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Mark Cerny on the roots of PS4 design

If you hadn't heard of Mark Cerny before he debuted the PS4, it wouldn't be too surprising. The game consultant hasn't had his name on the front of a box, but his presence has been felt from Atari arcade cabinets to next-gen systems.

Cerny outlined how his wide career experiences influenced his approach to designing PS4 in Barcelona's GameLab conference. Check out his roughly 45-minute long talk below (the PS4 stuff starts at about 34 minutes in, but you won't regret watching the whole thing).


Making PS4 hardware "easy to learn but difficult to master"--i.e., easy to start with, but with plenty of complexity to pick up down the line--figured into the PS4's familiar architecture.

This let Sony bring "time to triangle," or the time it takes to get your game displaying graphics, down to a month or two. That's how long it took to get a game working on PlayStation, and significantly shorter than the six to 12 months needed for PS3 development. Maybe that's how Sony has been able to wrangle together so many games.

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11 comments

  • Fox_Mulder - June 30, 2013 8:02 p.m.

    You see, Microsoft has all their business guys on stage, and Sony has Mark Cerny: legendary game developer. One company's guy sounds like he's thinking fiscally, and the other guy sounds genuinely excited about his console, not for money, but because of what matters: games.
  • erythroxlym - June 30, 2013 8:26 a.m.

    Wow you can clearly hear the passion in his voice when he speaks about his craft, really an amazing man! So happy someone like Cerny is lead architect on the PS4
  • sternparez - June 30, 2013 5:02 a.m.

    I like the fact that something like The Last of Us looks miles better than Drake's Fortune which was state of the art for 2007. I hope the console's aren't maxxed out too early but I doubt they will.
  • Jet - June 29, 2013 10:14 a.m.

    Watching this just makes me wish icons was still around. Back when g4 was about video games, before the tech tv merger, it was a show about the people that made games. Behind the scenes, and in depth interviews with them. Shigeru miyamoto and will wright were some of the many developers featured. Ahh...
  • ParagonT - June 29, 2013 8:16 a.m.

    Great video indeed, more transparency and ideals within the console is always a good thing.
  • rcarrasco121 - June 29, 2013 7:38 a.m.

    He's a great public speaker. But I still don't understand what "time to triangle" means.
  • GrandDave - July 2, 2013 1:16 a.m.

    The phrase "Time to Triangle" refers to the time in which it takes a game studio to produce working graphics engine in order to produce a video game. With the Playstation One, it had a much lower time to triangle time because it was a much easier console to develop for. The Playstation Two introduced much more complex graphical technologies making it harder to develop for thus giving it a bit more time to develop a working engine. Then with the introduction with the outrageously complex and ambitious Cell processor and difficult system/graphical memory architectures incorporated in the Playstation Three, gave it an outrageous time of up to a year of development time on just the engine alone before the development of the games could commence. But now with the way that Sony has handled and worked with the actual game development studios, they've managed to build a much more developer friendly platform and system in which it brings the Time to Triangle time back down to only a month or two.
  • Lemons - June 29, 2013 12:16 a.m.

    I wish there were more videos like these, I've searched youtube and found a few but it's stuff like this that is at the heart of video games. People involved in them and the history of all of it, the process behind the scenes. Watching it, how can a person not want to try and hit the ground running in this industry? I know I already am trying to.
  • GDCalibur - June 28, 2013 2:21 p.m.

    A nice video to watch. Was cool to see the life of Sony from the Playstation to the Playstation 4.
  • obviouslyadouche - June 28, 2013 12:24 p.m.

    Good video, Is it just me or does Mark Cerny bare a striking resemblance to a makeup less Joker?

Showing 1-11 of 11 comments

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