PlayStation 4 lead system architect Mark Cerny was thinking about the console in late 2007–just a year after PlayStation 3 was released. He wasn’t the architect at the time, Cerny told Gamasutra, but Sony saw promise in his ideas: one of which was “that a very developer-centric approach to the design of the PlayStation 4 would just make things go more smoothly overall.”
“The biggest thing was that we didn’t want the hardware to be a puzzle that programmers would be needing to solve to make quality titles,” Cerny said.
The PlayStation 3’s Cell processor was billed as a unique powerhouse, but its idiosyncratic architecture made it a difficult beast to tame. On Cerny’s first tour of developers, it became clear they wanted two things: a lot of unified memory, and an 8-core CPU.
PS4 has both, and Cerny said Sony’s experience building the Vita into a friendlier development environment laid the groundwork for its new home console.
“We took Vita as an opportunity to rework the tool chain and the development environment, and I think that you saw that the response from the development community [to those changes] was very good,” says Cerny. “That meant that with PS4 we already had this philosophy in place–that we wanted our tools to be much richer and much more accessible to our developers, even in the launch timeframe.”
Speaking of PS4’s launch timeframe, check out our list of all the game’s confirmed for the system so far.