Evolution On PS4’s GPU: “There’s A Whole Load Of Special Sauce”

DriveClub, one of the PlayStation 4’s launch titles, will take full advantage of the new console’s graphical grunt. Speaking in a recent interview, developer Evolution’s Scott Kirkland said that “there’s a whole load of special sauce that’s gone into the GPU development” and the CPU has “made it really easy for us to gain great performance from the outset.”

Sony’s approach to the PS4’s chipset is night and day compared to how they built the PS3, which revolved around the new but unwieldy Cell processor. The next-gen successor is more like a PC, with far more approachable elements that mean developers can get to grips with the technology much more quickly.

“I mean, in terms of features that really help us out, there’s the CPU, having that symmetrical architecture, that’s made it really easy for us to gain great performance from the outset,” said Kirkland. “When we look at PS3 development, it was very powerful architecture, but one that took a fair amount of time to get up to speed with and exploit, and that showed on each iteration of Motorstorm.”

“Whereas with Drive Club that power is just there, on the table, all very accessible right from the outset. Knowing every console is going to have a hard-drive in it, that’s something we’re able to plan for, we’ve got brilliant strategies for boosting the time spent playing the game.”

Kirkland added that the built in hard-drive will mean that the game will have much smaller load and download times compared to PS3 and Xbox.

“From a GPU perspective, there’s a whole load of special sauce that’s gone into the GPU development,” he continued. “And that paves the way for us to do all sorts of general purpose compute work on there as well. It’s always going to be a balancing act between the kind of hardcore graphics guys who want to use all that power for what goes on the screen, but there’s some great complimentary stuff that we can do with the GPU as well.”

Kirkland said that the GPU is much closer to a regular PC one, with features familiar to PC developers. Evolution are therefore having to catch-up with the tech, mentioning things like texture arrays, hardware instancing, volume textures, tessellation and texture compression.

He also confirmed that DriveClub will support live-streaming of the game.

You can read our DriveClub preview here.

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17 Comments

  1. THE SAUCE IS MADE OF PEOPLE!

    On a more serious note, woohoo!

  2. All sounds excellent & it’ll be interesting to see what the final game turns out like.

  3. I’m looking forward to this game but also hesitant as big things have been promised before.

    PS “build in hard-drive” should be “built in hard-drive”

    • Hold tight dude – I heard that The Sixth Axis are working on a red pen app and ‘see me’ button.

      • Oh god, I just guffawed at this (it’s 1:15AM) and now my dog thinks I’m having a heart attack or something.

  4. I’m a huge Sony/PlayStation fan (if you didn’t already guess), and all this stuff is certainly great to hear – but what I *really* want is to hear this kind of praise from people who *don’t* work for Sony-owned companies.

    Ubisoft and Quantic Dream have had some great things to say, but I want to hear from more of the big third-parties – EA, Activision (spit!), etc. Of course, there’s a chance they’re in Microsoft’s pocket and being gently persuaded not to say anything overly positive about PS4.

    • Quite. “Sony employees like Sony product” is not really significant news*.

      By the way, wash your mouth out with soap and water and never say that word again.

      * this is NOT a veiled attack on TSA.

  5. Strange that they hint at smaller load and download times with the inclusion of a Hard Drive as if it’s not been tried before. As far as I’m aware only the entry level and recently released SuperSlim 12GB doesn’t have a Hard Drive included.
    Good news though with development time being slashed through being able to hit the ground running with the PS4’s friendlier architecture.

    • Maybe they know something which involves a new Xbox and a Hard Drive or possibly ‘not’ Hard Drive that we don’t???

    • Could this mean a faster HDD perhaps?

    • That sounds the likely deal, multi platform development would have to include any HDD free Xbox 360’s (I assume that some entry level consoles were lacking a HDD??)

    • @Kenny Checked the specs earlier and it just said Hard Disk Drive was built in. No mention of a new model superfast drive.
      http://uk.playstation.com/media/7ngkAGoJ/PlayStation4_Specification.pdf

      • Hopefully it’s 7200 RPM and not 5400 RPM, but I might just put an SSD in mine anyway to maximize the potential.

      • I have most of my games installed on a 7200 RPM drive (on the PC) and nothing is slow to load. However, it’s the Blu-ray drive you want to be wary off but fingers crossed the PS4 transfer rate will be that much quicker. I think the new drive will be a 6x speed which I hope is plenty!

  6. Special Sauce always offers a better expiration date.

  7. Completely unrelated, but I hope [email protected] makes a comeback on the PS4 :)

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