One would figure that creating a positive environment for game developers to work inside would lead to the best results, but Sony appears to be thinking counter to the logic.
In an interview with the Official PlayStation Magazine, and transcribed by Eurogamer, SCEI head Kazuo Hirai said that the PlayStation 3 was intentionally designed to be a difficult platform for developers to work on. Wait, what?
"We don't provide the 'easy to program for' console that [developers] want, because 'easy to program for' means that anybody will be able to take advantage of pretty much what the hardware can do, so then the question is what do you do for the rest of the nine-and-a-half years?" explained Hirai.
He added, "So it's a kind of - I wouldn't say a double-edged sword - but it's hard to program for, and a lot of people see the negatives of it, but if you flip that around, it means the hardware has a lot more to offer."
Interestingly enough, the original PlayStation had a reputation for being relatively easy for programmers to get their concepts running, especially at a time when the games industry was moving from 2D to 3D. The PlayStation 2, on the other hand, was a difficult platform to work with, especially when compared to the Dreamcast, GameCube and Xbox.
Hirai does point out that having a difficult platform does allow the user to see some real growth over the lifespan of the console. The original launch games for PlayStation 2 look pathetic when put up against ones made during the console’s twilight moments. But is that necessarily a good thing for either developers -- who have to spend more time and resources in realizing their designs -- or for the gamer -- who has to wait years before getting just what he or she fully wanted out of the “next generation” platform?
Sony seems to be going backwards with the PS3 lately, recently claiming that the PS3 is still for early adoptors, and now the PS3 is intended to be difficult to program for. Do you think Sony took the right approach? The market sales doesn't think so. However, if you're a PS3 owner, are you happy with your system? Or do you own multiple consoles and spend more time on something other than the PS3?