailing at a prospective £399 (let’s say, for argument’s sake).

    Above all of this – and it feels like there’s such shocking immaturity online at times that we might not even get to embrace the following notion – the PS4 components are far more PC like and many think the combined CPU/GPU (a.k.a. APU) is the way forward for PCs too! Not just that but the PS4 looks like it’s going to be considerably easier to code for which will benefit the PC (and vice versa) with multi-platform titles.

    • From what I have seen this gen consoles have set the benchmark, how many minimum requirements have you seen on games where its 8800gt ,which is about a Xbox360

      PS4 sets the next benchmark which by the rumours is equivalent of a 6600 ands that’s £200 worth of card. You are left with a decision do you upgrade/build another rig or take the easy option and buy I ps4.

    • Are PC gamers actually in a huff about the PS4 – or just busy getting on with playing games and don’t really care.

      Sure, there’s the usual number of Sony fanboys that like to chirp up about perceived advantages, just like there’s Xbox & PC people who do the same back… But does anyone outside of this vocal subset of ‘gamers’ actually care?

      Each platform will have advantages, each platform will have disadvantages, just pick the one(s) where the advantages suit your needs and that’s about it.

      I could really go either way with PC or PS4 & probably will be able to right up until I’m paying money out on either of them – I’m just waiting to see how things pan out.

      • I’m a PC gamer and not in a huff. I’m quite looking forward to hopefully seeing Planetside 2 on the PS4.

  4. The developers have control of a lot more deeper code sets etc. than what MS lets you do in windows so you have a lot more control over what and when you want something done. It can make a big difference.

  5. Almost every fanboy on the planet tries to apply when they knew about building a PC to a console, and fails miserably, you would have surely read this crap a million times “why didn’t Sony put more memory in when memory is so cheap” etc etc etc.

    Thank god these idiots don’t design consoles….

  6. Just a snippet from AMD’s Chief Graphics Product Architect John Gustafson “the console’s specs are so powerful that you could use it to serve cloud-based applications” and “It just blows away every serious computer on the planet with a console. And I think, now I don’t know, that Sony realizes what they’ve created, and we don’t.”
    He also went on to say that having the CPU and GPU on the same chip solves a lot of problems “you don’t have to toss things over to a graphics card and try to get them back and forth”.
    Defiantly not like a PC.

    • The components themselves look familiar (in a way) but the architecture is really something else. Completely optimised for the console/developers.

    • its a monster!

  7. Nowadays consoles can do pretty much everything an average (or slightly below) PC can do (more so if you mod ’em), I even remember Sony bragging about that with the PS3 reveal. Considering next gen will blur the line even more I dont understand why anybody would be upset comparing or describing next gen to a PC. So people want to label a PS4 a PC, let ’em, as far as I’m concerned they will both be used for games, movies, and porn.
    Its ironic that Michiel Van Der Leeuw results to calling these people trolls as being a troll is exactly what he’s doing. Isnt there enough fanboy-ism on the internet already Mich? We get it, youre a Sony employee and you need to differentiate your product. Having people call the PS4 a PC could make people buy a PC instead of a PS4, but do you really need to insult people by calling them trolls just because at the end of the day youre trying to market a PS4?

    • Exactly. I thought his choice of words was very uncommon and slightly out of place for someone in his position.

  8. I don’t really care what PC fanboys say to be honest. I know what ever comes from Sony, it will be excellent and until photo realism is about in games, there is no point being a hardware nerd about it all.
    Consoles are good for those who want to play on a level playing field and don’t have to keep buying hardware to keep up with other gamers/games. thats why I play on them.

  9. Its the same, as in it has a cpu, gpu, ram and hdd, but that’s it.
    it’s like saying a cake is the same as a biscuit because it has some of the same ingredients.

    weak example I know but I’ve not had coffee yet.

  10. He has valid points, but he’s put them across badly.

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