The PS3’s much vaunted Cell processor has been trumpeted as having “bottomless” capabilities by top PS3 developer Naughty Dog, although it seems not all developers are inclined to agree, with Hideo Kojima on the other hand maintaining that his magnum opus stretched the machine to its limits.
Uncharted developers Naughty Dog (who happen to be Sony owned) maintain they can happily develop on the PS3 for another 6 years:
How comfortable are you now developing on the PS3? Are you starting to get an itch for new hardware?
“Absolutely the opposite. We’re pretty comfortable with the PS3, and we made a very big advancement between the first game and the second game, we’re really tapping into the Cell processor, but there’s more there.
The first game, it was idle about 70% of the time, which we rectified for the sequel, and now it’s at least busy 100% of the time, but it’s still not fully-optimized code.
I mean, in order to get to that 100%, it was more about making sure the pipeline was filled, and we weren’t running into one of the processors becoming idle because there wasn’t a job ready for it. But now we have to go into all of those routines and optimize them so we that can get even more done using that Cell processor.
It really feels that sometimes it’s this bottomless pit of processing power, you find the right kind of job for it and it can just churn through those things so fast, which really helps with a lot of our rendering and post-processing effects.
So yes, we’re getting comfortable. No, we’re not itching for new hardware. I would love to keep working on the PlayStation  for 5 or 6 more years…I think there’s still a lot to get out of it.
We’re not really feeling limited by the hardware, it’s more about the hours of the day and how quickly we want to get the next game out.”
On the other hand, Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima famously explained that he was “disappointed” with the PS3 and that MGS already stretched the Cell processor to its limits:
“When we first showed the game engine at TGS, the staff were really proud and happy. PS3 was a dream machine, y’know, and we were going to work on this and that – and we had so many ideas.
But when we actually started developing the game, we realized there were a lot of restrictions and so it turned out how you see it today. The original vision was to go ten steps further, the reality was just one step, which isn’t to say we didn’t progress.
I remember saying three years ago that we wanted to create something revolutionary, but in reality we couldn’t really do that because of the CPU. We’re using the Cell engine to its limit, actually.
Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticizing the PS3 machine, it’s just that we weren’t really aware of what the full-spec PS3 offered – we were creating something we couldn’t entirely see.”
However, lately he seems to have had something of a change of heart.
Time will tell just who is correct.