I think game developers are happy with Sony's choice of hardware for the PlayStation 4. At least, Epic Games' Mark Rein seems to be. In an interview with CVG earlier this week, Rein sang the praises of the console's PC-derived components, going so far as to equate the system to a "really perfect gaming PC." See for yourself:
It's like giving you the world's best PC. 'We're going to make it super convenient, we're going to make it easy for you to get games on there, we're going to start the games running while you're downloading them and we're going to perform your updates in the background.' You're not going to turn this thing off... you're just going to sleep it and it's going to come back on.
The kind of stuff that they announced that they're doing, the level of convenience and things like that... they're making a really perfect gaming PC.
Rein is particularly enthralled with the PS4's memory capacity. (There will be 8GB of GDDR5 shared between the processor cores and the integrated GPU.) He says most PCs still run a 32-bit version of Windows, which limits memory address space to 2GB per application. The PS4, he adds, "really opens up beyond what most PCs can do."
To be fair, the latest Steam hardware survey says about 69% of users are running some 64-bit version of Windows—be it Win8, Win7, Vista, XP, or even Windows 2003. Almost 65% of users have 4GB or more system memory, as well—not including graphics RAM. Making games scale down to accommodate 32-bit platforms is no doubt still necessary, but I think Rein may be slightly off the mark on that point.
Still, it's not hard to see where he's coming from. "Knowing that every machine has that [8GB of GDDR5 RAM] we can do crazy, ridiculous stuff," he tells CVG. Ease of development is also going to be a huge plus, given the similarities between the PS4 and modern PC hardware. "There won't be that whole 'how do we make this work'," he explains. "There's just going to be 'wow, what can we do with this?' And we'll do great things."