Evolution Studios has spoken out about how their long allegiance with the PS3 meant that they had to play catch up when it came to developing Drive Club for the PS4 in order to match the examples set on the high-end PC market by the likes of Project CARS and Assetto Corsa.
“With it being a very contemporary GPU core, [there's] a whole bunch of new graphics features probably familiar to PC developers, but we've spent a lot of time in PS3 land, so we had to play catch-up on some of those great things like texture varieties, hardware instancing, volume textures, tessellation, texture compression.” Evolution technical director Scott Kirkland said in an interview with EDGE magazine via Videogamer.com. "They're all really cool features that we're leveraging in all sorts of interesting ways."
Kirkland goes on to detail additional benefits the PS4 will offer to developers: "The Play-Go initiative, which Mark Cerny [PS4 lead architect] spoke about, those are discussions we've been heavily involved in”, he explains. “Combined with the Blu-ray disc for physical delivery, the hard drive is going to allow us to deliver awesome experiences to players in a fraction of the load times and download times that players experienced on PS3 and . So we're really excited about that. We think it'll be a real differentiator."
It was also revealed today that the former MotorStorm devs played an instrumental role in the production of the DualShock 4 controller, which started in 2011 during the development of MotorStorm RC.
"The control side of things has always been a really important thing for racing games," Kirkland said, "so we made sure that we got involved in the controller discussion very early on. I think this goes back to Christmas 2011."
Interestingly, they even managed to convince Sony Japan to alter some of the components during the production process so that they would be better suited for steering input in racing games: "We were instrumental in securing the specific gyro components that [will] go in the DualShock 4," he continued. "We had prototypes that demonstrated that the really high frequency gyros were the ones that allowed us to chuck the controller around like a steering wheel, and the ones that they were considering [meant] you have to rely on accelerometers to compensate for that.”
"So we put a very compelling case forward to the guys in Japan, they listened and they're the components that are in the DualShock 4."
Like the prototype SixAxis boomerang-shaped controller, it seems that the DualShock 4 was originally going to have a radically different design, looking like “ something Brue Wayne would carry” according to Kirkland. "It was very industrial in design, plastic, [and] there were things that would come off. I remember seeing paperwork for the import and export prototype, and you know all of them were handmade and insanely expensive and we felt privileged to be getting these samples."
Drive Club is expected to launch alongside the PS4 towards the end of this year. We’re expecting to see more of Evolution’s ambitious project at E3 in a couple of months time.