Consumer magazine Game Informer has conducted a new interview with Phil Harrison
, Sony Computer Entertainment’s president of World Wide Studios in which he admits that a lack of support for Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 3 middleware has been a problem but that Sony is addressing the issue.
When asked why Sony had chosen to re-announce its partnership with Epic Games at the recent E3 expo, along with plans for continued optimization of Unreal Engine 3 on the PlayStation 3, Harrison admitted a lack of support on Sony’s part for the popular middleware solution.
“If we’re honest, we didn’t do enough of a good job supporting them and getting them the tools and technology early enough,” said Harrison. “Also, Epic isn’t a huge company. They don’t have unlimited resource. We have parachuted in some of our SWAT team of super engineers to help them. Specifically, to optimize for SPUs (synergistic processing units) which are the point of difference that the Cell processor has.”
Harrison further suggested the possible advantages of this fix, which is currently disadvantaging Unreal Engine 3 developers on PlayStation 3: “The benefits that [increased support] yields to end developers whether they’re writing exclusive titles or multiplatform titles is that the performance on PS3 goes up exponentially, and it will make for a much better game experience,” claimed Harrison.
In a wide-ranging interview, Harrison also repeated the increasingly familiar Sony mantra that software exclusivity was not as important as some fans and the consumer press might suggest. “You know, we talk about this a lot, and it seems to be a slight obsession,” said Harrison.
“In fact, when you look at it from the eyes of a gamer, when they walk into the store to buy the game that they want to buy because they know it’s great and they hear it’s great … they don’t care who makes it, they just want to make sure the best games are available on their system. I’m happy to be the one who’s providing some of those. I think the balance is important, the portfolio is important, but I think we get a bit obsessed about it, to be quite honest,” he added.