PS4 Should Support Vulkan, PS4’s API Not Completely Native For Current Gen Yet: Brad Wardell

Brad Wardell on how Vulkan can probably make easier for developers to make games on PS4.

Posted By | On 31st, Mar. 2015 Under News | Follow This Author @GamingBoltTweet

ps4 amd

Earlier this year, Brad Wardell stated that just like DirectX 12 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 fans will also have something to look forward to. At that time, he did not revealed what exactly it was, but in an exclusive interview with GamingBolt’s Kurtis Simpson he revealed that he was referring to Vulkan. For those of you who are not aware about what Vulkan is, it’s a low level API derived from AMD’s Mantle and is platform agnostic. Under development at Khronos Group, the new API provides more control over the GPU and reduces CPU overhead.

According to Wardell, Sony’s current API is much low level compared to Mantle and even Vulkan but they should look into adding Vulkan support for the console as it will reduce a lot of developer overhead for cross platform development.

“What I was referencing at the time was Vulkan. We’re part of the Khronos Group and now it depends who you talk to at Sony and this gets in to a debate. Sony has a very low-level API already for the PlayStation 4. The problem I have with it is that if you want to make use for it you’re writing some very specific code just for the PlayStation 4. And in the real world people don’t do that right. I write code generally to be as cross-platform as I can.”

“Now maybe in Unity or Unreal, one of the other guys will write their engines in such a way so that they make the most use of it, but that’s going to take time. Whereas if they use something like Vulkan, it’s not as low-level as their API, but Vulkan has the advantage that it’s really easy to write for it. So you’re more likely to get developers to code to that and get more games on to Sony then you would otherwise.”

With Microsoft launching DirectX 12 for the Xbox One, is there is a chance that Sony might actually completely support Mantle going forward? Wardell disagrees.

“No, because their low-level API is still lower level than Mantle and Vulkan. So what I’m hoping is that they will support Vulkan.”

“Let’s say I write a game for the Steam Box and the PlayStation 4 supports Vulkan, the Steam Box supports Vulkan. It wouldn’t be that much more work for me to have my game work on the PlayStation 4. Whereas right now if I want to develop the game for the PlayStation 4, I have to learn their special custom API, that has shader languages that are different than what I’m used to, and I’m pretty sure that I have to send stuff in text instead of binary form.”

“I hate OpenGL (laughs). They’re old, their current one is just archaic. I don’t want to have to learn that, my brain is already full of OS2 and Linux crap, I don’t want to learn yet another short-term API. If I can just learn Vulkan then I can get to a lot of platforms, I don’t want to have to learn Sony’s special API, even if I would gain a few frames-per-second in doing so.”

He also revealed to GamingBolt that the current API for the PS4 isn’t completely native yet and that it has been updated from last gen. Regardless, we are not seeing the full potential of either consoles.

“With the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One they’re not even remotely scratching the surface for what people can do and there’s still…I mean on the PlayStation 4 and their low-level API, they’re all still very…they’re like written for last-gen but updated for this gen. I wouldn’t say they’re completely native yet, I mean they are native but you know these words all get misused, but this gen’s graphics are still very far behind where they’re going to be.”

Stay tuned for more coverage from our interview with Brad Wardell for more stuff including new information on Ashes of Singularity, more on Vulkan and Mantle in the coming days.

Awesome Stuff that you might be interested in

  • kontis

    Both, Vulkan and Dx12 are based on Mantle:

    • Psionicinversion

      vulkan isnt based on mantle at all. Its taken SOME of the stuff from mantle and added it in but its not based on it

    • DarthDiggler


      If you take stuff from one source to create something else kind of hard to argue it’s not based on it. 🙂 IMHO It seems to me AMD was ahead of the game here and others playing catchup or iterating the idea.

    • Anon

      Mantle was literally used as the starting point, as was stated by Tom Olson during the ‘glNext: The Future Of High Performance Graphics’ session at GDC2015. To say it’s “based” on Mantle is probably semantically accurate.

  • kontis


    Plans for any console support:
    “Outlook good”.

  • John Nemesh

    So, after reading this, it looks like the ones who are going to get the most out of the PS4 are going to be the ones focusing on exclusive titles. Same with the Xbox and DX12. Multiplatform games will still be good, just not at the level capable when the code is optimized for just the one platform.

    • MAXLD

      Won’t be an issue, a lot of developers are already praising Vulkan, it’s already showing to be a really good API to work with, and as they get even more experience with it, they’ll get the most out of the hardware better than re-learning all the PS4 very specific code, more easily and with less possible bugs. With PC going strong now and Linux getting attention, most of the devs will surely work with something that has the most potential of not only adapting to another platform (or OS), but also add to it a very nice optimization without much extra work. Most studios won’t work only with exclusives, so focusing on Vulkan and getting the most of it will be the way to go. Vulkan is being put together with the contribution of a lot of very important devs, it’s done right, makes sense to be the new standard more than ever.

    • John Nemesh

      I agree with you, the easier the tools make it, the better the games will be! Can’t wait to see the end results, personally!

    • You Are Flat Out Wrong

      900P Sub-30FPS on PS4. Same as usual, loser :^)

    • John Nemesh

      Sorry, I don’t respond to trolls anymore.

    • You Are Flat Out Wrong

      You forgot the downgrades as well, loser :^)

    • John Nemesh

      see above. Read it to yourself over and over until you comprehend.

    • You Are Flat Out Wrong

      I’m talking to a scumbag shill who defends Sony’s shady practices trying to run away and cry.

      Vulkan won’t help the POS4’s garbage hardware, moron.



      It’s serious bro, you was raped by an employee of Sony… LMAO… XD

    • Sunny

      It’s funny how PC beggars make a comparison from a real-time in-engine cutscene compared to gameplay on a different time of weather and lighting placement, cutscene will always outdo gameplay

    • You Are Flat Out Wrong

      It’s funny how Sony shills never admit there is a downgrade even when the game halves the framerate

    • GotNews4Ya

      …? theres like >4 games below 1080p on the PS4… I just don’t get it sometimes.. if you are going to argue with people, shouldn’t you base your argument on facts, wouldn’t that make people more angry than blatantly trolling?

    • You Are Flat Out Wrong

      Sorry your garbage console is garbage. There is those pesky facts again :^)

    • Evan_Beezy

      I’m sure khronos group and all the developers though will do things to optimize Vulkan further for ps4 with specific stuff. XB1 too. I’m not the developer with the insight though. Either way even with the current a api’s, it looks like we’ve all got a bit to look forward too.

    • thowedthanka

      the whole goal of vulkan is to be platform indepedent and a direct way to interface with the gpu, they shouldnt care at all about ps or xbox.
      its up to sony/microsoft/gpu makers to provide the drivers.

  • MrSec84 .

    Sony’s developers are among those working on Vulkan, I wouldn’t be shocked if a version is made native for PS4, at least for external Studios outside of Sony Worldwide Studios.

    GNM and GNMX can still be evolved internally, to get the most out of specifically coding games for Sony’s internal developers.

    If adopting Vulkan makes it easier for 3rd party to get their games on PS4 and to make sure that developers don’t waste hardware performance, by coding more efficiently, it should definitely happen.

  • GHz

    “but this gen’s graphics are still very far behind where they’re going to be.”

    Sweet words to my ears. Bring on the new rendering features. Make it happen!

    • Kidd

      Don’t mean to bug you but what will sony do? You, think interms of microsofts Dx12 wont ps4 be left behind?

    • GHz

      Nope! DX12 is an API that also supports DX11. So you can develope in DX12 and later adjust to the DX11+ machines like the PS4. Features that are available to the XB1 via DX12 that may not be available to the Ps4 would be the only concern, but thats not really a big problem I think. Devs are crafty @ finding solutions if time & budget permits it.

  • Tiberian_Fiend

    “With the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One they’re not even remotely scratching the surface for what people can do…”

    Any plastic-worshiper who believes that is going to be terribly disappointed… to much hilarity.

    • GHz

      Why do you believe that Brad is making all this up? If you got some info to support your claim, it’ll make for good conversation.

    • Tiberian_Fiend

      I don’t believe he’s “making all this up”; I believe he’s exaggerating. Games might get a little more efficient, but the plastic poverty PC’s were mid-low range when they were released, and that was 16 months ago. Can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

    • GHz

      By poverty PCs you mean PS4 & XB1? I just want to be on the same page with you.

    • Tiberian_Fiend

      What else could I mean? They’re low-rent Chinese-made Wal-Mart laptop motherboards stuffed into plastic boxes.

    • GHz

      Very strong opinion about consoles…

    • Michael Norris

      Eh you are off a bit,yes both consoles are weak compared to a mid range Pc but i am sure Gpgpu will take off at some point. That should help a lot with the Cpu bottleneck.

  • GHz

    Just to be clear: Sony told me they don't plan to support Vulkan at this time. I would very much like the PS4 to support Vulkan.— Brad Wardell (@draginol) March 31, 2015

    My views on PS4's GNM are my opinions just like I prefer C# over ObjectiveC. Lots of people prefer ObjectiveC. It's just a preference thing.— Brad Wardell (@draginol) March 31, 2015

    Hence, I would rather have our devs master just Vulkan and DirectX 12 and not have to learn platform specific APIs.— Brad Wardell (@draginol) March 31, 2015

  • You Are Flat Out Wrong

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Sony shills claiming Vulkan as a “Sekret Sauce”. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    MisterTiduxMedia delusional lunatics

  • Mark

    Hot dam, PS4’s API lower than Mantle? Dam. Could be lower than DX12 too then. Brad’s probably right. Sony might do this, maybe they already are. Both MS and Sony are competing hard and ultimately, hopefully we get the best possible games outta this (including PC gamers). Prob take awhile to see the benefits of these new APIs tho.

    • GotNews4Ya

      Doubt its lower than dx12.. but thats just my opinion..

    • Michael Norris

      Oh its at least the same as DX12 my guess its lower.

  • William Swartzendruber

    I would be hugely shocked if Sony didn’t get Vulkan on the PS4. They need to align with PCs as much as possible. This incentivises studios to release on a console as well. This is why Microsoft is making sure the Xbox One gets DirectX 12.

  • qepsilonp

    What I’m taking from this is that the consoles are literately DRM locked PC’s the hardware is PC the OS is a Unix based OS Orbis OS which is modified version of FreeBSD which is PC and there taking up Vulkun as an API which is a PC API.

    They are just entry level DRM locked PC’s which you can’t upgrade.

  • Evan_Beezy

    Also as the Dev techniques will be streamlined for these updated multicore api’s they will have more time and will be able to optimize further since they can focus all their resources on parallelilized computing architectures and api’s instead on serial computing… I believe.


Copyright © 2009-2017 All Rights Reserved.