I want to build a PS4

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I want to build a PS4

Postposted on Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:11 pm

Hey guys,

I want to get back into game development. I want to spec out and build my own PS4 devkit. Mainly just something built from off-the-shelf parts that most closely resembles the PS4. I know that the Kabini-based AMD APUs are based on the same Jaguar tech as the PS4... but the catch is that it's 4-core whereas the PS4 is 8 core, and the IGP on the Kabini is dramatically lesser---on top of being a mobile CPU nonetheless! The kind of game I want to make would be small in scale, just something for the indie channel, but nonetheless as I get further into development I want to make sure that the software tools will "play nice" with the hardware I have rather than getting an expensive official devkit. Any thoughts or suggestions?
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Re: I want to build a PS4

Postposted on Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:40 pm

You should probably contact Sony and get a real PS4 dev kit. Given that they are using custom hardware and a customized version of BSD for the OS it's not going to be easy to port a game developed for a standard PC to the PS4. It will be easier if you develop it under BSD but I expect there will still be a number of issues to doing a straight port. What you will be able to work out is the game logic and any assets you wish to use in the game (art work, models, sounds and music.)
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Re: I want to build a PS4

Postposted on Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:45 pm

Yeah, unless the point of this exercise is to get a standard PC that performs approximately like a PS4, this is going to be a waste of time.
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Re: I want to build a PS4

Postposted on Fri Jun 28, 2013 2:55 pm

bthylafh wrote:Yeah, unless the point of this exercise is to get a standard PC that performs approximately like a PS4, this is going to be a waste of time.



:/ What if I want to get started BEFORE I apply for a dev kit?
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Re: I want to build a PS4

Postposted on Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:00 pm

How are you going to write a program for the PS4 without their APIs and a unit to test it on?
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Re: I want to build a PS4

Postposted on Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:09 pm

bthylafh wrote:How are you going to write a program for the PS4 without their APIs and a unit to test it on?



I was going to build something in C#, perhaps using either Unity or Visual Studio Express 2012 (don't laugh), and then worry about porting after I get roughly halfway through after I get a PS4 dev license.
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Re: I want to build a PS4

Postposted on Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:10 pm

ssidbroadcast wrote:What if I want to get started BEFORE I apply for a dev kit?

See that system in your sig? That would be the cheapest place to start... You would just end up porting from PC to console (backwards compared to most other devs.) A build consisting of an AMD APU would get you closer to the PS4 as far as architecture is concerned, but you'd still have to consider the other hurtles mentioned above.
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Re: I want to build a PS4

Postposted on Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:40 pm

DPete27 wrote:
ssidbroadcast wrote:What if I want to get started BEFORE I apply for a dev kit?

See that system in your sig? That would be the cheapest place to start... You would just end up porting from PC to console (backwards compared to most other devs.) A build consisting of an AMD APU would get you closer to the PS4 as far as architecture is concerned, but you'd still have to consider the other hurtles mentioned above.


Okay. So any recent AMD CPU + Radeon 7850 should be "close enough" for my purposes?
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Re: I want to build a PS4

Postposted on Fri Jun 28, 2013 3:46 pm

Maybe. Maybe not. Why not contact the Sony and ask them?
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Edit: They also have a DevKit Loaner Program so you don't really have to pay for these... Although they will probably not give it to any random person only starting his/her first project...
You can also try to register as PSM Developer for mobile devices - no DevKit required. If your mobile game will be successful - it might be easier to coax Sony into loaning you a PS4 DevKit :wink:
Last edited by JohnC on Fri Jun 28, 2013 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I want to build a PS4

Postposted on Fri Jun 28, 2013 6:08 pm

Im enjoying this thread a whole bunch. . Everyone's comments and suggestions are great and I look forward to your findings SSID. Please keep this thread up to date.
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Re: I want to build a PS4

Postposted on Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:11 pm

I'm digging the enthusiasm. But this is really a lost cause bro. No standard PC architecture is going to resemble the PS4 enough to be worth your time at all. You won't be targeting the correct APIs, the entire pipeline is dramatically different, your hardware access is going to vary greatly, etc etc. Get a devkit or wait for the PS4 comes out to start coding- nothing you code for on a PC platform is going to be useful on the PS4.
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Re: I want to build a PS4

Postposted on Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:20 am

thegtproject wrote:I'm digging the enthusiasm. But this is really a lost cause bro. No standard PC architecture is going to resemble the PS4 enough to be worth your time at all. You won't be targeting the correct APIs, the entire pipeline is dramatically different, your hardware access is going to vary greatly, etc etc. Get a devkit or wait for the PS4 comes out to start coding- nothing you code for on a PC platform is going to be useful on the PS4.


... Challenge accepted. ;)

Yeah guys I'll keep yeah all posted on my findings and progress. Any good literature on C# or tutorials? To give you an idea, I'm mostly an art/design guy by day job, but I'm definitely familiar with OOP. For a long time, I dabbled in Processing, and even followed all of the examples in a Processing text from cover to cover. Maybe I'll post my design doc and go from there. This can be my informal "TR exclusive" progress blog!
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Re: I want to build a PS4

Postposted on Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:05 pm

I doubt you can just go in and write games for the PS4 without Sony's blessing. Remember, they get a slice of the profits from game sales. I also expect them to regulate game titles for things like adult content, etc. To say that you're planning to acquire their permission halfway through the project is, quite frankly, a little hard to believe. It just doesn't seem logical considering the difficulty and risks involved.
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Re: I want to build a PS4

Postposted on Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:39 pm

thegtproject wrote:I'm digging the enthusiasm. But this is really a lost cause bro. No standard PC architecture is going to resemble the PS4 enough to be worth your time at all. You won't be targeting the correct APIs, the entire pipeline is dramatically different, your hardware access is going to vary greatly, etc etc. Get a devkit or wait for the PS4 comes out to start coding- nothing you code for on a PC platform is going to be useful on the PS4.


Sorry for my ignorance, but aren't the dev kits for both Xbox and Sony standard PCs with "emulation" software (maybe not the right word) that emulate the hardware of the PS4? Or do they actually have PS4 analogous hardware in them (ie, an actual jaguar-based APU and 8GB GDDR5)? I would be surprised if the latter is the case. Therefore, you should be able to build a dev kit from any standard PC with AMD GCN based graphics card? Not that it would do you much good without the proprietary "emulation" software that goes with it..
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Re: I want to build a PS4

Postposted on Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:52 pm

As I understand it the development of titles for both PS4 and Xbox One at the moment are being done on PC. In some cases they even use dissimilar hardware from the actual consoles. I'd assume somewhere later in the development cycle they'll start performance testing on a development kit to make sure they've not tanked their performance.
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Re: I want to build a PS4

Postposted on Sat Jun 29, 2013 7:54 pm

cynan wrote:
thegtproject wrote:I'm digging the enthusiasm. But this is really a lost cause bro. No standard PC architecture is going to resemble the PS4 enough to be worth your time at all. You won't be targeting the correct APIs, the entire pipeline is dramatically different, your hardware access is going to vary greatly, etc etc. Get a devkit or wait for the PS4 comes out to start coding- nothing you code for on a PC platform is going to be useful on the PS4.


Sorry for my ignorance, but aren't the dev kits for both Xbox and Sony standard PCs with "emulation" software (maybe not the right word) that emulate the hardware of the PS4? Or do they actually have PS4 analogous hardware in them (ie, an actual jaguar-based APU and 8GB GDDR5)? I would be surprised if the latter is the case. Therefore, you should be able to build a dev kit from any standard PC with AMD GCN based graphics card? Not that it would do you much good without the proprietary "emulation" software that goes with it..


You basically got it, ATM you'll eventually get a special XBone or PS4, but basically the PC is a stock standard Win7 or Win8 box (7 for Sony and 8 for MS).

OP: While you can definitely work on tools with C#, but nothing in my dev kit has anything related to C#. Somehow Paradox announcing PS4 support has lead a few sites to report about C#, but as far as I know their engine is actually written in C++.
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Re: I want to build a PS4

Postposted on Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:04 pm

I'd say make it in Unity (like every other very-small indie dev seems to be doing atm) and go from there.
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