Development costs go up with almost each generation of consoles and with a new powerful device as the PlayStation Vita. We can only hope for the developers that it doesn't increase allot for them to make our shiny new games. In a new interview with CEO of World Wide Studios Sony, Shuhei Yoshida, the man talks about the developing costs for the new hardware and how they managed to keep it as low as possible.
Q: How do development costs of games for the PlayStation Vita compare to the development costs of PlayStation 3 games?
Shuhei Yoshida: Michael Denny has said that development costs of a Vita game is closer to a PSP game. I wouldn't say it's the same costs as a PS3 game but when you compare to what our teams spent on Blu-ray based PS3 games it's much, much less. Part of that is that because the screen is smaller and the media is much smaller in terms of a card, so developers have to be smarter to create the asset. On PlayStation 3 teams almost have no limits in terms of assets on Blu-ray with 60GB, games like L.A. Noire or Killzone 3 are huge games. Creating assets costs money. Because of the hardware limitation in terms of the size of the games, it pushes teams to be smarter and more economical in terms of creating assets, but still being able to provide a proper game experience. So that helps to reduce the development costs of Vita games.
Q: The Uncharted series is something that's used to showcase the Vita, and at the same time the PlayStation 3. Would you recommend developers create assets that can be used across both systems in order to save on costs?
Shuhei Yoshida: Well, less on making a PlayStation 3 experience on PlayStation Vita. We made sure the development tools and environment will help achieve that, but we really want our developers to be able to look at all the additional UI's and connectivity features that Vita has, and how you can make their PS3 games even better, more intuitive on PS Vita. When you try Uncharted on PS3 graphically you can compare it to Uncharted 3, but the unique way that PS vita version users the touch, the camera and motion sensors you should feel that this is an Uncharted experience on PS Vita that you can't get on PlayStation 3. That's what we're trying to achieve.
Q: What would you say to third-party developers that are concerned about the increased costs of working on another format?
Shuhei Yoshida: That was one of the goals of developing PS Vita because we never forget E3 2006 when we had Worldwide Studios games on PS3 but we didn't see many third-party games from publishers and developers. We made sure we know how third-party publishers and developers made their games and that the transition to PS Vita would be smooth. We've been getting great feedback from the development community that once they got hands on after a couple of months and they had something up and running very, very fast.