PS4 evolved from lessons learned developing the PS3, lead architect Mark Cerny says

An acknowledgement that Sony had been too insular and needed to share its knowledge during the development of the PlayStation 3 greatly informed the PlayStation 4's creation, the next-gen console's lead architect Mark Cerny said.

Speaking at the Gamelab conference in Barcelona, Cerny said the PlayStation 3 launched in 2006 with what Cerny characterized as a "weak lineup." This was due, in part, to internal struggles at Sony to unite the company's disparate divisions and its late realization that it should share its "proprietary first-party tools" with third-party developers who struggled to develop for the console's Cell processor.

From 2005-2007, the company had a "unifying experience" characterized by international collaboration, "frank and open conversation," the belief that hardware, software and tools were important and that third parties played a "vital role" in the platform's success, Cerny said.

"Conversations that would have been impossible to have in 2004 were just an everyday way of doing business" by the time the PS3 shipped, he said.

Following the PS3's launch, Sony's hardware team began a postmortem analysis about what had worked and what hadn't when developing the console.

"In other words, this was the initial step in the creation of the PlayStation 4," he said. "And for the first time in Sony Computer Entertainment's history, this process was inclusive and collaborative."

Rather than being focused on hardware at the expense of other aspects of the platform, the lessons learned from the PlayStation 3's difficult development and the subsequent "unifying experience" lead to the PlayStation 4's collaborative development.

You can watch Cerny's entire 45-minute talk above, courtesy of YouTube user Prelucid. For more on the "supercharged" hardware in the PS4, check out Cerny's recent explanation of the term. You can also read our interview with representatives from AMD, whose hardware lies at the core of each next-gen console.

More from Polygon

Enemy Starfighter: Homeworld from inside a fighter

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare gameplay trailer

  • Diablo 3 - Xbox One vs. PC comparison

  • Hearthstone - Military Quarter gameplay video

  • Elite: Dangerous Overview video

Latest Discussions

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.



Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.