A question on which was harder to program for the PS3, or the Nintendo Wii U?

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Sonicx9
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A question on which was harder to program for the PS3, or the Nintendo Wii U?

Postby Sonicx9 » September 16th, 2017, 1:28 pm

I have a question on which console was harder to program for the PS3, or the Wii U? My guess is the Wii U was much harder to program for thanks to the tablet controller features of the console sucking away resources making it difficult to program/optimize games. The PS3 Cell CPU was complicated for many at first, but over time developers got used to the hardware for the most part later in its life span. I would like to here your guys thoughts on this on which was harder to developer for?

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Stalvern
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Re: A question on which was harder to program for the PS3, or the Nintendo Wii U?

Postby Stalvern » September 16th, 2017, 3:13 pm

The controller didn't (and couldn't) have anything to do with the difficulty in developing Wii U games. The system had an underpowered CPU to cut down on heat and atrocious pre-release dev tools. Eventually, developers got better tools, but the CPU was always a bottleneck.

The PS3 was just bizarrely designed. The CPU (technically the CPU and SPEs) was very powerful, but much of its power had to be used to make up for the weak GPU, and its unique architecture made effectively accessing that power very hard for developers new to the system. It was possible to come to grips with, but it took a lot of experience.

Ultimately, I'd have to go with the PS3. Nintendo eventually fixed some of the problems that hampered Wii U development, but the PS3 was always inherently demanding to program.

Sonicx9
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Re: A question on which was harder to program for the PS3, or the Nintendo Wii U?

Postby Sonicx9 » September 16th, 2017, 6:55 pm

Stalvern wrote:The controller didn't (and couldn't) have anything to do with the difficulty in developing Wii U games. The system had an underpowered CPU to cut down on heat and atrocious pre-release dev tools. Eventually, developers got better tools, but the CPU was always a bottleneck.

The PS3 was just bizarrely designed. The CPU (technically the CPU and SPEs) was very powerful, but much of its power had to be used to make up for the weak GPU, and its unique architecture made effectively accessing that power very hard for developers new to the system. It was possible to come to grips with, but it took a lot of experience.

Ultimately, I'd have to go with the PS3. Nintendo eventually fixed some of the problems that hampered Wii U development, but the PS3 was always inherently demanding to program.


Odd that you say the PS3 was harder to develop for, yet despite the Wii U in your opinion being easier to develop for. There where over 300 games for everything but Wii U!: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... 0392929077. But the PS3 developers did by the time the Wii U came out had plenty of experience so it may be hard to say?

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Stalvern
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Re: A question on which was harder to program for the PS3, or the Nintendo Wii U?

Postby Stalvern » September 17th, 2017, 1:13 am

Difficulty in programming was a contributing factor (especially in getting the system off to a bad start), but it was actually the least of the system's problems. The Wii U lacked third-party support because it just wasn't rewarding to develop for. The weak performance meant that games couldn't be easily ported to it, even from the 360 and PS3. The screen controller was an extraneous feature that further complicated ports and was hard to use meaningfully for original titles. (Note that both of these things hamstrung development and raised costs regardless of how hard the basic task of programming was.) And the paltry starting lineup of games, combined with the system's nonsensical gimmick, made the Wii U a slow seller from the beginning, meaning that developers would get limited returns even if they did go to the trouble of supporting the system. This led to a cycle (on top of the existing disadvantages) where people didn't buy the system because of the small library and people didn't make games because of the small player base.
Last edited by Stalvern on September 17th, 2017, 9:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

ActRaiser
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Re: A question on which was harder to program for the PS3, or the Nintendo Wii U?

Postby ActRaiser » September 17th, 2017, 9:36 am

PS3 hands down. There is absolutely no doubt about that. It was years before games came out that had comparable performance to the 360. This is a no brainer.

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Atarifever
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Re: A question on which was harder to program for the PS3, or the Nintendo Wii U?

Postby Atarifever » September 18th, 2017, 5:16 am

Stalvern wrote:Difficulty in programming was a contributing factor (especially in getting the system off to a bad start), but it was actually the least of the system's problems. The Wii U lacked third-party support because it just wasn't rewarding to develop for. The weak performance meant that games couldn't be easily ported to it, even from the 360 and PS3. The screen controller was an extraneous feature that further complicated ports and was hard to use meaningfully for original titles. (Note that both of these things hamstrung development and raised costs regardless of how hard the basic task of programming was.) And the paltry starting lineup of games, combined with the system's nonsensical gimmick, made the Wii U a slow seller from the beginning, meaning that developers would get limited returns even if they did go to the trouble of supporting the system. This led to a cycle (on top of the existing disadvantages) where people didn't buy the system because of the small library and people didn't make games because of the small player base.

This is the answer to the Wii U part of the question. This cannot be explained better. Great summary.


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