Craig Alexander, Turbine's vp of product development, spoke at Austin GDC today in a panel called "MMOs to Consoles", which is no surprise since Turbine is working on a console MMO
. It's investing heavily in the MMO console arena, and their current title, which remains unannounced, is in "active development."However, he did spend a lot of time pointing out how difficult it is to develop games on the PS3 vs. the Xbox 360. Duck your head as the fanboys go to it.
Here's the logic:
- The Blu-ray drive on the PS3 is actually slower in seek and access time than the DVD drive on the Xbox 360. Once the Blu-ray gets up to speed, it can handle large amount of data. Just not in seeking and accessing, which is a pain for streaming when you're playing something like an MMO.
- The memory architecture is different. When you're dealing with main memory, you work with "256ish MB" on the PS3 vs "512ish MB" on the 360.
- The tools aren't as friendly on the PS3. That includes the performance monitor tools, the debugger tools ... everything.
- Migrating a project from the Xbox 360 to the PS3 is much harder than moving from the PS3 to the 360.
Alexander recommends starting on the PS3 to get all of the heavy lifting done first, but using his same logic it sounds like developers will have a frustrating time during that process. Don't happy tools make happy workers? Gamers already feel like some titles suffer because they have to be developed for both platforms. Is this going to affect MMOs coming to both platforms?
There's more. Read on, Macduff.