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PlayStation 3 harder to developer for? Nonsense, says GRAW team

Ubisoft's GRAW team have told <i>GamesIndustry.biz</i> that the PS3 is no harder to develop for than any other new console, despite reports to the contrary.

The team responsible for one of Ubisoft's most acclaimed videogames — Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter — has told GamesIndustry.biz that developing titles for the PlayStation 3 is no harder than working on Microsoft's Xbox 360.

Despite analyst reports and internet chatter, the BAFTA-award winning team says it's just a case of developers getting up to speed with the new hardware, as Sony's console is earlier in it's lifecycle than Microsoft's Xbox 360.

"It's wrong to say it's harder to code on the PlayStation 3, it's just something that needs to be learnt," said Yann Le Tensorer, co-founder of Ubisoft's Tiwak studio and co-creator of the Yeti engine powering GRAW and the upcoming Beowulf game.

"It's not harder to develop on the PS3 than it is on the 360, it's just a different console. Developers might says it's harder because it just takes time to understand the technology, we're still early in the lifecycle."

As more studios learn the intricacies of developing for the PS3, so the entire development community will benefit says Le Tensorer. "We need all developers to learn from the console, it was the same with the PlayStation 2. Our team are more than happy with the PlayStation 3."

Earlier this week a review in USA Today labelled Electronic Arts' PS3 version of Madden NFL 08 as "sluggish" compared to the Xbox 360 version.

And industry analyst Michael Pachter has gone on record saying that the delay of Grand Theft Auto IV from November until next year was due to Rockstar struggling to port the Xbox 360 version of the game — a problem that would be down to the developers themselves, not the hardware.

Adrian Lacey, international brand manager for Ubisoft, is confident that the success of Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter is due to forward planning on the developers part, and has meant that the sequel due on PS3 next month will match the standard set by the franchise.

"Because we built the engine for this generation of hardware we've been very well placed — Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter hit that level of quality early in the cycle when the 360 first came out because we had our engine in mind for PS3, 360 and PC from the very beginning," he commented.

As the studio continues work on the game based on upcoming movie Beowulf, due for PS3 and Xbox 360, Lacey admits there's still plenty to learn about both home consoles.

"For us it's been a learning curve and technology changes very quickly. We're learning step-by-step to use the PS3 to its fullest capacity," he said.

"If you take the PS2 for example, when God of War come out people saw it was tremendous. But it wasn't until the end of the PS2 cycle that we've seen the machine being pushed to its fullest," added Lacey.

A full interview with the Adrian Lacey and Yann Le Tensorer, where they discuss Beowulf and the challenges of working with movie studios, will be published later this month.

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Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.

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