Looking at the results these developers get, I can see that.
Sony’s first party teams have this unreal ability to get a lot out of the systems that they worked on- the kinds of graphics that Naughty Dog, Sony Santa Monica, and Guerrilla Games were getting out of the PS3, and that they are now out of the PS4, is truly something spectacular to behold.
According to PS4 system architect Mark Cerny, this is because the companies both focus on one platform – the PS4 – exclusively, which allows them to be intimately familiar with said system, getting more out of it by understanding just how it can and cannot be pushed.
“I think one of the things you’re seeing is just the benefit of focus on a single platform,” Cerny said in an interview with IGN after PSX. “You can know the technology down to the tiny hardware details and then take advantage of them in your engine. And that really pays off. I mean, I was sitting there this morning at the keynote at PSX 2016 and it’s clear that Guerrilla and Naughty Dog have somehow found the button you push that makes more polygons come out.”
I do think that fundamentally speaking, he is right- if yo are exclusively focusing on one hardware spec, you can do far more with it than if your focus were diluted by having to cater to a wide range of hardware, even if said hardware is similar (such as varying PC rigs, or even the PS4 and Xbox One). That said, however, I have to ask myself- does introducing the PS4 Pro into the mix affect this laser sharp focus that Sony’s developers have at all?