Mark Cerny: It’s not the hardware inside the console that matters, but how games use it

Mark Cerny It's not the hardware inside the console that matters, but how games use it

The Washington Post has published a large piece on the imminent launch of the PS5. The company’s chief technical architect, Mark Cerny, gave an interview and talked about what is important to Sony – games and developers.

At the beginning of the article, The Washington Post noted that PS5 marketing did not start very well – with a lecture by Mark Cerny. The presentation was aimed at developers, but attracted a lot of attention from players who got bored by the middle.

According to Cerny, the creation of each of Sony’s consoles starts with a brainstorming session. This time the company wanted to solve the main problem of developers around the world – data management. This solution was SSD.

“Much of today’s game design is about data management. Imagine this situation. I am not making it up. This happens all the time.

The creative director says, “Let’s put the entrance to the secret dungeon here.” And the lead programmer replies: “No, we don’t have enough memory” or “Ok, but we need a 30-second load that will ruin the pace of the gameplay” or “How about a long elevator ride into this dungeon?”

Data management is an additional expense that nobody has seen. Our job was to hide these things. Now we can just think about content”.

Working with sound is another matter. According to Cerny, he wanted to make the work of sound designers more meaningful and valuable so that he didn’t have to sacrifice soundtrack for something else.

“Each studio has a queue for resources. Graphics people usually get the lion’s share, and sound creators are constantly fighting to get at least something. They are simply told: “We will take this core for AI.”

Audio is still considered an auxiliary part, although in fact it is in the very center. It’s common for developers to make their first playable demo with a graphic twist. The picture may already be almost final, but instead of sounds, there are stubs”.

Overall, Sony wanted to rely on developers and solve problems that are usually rarely paid attention to. At the same time, studios have more tools to interact with players.

Cerny understands that technology alone will not be enough to attract gamers.

“When we tell the world that we have added an SSD, it is interesting for people for a month. What really works is games that use SSDs in many different ways.

In the end, everything revolves not around the hardware inside the console, but what games do with it”.

Sony expects PS5 sales to reach 100 million units in six years. In the first year since the start of sales, the company plans to sell 7.6 million consoles. Long-term plans are subject to competition from Xbox in the US.

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