The Playstation 3 may have offered gamers plenty of raw horsepower, but the last-gen console was notoriously difficult for coding devs.
Fortunately, Mark Cerny - lead system architect of Sony's Playstation 4 (PS4) - recently noted that the Japanese-based corporation had adopted a "very developer-centric approach" to the next-gen console.
And now Ubisoft Montreal CEO Yannis Mallat has confirmed the PS4 is "a really pleasant surprise," due to its composition of off-the-shelf PC parts.
"From what we can talk about, which is the PlayStation 4, it's been a radical change from those guys... [For example], when I was the producer on Prince of Persia: Sands of Time we managed to get our hands on a very good programmer who's still on the Assassin's Creed core team," Mallat told CVG.
"One day on his desk he had a black book all written in Japanese, and I was like, 'what is that?' It was the documentation support for coding for PS2. 'That's why I wanted to have Japanese lessons,' he said - to understand and make the most out of the machine.That day I understood how complex it was to develop on PlayStation 2. So we were eager to find out what the PlayStation 3 would be in terms of architecture, and it was pretty much the same but more complex."
It should be noted that Mallat's remarks directly contradict claims made by Atari founder Nolan Bushnell that Microsoft will triumph over Sony in the upcoming console wars pitting the Xbox 720 (Next) against the Playstation 4.
"I personally believe Microsoft is in a superior position, and the reason is Sony, whenever they change consoles, the software tools that they have are lame," Bushnell told GameTrailers.
"A lot of times in the past they were in Japanese; not well documented and getting the software development community up to speed. The American software community just says 'Oh boy, what a pain'. And a lot of people don't realize how strong the software community is at making the hardware platform sing and dance."
Bushnell also noted that the Japanese-based company "really needs to get [its] act together [to fix] its god awful" online infrastructure.
"Microsoft, because of their strong software tools, will end up with much better products sooner and easier, in my estimation," Bushnell opined.
"And with that, I think will be an advantage. And also don't forget, Microsoft actually has so much money to defend this. Plus, they have a good infrastructure with the [Xbox Live Arcade], with their online world."