PS4 Dev: Other Console Manufacturers’ Decisions Didn’t Influence Our Plans, Devs Happy With SDK Tools
The developers also detail the benefits of going open source with their LLVM based compiler.
A group of PlayStation 4 compiler engineers took to Reddit yesterday to conduct an Ask Me Anything submission. The group is going to open source their system compiler based on LLVM [Low Level Virtual Machine]. Unfortunately the AMA was not approved by the mods but the developers managed to answer a few interesting questions.
The Xbox One and PS4, almost have similar architecture, so was the development team already aware that Microsoft was getting a similar chip from AMD before the console’s launch? Although the developer did not answered this question directly, he did revealed that they heard other console manufacturers were evaluating technologies. But that did not affected them since they were focus on making the system of PS4 which will familiar to game developers, something will last for a while.
“Another interesting question that we probably shouldn’t answer, but I’m gonna try anyway. We certainly heard that the other console manufacturers were evaluating certain technologies, but that didn’t really influence our strategy of building a system that was familiar to game developers and yet had plenty of potential for maximum performance over a long lifetime.”
They also talked about the benefits that games will see due to their decision. “Thus far the feedback we’ve received from game developers is that they’re very happy with the tools we’ve provided in the PS4 SDK.”
They then detailed the advantages:
LLVM’s specific advantages, coupled with our own additional tools include:
- Fast turn-around time. Compiles, links, etc. are faster than even their prototyping platform. Faster iteration means more time to refine the game.
- Clang offers the best diagnostics in the industry. This helps increase code quality, and thus stability.
- Easy extensibility means more features faster.
We always planned to open source our platform-specific changes, but it took time to ship the platform and get to the task of starting to clear our patch backlog.
The developers were also asked whether they will ever make a move similar to Apple, where if the developers want to develop for iOS they would need to use OS X. The PS4 engineer agreed that such a move could do more good, but it must be noted that this is his personal opinion that game development on OS X could be awesome.
Another developer, who is used to work at Sony, believes that Sony might go that route but Microsoft won’t. “Sony might, but MS won’t, and outside of first parties most big studios are developing for both consoles. Windows is really the only game in town (heh) if you’re gonna really invest in one console dev platform. That said, I think Sony are friendlier when it comes to keeping stuff OS-agnostic. They certainly were when I worked for ’em! :)”, the developer said.