RAM it home, Blow!
Cheerful game developer Jonathan Blow has been chatting up the PlayStation 4's potential, and like Avalanche Studios, is keen to tout the console's benefits over PC. According to the man behind The Witness, equivalent games will run faster on PS4 than PC.
"For The Witness we're mostly interested in the base machine and how fast it is -- the fact it has faster RAM than a PC, which really helps in shuttling graphics resources around, and since it's not running a heavyweight operating system like Windows that gets in the way of your graphics," he told Edge. "Rendering stuff through Windows has an impact on performance. Since a console is just about games, that doesn't happen, and the equivalent game will run faster. And if you can target to specific hardware you can make it run faster, too."
Blow's not wrong, really. PCs need their memory to do all sorts of things, while a console is a dedicated machine, and if your game is being targeted to a specific platform, it'll naturally run better. The PlayStation 3 knows all about that, famously acquiring rubbish ports of games like Modern Warfare 2 and Skyrim. If anything, the PS4 should mark an age where at least Bethesda can get it right. That'll be nice.
Blow's also quite keen on the PS4's "Share" button as well, believing it'll really impact the way the console is used.
"In general, as a platform feature, it's super interesting," he explained. "One thing that most game developers have become really aware of is that over the past couple of years on YouTube the whole livecast and commentary thing is really huge.
"A lot of people are paying a lot of attention to it now and it’s interesting to see what happens if you base an entire console around it. That’s what’s crazy about PS4 -- it has a chip that’s always recording to a maybe two-minute buffer. After something cool happens, it’s there in the buffer. That's the sort of thing that’s really going to change the way something’s used."
I tend to agree with Blow on this point. Some gamers have written off the whole "Share" thing is stupid, but it was a wise thing for Sony to implement -- fairly unobtrusive for those uninterested in it, but very useful for those who are. It's an age of sharing across all media, and it's nice to see Sony uncharacteristically savvy enough to jump on the bandwagon while it's still hot.