Over the course of the global pandemic, more and more people have sought ways to relax, connect with others and feel a sense of belonging. It’s only natural that the video game industry was one of the few that grew during this period.
Video games are a perfect escape from reality, and statistics show that more people are looking at gaming as a favourite pastime activity. As a result, video games enjoy an unprecedented audience, and the number of people who play video games is constantly rising.
People love to play video games, especially on consoles, due to their ease of accessibility. Multiplayer is simple, just connect with your console-owning friends. And the PlayStation 4 (PS4) and PlayStation 5 (PS5) are among the most popular consoles.
What are the development characteristics of PS4 and PS5 games?
PlayStation 4 developers have focused on social interaction and integration with other devices and services. Thus, video games on PS4 can be played off-console on PlayStation Vita and other supported devices (“Remote Play“). The PS4 also offers the ability to stream gameplay online to friends, with them controlling gameplay remotely (“Share Play“). Sony has been praised for acknowledging consumers’ needs, embracing independent game development, and not imposing restrictive digital rights management schemes.
Game development in the 21st century has taken creativity and design up a notch with game consoles like PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. The development of technology that allows superior graphics has pushed game developers to keep up and develop high-quality video games like never before.
Game development today is defined by experts who allow their creativity to drive the development process. At Starloop Studios, we have a team of certified game developers who can help with full-stack console game development, which means we’ll lead a PS4 and PS5 game development project through all stages up to its successful release and further support.
For most games launched for PS4 and PS5, game developers use C ++ as the programming language, which is also the language used for Unreal Engine and CryEngine — the two most advanced game engines available. Furthermore, to launch a game on PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5, game developers must accomplish some specific certification required by Sony.
Following the feedback system implemented by Mark Cerny, the lead architect of PlayStation, Sony found out what weaknesses PS4 game developers encountered. One of the PS4’s issues was the video games loading time, so Sony has improved this aspect with the development of the PS5. However, video game loading time had already become a limiting factor in pushing game development.
Some examples of improving the loading times of PS4 games vs. PS5 Image Source: The Verge
For video games to have a higher loading and running speed, game developers have asked for a fast SSD; so Sony has eliminated bottleneck points to make the performance more effective. In addition, unlike the PS4, the PlayStation 5 supports expandable storage and backward compatibility with seemingly all PS4 games due to it being based in part on the PS4’s architecture.
PS5 will be easier to develop than PS4 as it will be working off the established success of the PS4 architecture but with just some added features that developers can use if they want to. In addition, Sony makes it easier than ever for developers to create console games for both PS4 and PS5, complete with the latter’s exclusive new enhancements like ray tracing lighting effects, 8K gaming output, and variable rate shading tech.
For game studios to develop PS4 and PS5 titles, they need a special kit provided by Sony. These developer kits, or devkits, are a collection of tools and frameworks bundled up into a concise package in the form of hardware to enable the game’s development process. The PS4 and PS5 kit’s purpose is to facilitate the communication between the software developed on a computer and the console. Sony’s Jim Ryan says development companies give lots of positive feedback on the PS5’s devkits regarding scaling and flexibility.
Development Kit for PlayStation 5
What tools are useful for PS4 and PS5 game development?
The powerful hardware powering the PS4 and PS5 encourages the game developer to push their limits and create state-of-the-art game consoles for the PS4. But to create a captivating gaming experience for PlayStation fans, developers need to use the best game development tools. Some of the most popular are:
Unreal Engine 4
Unreal Engine 4 is recognized for the Blueprint visual scripting tool, through which game developers can develop game consoles without directly writing any code. Also, Unreal Engine offers the advanced DirectX 11 high-end rendering features and the Persona animation system, with which game developers can refine a character’s motion easier.
Unity is one of the most evolving ecosystems for building appealing and realistic game consoles. Only with Unity can you create an end-to-end PS4 game, thanks to all the features it offers. Unity launched its public release of Unity 4.3 for Playstation 4 – which supports things like Shader, Dualshock features, and even VR features.
CryEngine was designed by German game developer Crytek. This game engine offers real-time editing of multi-platform game environments, whether 2D or stereoscopic 3D, which is helpful for PS4 and PS5 game development.
Game developers use Havok Physics to create dynamic event-driven character behaviours in games. This tool is a solution to simulate collisions in real-time. Its platform-optimized AI toolset focuses on efficient pathfinding and path following in dynamic game environments.
Morpheme 4 & Euphoria
Morpheme 4 is an animation tool, along with Euphoria, which includes advanced projection modeling capacities to allow game developers to create complex integrations between animation and AI systems.
Gameware tools developed by Autodesk offer a suite of features that offer game developers Scaleform (the user interface solution), Beast (lighting tech), HumanIK (character animation middleware), Navigation (AI and pathfinding tool), and FBX (3D data transfer kit).
Game developers use XaitControl in developing PS4 and PS5 games to develop game logic and shape character behaviour.
Enlighten is a tool for full dynamic in-game lighting. It can be integrated into Unreal Engine 4 and comes with plug-ins to incorporate into the 3ds Max and Maya viewports. Some of the games that used the Enlighten tool were Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Eve Online, and Dragon Age: Inquisition.
Yebis 2, designed by Silicon Studio, was created to deliver high-end visuals and effects. Game developers can use Yebis 2 to implement depth of field effects, motion blur, custom glow effects, etc. In addition, Yebis 2 can be combined with DirectX11 from Unreal Engine to obtain numerous high-quality lens effects.
Why outsource video game development for PS4 and PS5?
Developing a PS4 and PS5 video game requires many state-of-the-art skills and performing technology to succeed. Outsourcing responds to this need and involves externalizing the entire game development process or just a parts of it.
The first step you need to take is finding a partner who has the same DNA and understands your concept. Low cost is one of the significant reasons outsourcing is a wise choice. This way, you will be able to focus on the core competency in your company. It’s hard to compete with the experience of a professional team that has been developing video games for years. Therefore, it is good to turn this expertise to your advantage.
Also, the timely launch of PS4 and PS5 games is one of the investors’ headaches. Keeping up with a stressful release schedule can lead to the crunch, burning out, and costly mistakes. You get rid of this worry by outsourcing, offering expanded resources and teams to reduce this load and stress.
At Starloop Studios, we already have the experience and expertise gained over ten years of developing video games. Being a leading console game development company, our game developers can blend the right strategy with the requisite skills and successful delivery. We are here to help you save resources and solve any production challenges.