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Josh Austin, Producer for Digital Extremes’ Dark Sector, conveyed to us that the team struggled initially with developing the title for the PS3, so much so that they had “serious” conversations about what to do next . Was Dark Sector close to being scrapped? Read on to see his exact words.

“So, yeah, this is the PS3 version, umm… it looks just as good as the 360 version, which we’re very happy about. Towards the end we started having some serious conversations about what we were gonna do, uh, but we ended up pulling it off, so we’re very proud of that.”

I asked for clarification on what that meant, and he replied simply “It was just not running as well as the 360”. We continued the conversation about these problems, only we went off the record so I won’t discuss it further.

Just be happy knowing that you have more ammunition in the flame wars. Hooray! PS3 owners should also feel comforted knowing that some smart dudes got the game running on PS3’s superior hardware. Feel free to argue about it in the comments section.

Update: D3’s PR got in touch with me this afternoon and explained to me that Dark Sector was never officially “almost canned” for the PS3. My apologies to Josh if anything he said was taken out of context.

Seacrest out.

68 COMMENTS

  1. My money is on Dan. The man challenged Wolverine, but Dan got paid to take a dive. I think some Marvel execs got to Chad and paid him off. Where else do you get this sort of editor vs commenter action?

  2. You’re right Dan, it could be used by some fanboy to suggest the “advantage of the PS3” if taken out of context. That would be unfortunate.

    Instead, it should be understood as a potential manufacturer’s aim: to produce a system that’s going to last and compete over the years. Sony’s and Krazy Ken’s thinking may be that creating a system with depth will provide continuing growth over the lengthy period they have laid down for it (10 years). Whether this is the correct way to develop a system is unsure.

    What Sony should be called out on is the lack of PS3 tools before and after launch – taking almost a year to support third party developers is a shocking delay. It is also a failure to skimp on memory after spending so much money on the rest of the system.

    However, producing a system with 6/7 “cores” (whilst also keeping the system cheap…almost) that might not be easy to get a hang of early on, could potentially have huge gains later in the consoles lifetime. It was not their intention to create a system that was difficult to develop for, it was their intention to develop a system that had considerable depth and a lengthy lifetime (10 years, not 4 or 5). That much is transparent.

    Did Sony fail in this target? Did they place too much emphasis on lifetime rather than ease of use – yes, probably. They might just pay for this.

    Keizer: Calling developer lazy because they weren’t given the tools to develop for a new system is very insulting to them. It’s all very well saying that “don’t know what they’re doing”, or “couldn’t be bothered” – but presenting a system with a completely new way of thinking, and without the tools to use its power to it potential is in no way their fault. It’s Sony’s fault for taking so long to get up to speed.

    Further more, calling my fellow Journo Dan Landis a “fangirl” for disagreeing with what he thinks I’m saying, is both wrong and insulting.

  3. @Dan
    Yes Dan, thankyou for backing up my point about Saturn and N64 being grossly outsold, and outsold by a machine that was easier than both to develop for. But on the same subject, but reversed…the notoriously hard to develop for PS2, absolutely obliterated all competitors by 100million units…Even one of the three richest companies in the world in MS, did not have the marketing muscle and business skills (in the hardware business) to out hussle Sony….In contrast, Sony came into the business against the two ONLY real console and game giants (Sega & Nintendo), and splattered them in sales on their 1st attempt with over 120million units sold…..More than both Snes and Genesis combined sold over their lifespan, when they were the only two players.

    You criticized Sony’s hardware architecture, but failed to mention anything about 360’s UNRIVALLED fault rate with the RROD plague.

    Fangirl, you need to look at things more subjectively….I’m not having a go at you because you don’t back my system, but moreso that your posts wreak of hypocrisy. Case in point is how you chose to bring up my Saturn, N64 point, but failed to mention PS2…You also fail to mention that PS3 is actually outselling it’s main competitor in a time frame relevance.

    You also jump on PS3’s supposed design architecture flaws, and fail to mention your beloved 360’s 3billion+ problem. And how after 3 years, one of the richest companies in the world have failed to rectify the RROD plague. I bought a 360 in December, and by early Jan. I had the dreaded 3x RROD problem. You are not a developer, so basically you can comment as much as you like about PS3’s shortcomings…But it just means you look like a non-in the know fangirl that likes to guess the faults of a system you do not favor.

    I, on the other hand, am a consumer, so as a consumer that bought a 360 that failed 3 weeks into it’s short life, I am entitled to express my FACTS….As RROD is a well documented FACTUAL 360 hardware architecture problem….Wheras, PS3’s hard to develop for theory is actually relative to actual developers. And if we read some of the past interviews from developers, some say the PS3 is hard to developer for, and others say it isn’t as hard as it’s made out to be. And to add to that, it is known to be much easier to develop for than PS2. (Again, according to REAL developers, but what would those idiots know, compared to you).

    I don’t care what system you prefer, I have both, think both are great, but admittedly prefer PS controllers and exclusives….But at least when I express views on one system of another, I use facts, and don’t try to speculate on things I know nothing about.

    Go get a job with Fox News if you wanna be a journo…..you’ll fit in real nice there.

  4. Kiezer,

    I don’t see how I’m backing up your point. You listed 4 examples of systems that were hard to develop for, as if that was supposed to show that hard to develop for systems are successful. I pointed out that they’re not. I don’t know what kind of backpedaling you are trying to do there, but you are only making yourself look bad.

    Yes, the RROD is horrible and the 360 sucks. I would not, nor did I ever, deny that. The system has a lifespan of a year before it craps out, but Microsoft at least admits there is a problem and replaces it for free. I went through 3 PSOnes and 3 PS2’s, and as much as those systems sucked, Sony never admitted there was a problem with them, so I paid out of pocket to get a replacement. At least the time that my 360 does work I have great games to play on it. My PS3, on the other hand, would sit there and be reliable, mainly because it would only be used to watch movies.

    And no, I don’t need to look at things more “subjectively”. That’s what you are accusing me of doing right now. I think you mean “objectively”. If you learned anything in school and had a proper grasp of the English language, you would know the difference between these two words.

    I don’t think I misrepresented the N64/Saturn subject at all. You mentioned them, and I simply pointed out that two of the 4 are not backing up your point. Basically, your examples are really just examples of your incompetence and illogical reasoning. Congratulations on that.

    I don’t see how I have to be a developer in order to express my feelings about the PS3. You are also not a developer, yet you continue to slam the 360 and praise the PS3. Fine examples of hypocrisy there — one more thing you should be proud of. I don’t recall any developers complaining about the 360 and it’s difficulty to develop for, but this article alone shows you a fine example of them not exactly liking the PS3. Valve’s head cheese even called the PS3 a disaster that should be recalled. It seems I don’t have to be a developer myself because they all seem to think the same way I do.

    You claim to own and love both systems, and yet you continue to bash the 360 in favor of the PS3, which makes your statements seem, well, like total lies. You are a fanboy that can’t admit it, and I feel bad for you.

    If you wish to continue attacking me and calling me names, please take a few courses in English or reading comprehension first so you know what the fuck you’re talking about. Thanks, come again.

  5. @ Krispy,

    I am not one who often digs deeply into the world of tech specs because in all honesty, my view is that if it looks good to my eyes then I don’t really give a shit about anything else.

    In regards to the DMC4 article Patrick wrote, which is being discussed on this thread, it was my understanding that the conclusion arrived at was that both versions looked the same.

    To be clear, Patrick stated the following:

    “There aren’t many differences between these two. You might be mistaken into thinking that the Xbox 360’s textures are of a higher resolution. This is untrue. By altering the sharpness settings for the PS3 you will be able to exactly replicate the Xbox 360 image.”

    He then went on to add:

    “The texture resolutions are the same on both consoles.”

    Hopefully this clears up any misunderstandings.

    Chad-

  6. rotfl… You know I feel like I should add something relevant to this convo but I am indifferent to the subject of supposed development difficulty.

    seems to me every new generation your gonna have some whiny ass developer complaining about doing his job. if the past is any indicator and the complexity of technology only being made more complex then it will continue to infinity. who will cry next?

    who cleans your fangurl shredder dan? it’s looking pretty messy in here…

  7. It seems now whenever sony releases a system that’s a bitch to code for people try to defend them by calling the developers lazy. You’d think people would be able to be a bit less fanboyish and call sony out on their hardware design. Hell knows I could sit here and rant about the RROD for hours (I’m on my 3rd 360) but at least the damn thing is developer-friendly.

  8. what does it mean to be hard to develop for? is that relevant to us as consumers? they call these guys engineers for a reason, its there job to make it “the software” work.

    to me when a developer says something to this affect its often involving porting sloppy code to a different architecture. to bad easily stealing peoples money isn’t really easy for these 3rd parties who port there games to every system possible and usually there efforts show.

    if it makes these guys happy to complain about it fine but hey I wasn’t really all that interested in giving them 60 bucks for high tech virtual Frisbee or is that boomerang simulator anyway…

    the ps3 is no different than any other console in the past, its new, its different and time marches on and this argument remains the same.

    Dan the magneto Fangurl destroyer? lol I Dub thee!

  9. Oh snap. These comments went south fast. It’s time to bail outta this article before the internet implodes.

    But before I do…
    David – More difficult isn’t always better, but its harder to build a Nuke then it is to build a bullet. Both do their job, but one does it better. Progress = increased difficulty (ok, a nuke is a bad example).
    Kiezer – fangirl is a little harsh

    and PS3>360
    HAHAHAHAH! I win!

    Seriously though, lets stop arguing before someone strokes out.

  10. LC – Yes, difficulty to develop for is directly related to us as gamers. How can you think it doesn’t affect us when PS3 gamers have to deal with things like the Orange Box fiasco. Yes, it is there job to “make it work” but at what cost? I know that game prices are pretty much the same across the systems right now, so this is a totally pointless statement, but in the spirit of this string of comments on this story, I’m going to make it anyway. Would you be willing to spend X amount of money more for a PS3 game over the same game on the 360? Even if they were the same on every level that an average player of that game would care about, would you be willing to spend ten bucks more? Twenty? That’s something everyones nuke vs. musket arguments seem to be missing. If I wanted to kill my neighbor I could do it for fifty bucks with a gun or a few million with a nuclear warhead. That’s basically what developers are being faced with, spending more money to develop on the PS3 to get to the same point they could get to on the 360 for less.

    As far as developers constantly complaining about the inexorable tide of advancement, I don’t see that being the case. No one bitched about the Xbox being a pain, and it was, from what I can recall, a more powerful machine than the PS2. The 360 is more powerful than the Xbox, and no one seems to be complaining about jumping from one to the other. Yes, people have bitched about Sony’s crazyness since time immemorial, but before they had numbers to back them up and that made it worth developers time to develop for them.

  11. Krispy: Firstly, to your third comment. I believe you’re missing the context of what I’m saying. Sony might see that creating a console with depth could be advantageous to the console’s 8-10 year lifespan. Moreover, I didn’t say this was the right tactic, and depth without sufficient tools is a failure. It is the lack of tools and the nature of the split memory in the PS3 which is the most problematic to developers. The Cell’s usefulness should grow in time.

    Nor did I say DMC4 looks better on the PS3, which Chad has covered for me. In reality, since the Xbox 360 has 2xAA and the PS3 has an approximation to 2xAA – the 360 version could be called “definitive”.

    To your fourth comment – multi-threaded coding is going to have to become the standard – and the PS3’s current failure is that it forces this on developers, whereas the Xbox 360 can still perform well with single-threaded coding.

    It is predicted that coding for multiple threads (on multiple cores) can be upto 5x as expensive to develop, and it’s unsurprising many developers are reticent to move on from single threads. Could this price difference be shown in DMC4’s differing launch prices (£10 more expensive on the PS3)?

    Multi-threaded coding will start to become standard for the Xbox 360 towards the end of this generation, if not very soon – and since PC’s are also moving in this direction, it’s an inevitable move. Regrettably, Sony is trying to force the move forward without a natural evolution – and crucially without providing sufficient tools to developers early on (and without providing money to third party developers to take these steps, like it is with it’s first/second party devs). This forcefulness could be Sony’s downfall.

  12. the orange box was farmed out by ea to a lesser developer because gabe wasn’t up to the task.

    and they already made us pay more money for games, remember they jacked the price up and then for the consumer gave us for pay dlc.

    I just don’t see how a developer crying about a system being hard to develop for is relevant, fixed hardware with set limitations is what consoles have always been, hows the ps3 any different?

    There have already been a number of good games for the ps3 and more will come. the good game developers suck it up and get the job done and make great games. so what does it matter if a few whiny fangurl developers like gabe are pro microsoft? what does there bitching mean to us? how many gamers who go and make these arguments could make a game on the supposed easier platform?

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