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Crytek ready for new home consoles

CryEngine 3 built for the successors to Xbox 360 and PS3. "As soon as that knowledge becomes public, we'll be on it," says CEO

German developer Crytek has told GamesIndustry.biz it is ready for a new generation of home consoles, with its latest CryEngine 3 easily adaptable to whatever technology succeeds the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

CEO Cevat Yerli said that he doesn't want his studio – or those that adopt CryEngine 3 as an off the shelf development solution – to become "victims" of a changing hardware landscape.

"If I want to make a next-gen launch title I could do that by pushing the boundaries of the engine," said Yerli of the CryEngine 3 in a exclusive interview published today.

"For me that's significant because we offer this as an enabler for people like us to look out to the future and deliver in the future. Typically when an engine is designed, if it's for PS3 you can develop on the PS3 and you're done with it. When the next hardware comes along you have to start again.

"It's 2009 and Triple-A games take two to three years to develop. So if a game takes 36 months to develop then you better be ready for the next-generation. That's our assumption."

Yerli repeated previous predictions that at least one new home console will be on the market within three years, although he was reluctant to name the company behind the technology.

"I'm not sure that it's the case for all platforms, but my gut feeling is there will be a new platform by the end of 2011. Whether another arrives in 2012 or 2013 is hard to say."

"Whatever happens, we don't want developers to be the victims of change and repositioning," he added.

Rather than wait for format holders to announce their own specifications for future technology, Crytek decided to stay one step ahead, with Yerli confident his team can handle the development requirements of new home consoles.

"We decided to decouple from that, we wanted to make an engine that's ready for next-gen inherently," offered Yerli. "Writing the driver layers for the next PlayStation or next Xbox will be quite simple for us.

"As soon as that knowledge becomes public, we'll be on it. And all those people working with CryEngine 3 will get an update and they'll be on it as well. That's why we made it next-gen ready, so that none of us are victims of new hardware."

Although the team behind Crysis has not yet released a dedicated console game, Yerli believes his company's PC experience will enable them to develop and support titles built for a console audience.

“We're working very closely with Microsoft and Sony and we know what it takes to create a Triple-A title.

"We know how many assets you need for a PC title and the good thing is that we can push that same amount of data on a console now, which typically developers find much more constrictive and with less content. So we've come with a top down approach rather than bottom up," he said.

The full interview with Cevat Yerli, where he also discusses the uptake of CryEngine 3 and the transformation of Free Radical Design into Crytek UK, can be read here.

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