Developing for PS4 is 'a really pleasant surprise,' says Ubisoft Montreal

CEO praises "radical change" from Sony

Ubisoft Montreal has called the PlayStation 4 "a really pleasant surprise" thanks to a "radical change" of hardware strategy from Sony Computer Entertainment.


CEO Yannis Mallat said he believes that the move to new console hardware will be "less complex" than previous transitions thanks to the familiar architecture of PS4, which is essentially comprised of off-the-shelf PC parts.

"From what we can talk about, which is the PlayStation 4, it's been a radical change from those guys," he told CVG.

"I'll tell you an anecdote: When I was the producer on Prince of Persia: Sands of Time we managed to get our hands on a very good programmer who's still on the Assassin's Creed core team.

"One day on his desk he had a black book all written in Japanese, and I was like, 'what is that?' It was the documentation support for coding for PS2. 'That's why I wanted to have Japanese lessons,' he said - to understand and make the most out of the machine.

"That day I understood how complex it was to develop on PlayStation 2. So we were eager to find out what the PlayStation 3 would be in terms of architecture, and it was pretty much the same but more complex."

Mallet said the PS4 architecture vindicates Ubisoft's decision to start developing its next-gen games, such as Watch Dogs and Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, early on high-end PCs.

"PlayStation 4 really comes as a pleasant surprise because indeed it's a very familiar architecture," he said.

"I think it's paying off for us deciding to develop on high-end PCs early. It's a less complex transition."