Sega made “shovelware”: PS4 architect

Mark Cerny

Mark Cerny, the lead architect on PS4 and director on Knack, has had a look back on the gaming industry and given an interesting perspective on how things have changed over the years.

“It is absolutely not like us back in those days,” Cerny said when asked whether indie studios nowadays are representative of the industry when he was a young developer. “So Atari was one-person teams, or two-person teams. But because it was coin-operated games, there was dedicated hardware, and those cabinets cost $3,000.”

Cerny, who worked on Sonic the Hedgehog 2, reminisced about his days at Sega, saying that their ambitions were often stifled by certain limitations.

“If you look at what we were doing at Sega, that was, in some sense, I hate to say it, shovelware,” said Cerny. “It was one programmer, one designer, three months, and you just shipped it. And the quality was low and they didn’t care. That is so far from what we call indie today, which is a labour of love and you never know when it will be done. It’ll be done when it’ll be done, when it achieves the creator’s vision.”

Cerny also addressed some misconceptions about the upcoming console generation, specifically id Software’s John Carmack, who Cerny calls “a true genius”.

“John Carmack came out recently and said that the [Xbox One and PS4] console hardware seems to be about the same level of performance,” Cerny said. “I think that probably the power of the PS4 is a little bit under-appreciated there in that statement. But you have to take it from John Carmack’s perspective. This is a man who builds spaceships, right? So from his perspective, he’s 20 years out in the future looking back, and they all kind of look the same.”

Ster Kinekor Entertainment has confirmed that the PlayStation 4 now carries a launch date of 13 December 2013 in South Africa, with Knack being a launch title for the console.

MyGaming had the chance to sit in on a private presentation on Knack by Mark Cerny, and listed 5 great things about PS4′s Knack.


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Sega made “shovelware”: PS4 architect

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