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PS4 architect: 'Clearly we had some issues with PS3'

But Mark Cerny believes that dev problems will be solved with PlayStation 4

The hardware design principals that underpinned the PS3 caused "some issues" for developers, according to the man in charge of building the PS4.

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Mark Cerny

Mark Cerny, who was informally appointed PS4 lead system architect back in 2007, is one of the closest ties to Sony to admit Ken Kutaragi's final console presented problems for the development community.

But he also suggested that problems of the past will be remedied with the new approach the PlayStation 4 is taking.

"Wanting to lead the effort [on building PS4] wasn't based on any specific beliefs at that time, other than that clearly we had had some issues with PlayStation 3," he told Gamasutra.

"A very developer-centric approach to the design of the PlayStation 4 would just make things go more smoothly overall," he said.

For years within the development community, the PS3 has been criticised for strict compartmentalisation of its memory between CPU and GPU (a prime suspect for all problematic ports from Xbox 360), while Sony's insistence on multi-threaded code has dumbfounded even the most experienced coders.

But the PC-centric approach taken with PS4 should bring relief to coders and designers, said Cerny.

"The biggest thing was that we didn't want the hardware to be a puzzle that programmers would be needing to solve to make quality titles," he said.

From 2008, Cerny said he had surveyed developers on their wish-list for next generation systems.

"My first tour of the developers, I had a questionnaire where I just asked them their thoughts on what the next generation might bring. The largest piece of feedback we got was that they wanted unified memory."

The PlayStation 4 will pack in 8GB GDDR5 memory that can be variably accessed by both CPU and GPU.

Sony has pencilled in a "holiday 2013" PS4 release date for the machine.

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