Sony’s Matt Higby has been speaking to Eurogamer about Planetside 2 and the various challenges the team has faced in developing the free to play title for the PlayStation 4.
First off Planetside 2 will not feature cross platform play between PS4 and PC owners, with the patching system being the main issue holding such an element back.
“Because of the update cadence, and the additional steps you have to go through to be able to release an update on the PlayStation network, we’re not going to be able to keep our servers in sync, so you won’t be able to just play with the same people,” Higby said in regards to the problem.
However that won’t stop character transfers between the two platform. Allowing players to create a character on either PS4 or PC will mean that the character will be accesible on both platforms with all stats intact, depending on server updates.
Developing for the PS4 is an easier thing to do than for PC because it’s a single hardware platform. The biggest obstacle at the moment is the AMD chip and the game engine’s compatibility with it.
“People who have AMD chips have a disadvantage, because a single core on an AMD chip doesn’t really have as much horsepower and they really require you to kind of spread the load out across multiple cores to be able to take full advantage of the AMD processors,” said Higby.
The developers are currently trying to optimise the engine to make sure it will run smoothly on the console while tracking individual player movements. Once all of this has been tackled players who have AMD chips will also notice a difference as Sony’s team come to terms with the hardware.
There was also talk of using the motion controls for things like controlling the flight movement in the game. The touchpad may be used as a user interface to select or even drag and drop items on the screen. The use of the light bar hasn’t been decided upon yet and nor has Vita functionality.
There are some ideas of using Sony’s handheld as a companion to the main game, with ideas like an interactive map or viewing in game missions. These are just ideas at the moment and no concrete features have been confirmed for the Vita.
There’s also a chance that the Oculus Rift will eventually be introduced to Planetside 2, with some experiments already taking place with the hardware. However an introduction of the Oculus Rift will need major UI changes and a lot of optimisation to bring up the graphical resolutions, as current versions are low resolution.
From what I’ve seen of PlanetSide 2 I’m quite interested in it. I would give it a go but I doubt my netbook can handle it. The push for major FTP and MMO titles for the next generation is something that excites me personally because they are an area where I don’t have much experience. Making them more accessible for people like myself is a great thing.