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.