Mark Cerny: Converting A Base PS4 Game To PS4 Pro Version Is Just 0.2 Or 0.3 Percent of The Overall Effort

“At that point, I think it’s very natural for the development community to support the platform.”

Posted By | On 25th, Oct. 2016 Under News | Follow This Author @Pramath1605


The PS4 Pro is Sony’s new console, that offers developers more power than a standard PS4. That said, there are a lot of restrictions placed on just how developers can use that extra power, and the long and short of it is that you can basically just get the same game as on a standard PS4, but slightly prettier.

So why would developers actually support the PS4 Pro? Why would they bother putting in effort for a machine that only a fraction of the PS4 userbase will own, and which they can’t leverage meaningfully anyway? According to Mark Cerny, head architect of the PS4 and also the PS4 Pro, it is because Sony made the Pro as easy as possible to work with.

“The target was to make sure that support [for the PS4 Pro] could be done for a fraction of a percent of the overall effort,” Cerny said to Gamasutra. “And I do mean a fraction of a percent. I mean, I’ve run the math, and it’s 0.2 or 0.3 percent for these projects — some of them. So at that point, I think it’s very natural for the development community to support the platform.”

That makes some sense- but it’s still extra effort that developers are putting in, another consideration that is now mandated for them. I definitely think that upgradeable, iterative consoles are the way of the future– but I also think that at first, there will be a painful transition period as developers get used to them, and that the PS4 Pro, being the first of this bunch, will see the worst of that.

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  • Hvd

    right the same guy that said the ps4 pro is 8.4 tflops…lmao.i cant believe anything sony says anymore.

    • The problem with telling non technical users a technical processes is they don’t understand it or how it works they just look at a number and assume they know what it means.

    • Hvd

      the only ones that believe cerny is the ps4 player base.they were the ones shouting 8.4tflops while everyone else knew he was full of it.

    • crazy_black_man-

      We all know by now that Sony engineers are much more adapt at hardware tricks than those incompetent hacks at Microsoft. Lets just look at the current state of things and take that at face value. No need to Google anything, just turn on your Xbox One and navigate thru the UI and run your games and you’ll clearly see the difference. Or maybe you’re lying eyes will continue to deceive you.

    • Tomaterrrx

      Cerny was saying that it is capable of 8.4tf when using half (16bit) floats. Which is correct. No lying there.

    • Luke Skywalker

      That’s why it’s easy to make the none technical people go “oh wow” when in reality it’s not that great

    • Mike G

      If you are going to accuse Cerny of being a liar, use his complete statement. Running at half floats, or on 16 bit operations only the PS4 Pro can harness 8.4 tflops of computational power… but the system is only running on half floats. When running at full floats – i.e. the full 32bit operations, then the PS4 Pro harnessing 4.2 tflops of computational power.

      Unless you know more about the PS4 Pro architecture than Mark Cery, I’ll take his word over yours.

    • Luke Skywalker

      Quite interesting….instead of using 2 float unites he’s using 4. Using that same calculation the Scorpio would be pushing 12+tf when doing 16bit operations.
      Looks like he’s just fluffing up the numbers to catch the none technical

    • J.j. Barrington

      No need for him to do so.

      Plus, you can’t just “use the same calculation,” as the Scorpio would have to be designed from the hardware level to do the same thing. Since we don’t know that it is, you can’t assume it to be so.

    • Luke Skywalker

      Wait what, I understand….

    • Eddie Battikha

      Ull never understand, it’s that simple.

    • Luke Skywalker

      lol ok

    • Luke Skywalker

      it’s clear you have no idea what you’re talking about.
      the same calculation is done to find a GPU’s Teraflops: number of cores x 1+1- or 2 operation x memory speed.
      therefore the same calculation that is used for the pro is used for the scorpio, there’s no secret sauce here or special design in the hardware level here.

      in AMD64 and Intel’s EMT64 bit architectures
      a byte is 8bits
      a word is 16bits
      a double word is 32bits
      a quadword is 64bits
      and a double quadword is 128bits
      same for GPUs
      all these operations are technically not different, they are simply multi-byte 8bit operations. therefore a system doesn’t need to be built specifically for with any of these in mind, all modern 64bit systems can access all bit operations below its word size. in other words all 64bit systems can do 32bit,16bit and 8bit operations.

      the calculation cerny used was: number of cores x 2+2- or 4+- operation x memory speed.
      ps4pro real: 2310x2x911 = 4.2tf
      cerny fluff talk: 2310x4x911 = 8.2tf

      use the same calculation for xbox:
      scorpio real 2860x2x1050 = 6tf:
      cerny fluff calculation 2860x4x1050 = 12tf

      someone correct me if i’m wrong. if not then consider yourself schooled.

    • J.j. Barrington

      Weird that Cerny- who pretty much anybody in the world would trust more than you on this- has a different explanation and no need to lie.

      Why is that?

    • Luke Skywalker

      the internet is wide open my friend. you can check it out for yourself. no need to believe me or cerny. you can find the information for yourself .

    • J.j. Barrington

      The internet doesn’t contain the way in which the PS4 Pro- or Scorpio, for that matter- is put together. There are guesses, some of which make more sense than others. Yours is not one of these, particularly when it contradicts the word of the architect behind the damn console.

      Again: what need would there be for him to lie or exaggerate? Why would someone as well-respected in the gaming industry and tech world as Mark Cerny say something lie about something that would be so easy to catch? You can say to fool the people who’re unaware, but these things are only going to places where people ARE aware. Where he can be checked up on. He’s not going to old folks’ homes.

    • Luke Skywalker

      what need? the same with “it’s a super charged PC”

    • J.j. Barrington

      You’re not answering the question.

    • Luke Skywalker

      ok the first question, the same reason he said the ps4 is a super charged PC.
      the second, I never said he was lying (dont’ put words in my mouth). I said it’s fluffing the numbers by using half precision floats as his calculation base because by doing so he gives the impression that there’s suddenly double the performance in the system, when in reality it’s not so, under no circumstances will your system only do 16bit operations unless we’re going back to the bitmap and sprite days.

      16bit = half precision
      32bit = single precision
      64bit = double precision
      a 2tf double precision system will calculate as 4tf in single precision and 8tf in half precision. the 8tf might look like a lot but it’s all the same. the difference comes down a bit to efficiency in the way that you don’t always need a 32bit double word to carry/manipulate your data, this is where 16bit comes in handy…it’s like the difference in using a smaller bus to shuttle 8 people to their destination than using a big tour bus to carry those same 8 people using up a lot of gas in the process.
      it’s like if you need something just right down the road you can just jump in your car (16bit) instead of driving in your really big bus just to pick up some milk from the store. it doesn’t offer more performance but it offers more efficiency in the way that you can use and manipulate your data on the system.

    • J.j. Barrington

      So you see that last bit? About efficiency?

      That’s exactly what Cerny was talking about. It seems you DO know what you’re talking about after all. You just happen to be so busy trying to make a big deal out of the end number that you didn’t notice it.

    • Tomaterrrx

      It’s really only efficient if the program/game is running off half floats. We’re way past that now. No games this gen use half floats. Even if Scorpio had the same tech (which it probably will as the GPU is also made my by AMD) then it would also turn out to be not using that tech AT ALL. This skywalker guy isn’t saying the Cerny was lying. He’s just fleshing out this statement that Cerny made. It’s just that to the general public it seems as if PS4 Pro is suddenly capable of delivering 8 tf of gpu performance.

    • Gamez Rule

      Truth is the 16bit x 2 is a first to take place and at same time when used this allows devs to free up more half-floats in less space and time.

      16bit x 2 within a single 32bit it should allow for more TeraFlop workloads as we knew them before ( when compared to something like on PS4 ).

      A half-float would take the same internal space as a full 32-bit float ( on PS4 ), but now you can use two 16bit half-floats in that same space within a register while using fewer vector registers ( PS4-Pro ). So thanks to the above devs will be extracting more utilisation from allowing more wavefronts to run at the same time.

      So this GPU within PS4-Pro is not just a AMD Polaris chip it’s an APU that’s customed designed built using tech from both Sony and AMD using tech from Polaris and maybe Vega within their design.

    • theduckofdeath

      A leak of AMD Vega info about a month ago, quoted performance in half-precision. The GPU performance was stated in 16-bit TFLOPS (24, in fact) rather than 32-bit (single precision) TFLOPS. For marketing purposes this not only has an eye-grabbing number (24 TF), but 16-bit FLOPS can be used when sacrificing precision for memory is OK (as opposed to 32-bit FP operations for games). Half precision has less range in values, obviously, but can be useful is 32-bits are not required and memory BW & space are low.

      Both Scorpio and PS4 Pro use contemporary AMD architectures, so there is no console magic here. Half precision FP is just that — it will be double the single precision count. The double precision-to-single precision register ratio is the one that can vary between GPUs within the same family (with different intended applications).

    • J.j. Barrington

      Wonderful, except for the part where Cerny doesn’t do marketing.

    • theduckofdeath

      He is explaining the “new” capabilities of the Pro and differences between it and PS4. The video was made available for all of us to watch, and you have been mislead by it (or chose to be), so yes, it doubles as marketing. He’s just coming at it from a technical angle, as expected.

      What is new to consoles these days is old to the PC. Cerny is saying any FP16 calculations or storage capabilities in Pro will be more much efficient than in PS4, though a patch may be necessary.

    • J.j. Barrington

      “and you have been mislead by it (or chose to be), so yes, it doubles as marketing.”

      I’m not misled at all. And something being available for all to view is not marketing. Financial reports are, after a fashion, made visible to all; that’s not marketing. Tech talks- like the one Cerny gave- are routinely made available for everyone to see; it’s not marketing, though. MARKETING is marketing.

    • theduckofdeath

      Oh, I’m sure a press event with Mark Cerny, architect of the PS4/PS4 Pro, discussing tech in Sony’s soon to be released PS4 Pro product, appeared nowhere in Sony’s marketing plan for said product.

      For a “tech talk”, he didn’t get too technical. He mentioned clock bumps and added DDR3 memory, with not talk of power draw versus the old APU and console. No block diagrams, no chip lithography.

      He brought up that the GPU was essentially a mirrored PS4 GPU, and that was interesting. Then he mentioned the FP32 registers can be used to do two FP16 operations, like a PC GPU. OK. Double the TFLOPS in FP16 arithmetic — then he implied that is somehow similar to FP32 performance in games. That is highly misleading.

      He provided no empirical evidence from benchmarks or real game performance. No data on PS4 games that spend any significant percentage of the game loop on FP16 calculations (or store FP16 textures) that would benefit from this feature. No mention if this helps out with processing HDR.

      In fairness, I suppose we should be thankful he said anything.

    • Mike G

      It seems to me that it is you who is blowing alot of hot air about. Truth is, you know next to nothing about Scorpio’s architecture and how the hardware will be coded to make use of it’s GPU/CPU. The same is true of your knowledge of the workings of the PS4 Pro hardware. Who are you trying to convince that you know more about hardware architecture than Mark Cerny? Please. Give it a rest before you hurt yourself.

    • Luke Skywalker

      I’ve never said I know more about hardware architecture than cerny.
      don’t believe me, dn’t believe cerny, you have the internet, use it.

    • Luke Skywalker

      ouch. ok. I guess people just want to believe in his every word then. go on then.

    • Gamez Rule

      “in other words all 64bit systems can do 32bit,16bit and 8bit operations”

      Correct but before when using 16bit half precisions it would take up a whole 32bit-64bit to process that precision, now PS4 Pro allows 2x half-floats known as 16bit half precision within a 32bit single precision. Something not done before?

    • Psionicinversion

      Do you think this is something Sony has made? Double half floats? No it’s AMD tech. Scorpio will have it because it’s AMD built tech not Sony and every pc gpu has it from polaris onwards I think.

    • theduckofdeath

      There are people who choose to believe in “Sony magic”. Nevermind that AMD makes the CPU and GPU for both XB1 and PS4, or that the hardware in both was old & entry-level at launch, or that people who maintain their PCs have (at least basic) knowledge of the architecture.

    • Hvd

      wrong by cernys math the if the ps3 pro has 8.4tflops which is a gtx 1080 btw the xbox Scorpio would have 12tflops which is like a titan x pacal….lmao

      you guys need to learn the gpu tflops compared to pc gpu to see where the console power lies.

      according to cerny the ps4 pro is a gtx 1080 which has 8.9 tflops…..lmao….yea right.

    • Riggybro

      Yeah. Reminds me of the ESRAM/throughput thing that droned on for months a couple of years back.

    • Luke Skywalker

      Forza horizon 3 looks beautiful for a machine that is only 1.3tf with ddr3 memory I think the esram does a wonderful job there. It’s clear Microsoft’s 1st parties knows how to get the most out of that machine but not so for 3rd party studios.

    • Mike G

      Depends of Scorpio’s architecture, we just don’t know enough yet about the hardware design. If the architecture isn’t designed to provide that type of computational functionality it won’t be able to automatically. PS4 Pro is specifically designed for half float 16-bit computations.

    • Luke Skywalker
    • Psionicinversion

      hahahah no the ps4 pro isnt specifically designed for it. Its AMD technology. Why do you assume everything in the ps4 is magically created by sony and nothing is made by AMD?? nvidia and AMD both have these double half floats because things like deep learning applications uses 16bit floats so the faster you can do it the faster those applications can run.

    • Mr Xrat

      Only thing Xgimps can do anymore is misrepresent and lie.

    • Hvd

      we are to busy playing games that arnt delayed.

      the delay station where delays await…lmao

    • Mr Xrat

      Most of your trash lineup for this year got delayed and a few even got cancelled.

      Wouldn’t surprise me if the same happens next year too.

      Have fun with those smoke and mirrors.

    • Hvd

      lol you are a complete idiot.enjoy waiting for you DELAYED games on the DELAY STATION.

      the delay station where delays await until 2017 some time….lmao

    • Mr Xrat

      Poor little Xgimp, can’t handle the fact that MS is even more notorious for delays. When’s Fable Legends out?

    • Agent_Blade

      You are such a idiot. How about you actually do some research before you speak.

    • Hvd

      jack as* a gtx 1080 a $700 gpu has 8.9 tflops and thatsa top of the line gpu.the ps4 pro is has polaris tecn which isnt even close to that.why dont you stop being an idiot and learn something about gpu’s and tflops.

      $700 gtx 180 8.9 tflops

      ps4 pro 8.4?….lmao …learn to google.

    • Agent_Blade

      Wow…just wow.

    • Hvd

      the truth is a troll.

  • jp

    quick calculation for a AAA game, would take 20 days? counting a dev time of 3 years (around a thousand days), thats a lot of time and money Cerny, is he paying or Sony is?

    • Bilal Prince-Ali

      lol you’re hilarious.

    • jp

      yea I kinda missed with the math, funny thing I work in a broker firm lol.

    • Aenea

      2 to 3 days actually, but that is 2 to 3 days for the WHOLE development team…

  • J.j. Barrington

    ” but slightly prettier.”

    C’mon, Pramath. Your fanboy is showing.

    • Hvd

      get used to it since you brows ng4 you can see the media starting to push the xbox more over the ps4…sure when the ps4 pro launches they will get some press but it wont be like it has been for 3

    • Gamez Rule

      Sony are launching two major hardwares in one quarter so Sony should find themselves in the perfect situation going into Christmas as both MS and Nintendo are offering nothing new?

      Between the PS4, PRO and PSVR, Sony will destroy everything this holiday you’ll see. PS4-Pro is much more powerful then what the competition offers with loads more games too, as well as huge support from 3rd parties, and real console exclusives = a win win for Sony.

      PS4 has already won the sales race and won this gen with more support than other consoles…So is it really a question on who won this gen or who has the most sales worldwide, and who will selling more consoles at Holiday / Christmas times?PS4-Pro has native 4k AAA games like NBA 2K17 / Fallout 4, etc so don’t know why people think PS4-Pro is crap ( when it’s not even released yet ) Also people are impatient and won’t want to wait for Scorpio knowing that PS4-Pro is up and ready for this Christmas time, and mums and dads will see the PS4-Pro being the big thing for kids and that’s why parents buy.

    • Gamez Rule
    • Gamez Rule

      Here is a list of some confirmed / officially announced PS4 Pro native
      4K games with more to come soon:

      The Last Of Us Remastered (Native 4K@30FPS with the better

      Smite (Native 4K@60FPS)
      The Elder Scroll Online (Native 4K@30FPS)
      The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition Edition (Native 4K@30FPS)
      Mantis Burn Racing (Native 4K@60FPS / Native 4K@30FPS for 4 player
      Wheels of Aurelia (Native 4K@60FPS)
      Futuridium EP Deluxe (Native 4K@60FPS)
      Forma.8 (Native 4K@60FPS + 8xMSAA )
      Rez Infinite (Native 4K@60FPS)
      Hustle Kings (Native 4K)
      Thumper (Native 4K)
      NBA 2K17 (Native 4K@60FPS + HDR)
      Bound (Native 4K@60FPS + MSAA x2 upscaled from MSAAx8 in normal gameplay / in VR mode: rendering to 4K internal screen which is then supersampled to 1080P display in PSVR + new effects like volumetric lights + sharper shadows)
      Viking Squad (Native 4K@60FPS)
      Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 (Native 4K@60FPS)

  • kee1haul

    More magic with numbers from Cerny.

  • RedKnightOH

    The PS4 Pro was a tactical mistake for SONY. Not worth upgrading for the casual PS4 user and not worth the money and trouble to change your set up for such a small upgrade in hardware.

    And getting a PS4 Pro just to mess around with PS VR and all it’s bugs and cost, doesn’t make sense yet. Give the PSVR platform time to mature and for the cost of VR entry to drop. PSVR is to new to jump on at this point… if you value your money.

    Better idea. Sony should put their time and development money into making a POWERFUL and completely upgradeable new PS5 that could nearly equal today’s PC gaming experience. A PC can be upgraded with a new CPU, hard drive, video card, ram and all the rest. The PS5 should match that. Sony should sell the upgrade parts and make more profits with the upgrades. Then, make a PS6 when it make sense.

  • Hvd

    so he is trying to say it take no effort at all to make a pro patch?isnt this the guy that said the ps4 pro has 8.4 tflops which would bring it close to a $700 gtx 1080?…yep dont believe this clown on any thing he says..he is just trying to generate hype before the ps4 pro launch flop…lmao

  • Hvd

    you know why he is saying this? so when devs start to complain about the extra work they have to do for pro patches which i hope they charge for btw he said it so the fan base can say this the dev.

    “but cerny said i not much effort at all you guys are just lazy and dont want to patch the game for ps4 pro”.he is doing saying this to make any dev look bad if they dont want to do extra work and release a ps4 pro patch.

    i see through his bs just like the ps4 pro being par with the gtx 1080 a $700 gpu which has 8.9tflops and the ps4 pro according to cerny has 8.4..if you cant see through his bs you are


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