Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Valve Explains Why it Doesn't Make PS3 Games

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 76 comments

PS3 = complex.

Valve is unquestionably one of the very best developers in its domain of 3D action shooters. The games maker has yet to miss a mark with its Half-Life, Team Fortress, Portal or Left 4 Dead games.

While Valve is a PC developer first and foremost, all of its latest games have made it to Microsoft’s games console. Although the Orange Box landed on the PC and the HD consoles, only the PC and Xbox 360 versions were handled by the developer. The PlayStation 3 port was outsourced as part of a decision made publisher Electronic Arts.

Left 4 Dead, the next retail game Valve, was released only on PC and Xbox 360 – skipping the PlayStation 3 altogether. Valve has made it no secret that it prefers working in the comfortable environments of the PC and Xbox 360, but once again reiterated its views on the PS3 in response to a question that Loot Ninja posed at E3.

"The PC and the 360 are just more straightforward," said Tom Leonard, Software Developer at Valve Software. "We can focus on what we want to do, which is make game experiences, instead of sweating bullets over obscure architectural decisions they make with their platform. [...] I didn’t come into this business in the 90s because of some technical fetish. I came in because I wanted to give people experiences that made them have fun."

The PlayStation 3’s unconventional architecture makes it a more challenging platform on which to create games. Patrick Soderlund, Senior VP of EA Games Europe, presented a different view at E3, saying, “I do think that we'll see developers inside the organization getting to understand the PS3 better and I think that we're getting more power out of PS3 right now... I think that we've maxed out the 360 but we haven't maxed out the PS3."

Display 76 Comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 26 Hide
    the_one111 , June 10, 2009 8:31 PM
    Ouch.

    Valve: 1
    PS3: 0

    "I didn’t come into this business in the 90s because of some technical fetish. I came in because I wanted to give people experiences that made them have fun."

    He totally just B**chslapped sony if I am not mistaken.
  • 19 Hide
    B-Unit , June 10, 2009 8:13 PM
    'The PlayStation 3 port was outsourced as part of a decision made publisher Electronic Arts.'

    'Left 4 Dead, the next retail game Valve, ...'

    Learn2Type
  • 17 Hide
    tenor77 , June 10, 2009 8:06 PM
    And of course Sony execs said this difficulty was on purpose.

    So Sony hates Valve?
Other Comments
  • 17 Hide
    tenor77 , June 10, 2009 8:06 PM
    And of course Sony execs said this difficulty was on purpose.

    So Sony hates Valve?
  • 3 Hide
    kezix_69 , June 10, 2009 8:11 PM
    is there going to be an article about Valve explaining multi core gaming or are those pictures shown at the bottom of this article just a tease?
  • 19 Hide
    B-Unit , June 10, 2009 8:13 PM
    'The PlayStation 3 port was outsourced as part of a decision made publisher Electronic Arts.'

    'Left 4 Dead, the next retail game Valve, ...'

    Learn2Type
  • 8 Hide
    shoota , June 10, 2009 8:28 PM
    I was just gonna say that, it makes it darn hard to read with all these typos, get it together Tom's.
  • -5 Hide
    Anonymous , June 10, 2009 8:31 PM
    Sounds to me like they are too lazy
  • 26 Hide
    the_one111 , June 10, 2009 8:31 PM
    Ouch.

    Valve: 1
    PS3: 0

    "I didn’t come into this business in the 90s because of some technical fetish. I came in because I wanted to give people experiences that made them have fun."

    He totally just B**chslapped sony if I am not mistaken.
  • 11 Hide
    doomtomb , June 10, 2009 8:35 PM
    PS3 got owned.
    soandsoSounds to me like they are too lazy

    I don't see it as laziness, I think Valve explained the reasons why they don't mess with the Playstation 3 very clearly.

    I believe it's perhaps a consequence of Sony's programming architecture not following industry standards.
  • 6 Hide
    megamanx00 , June 10, 2009 9:04 PM
    It's because it doesn't make economic sense for them to invest time and effort into the PS3 when those same development hours can do much more on the XBox and PC. Even testing is more of a pain on the PS3 since it takes alot longer to burn blu rays for your testers to play than just burning DVDs or loading things off a network as the 360 dev kits now allow for.
  • -5 Hide
    haze4peace , June 10, 2009 9:19 PM
    Sounds like a good time to learn the ins and outs of the PS3. Then put your services up for porting whatever games a company might want to pay you for.
  • 3 Hide
    Hatecrime69 , June 10, 2009 9:20 PM
    andywarhall123actually...he just proved that the 360 and the pc are an idiots paradise.you see how does that make valve look when naughty dog/ very small company. i think before devs had more of a accomplished feel beacause they understood the hardware. developers like valve encourage other devs to just skip sonys paltform because they dont understand it...geeze.thats a slap in ms face


    true, but your forgetting that naughty dog is a second-party to sony, so they likely have much closer ties to sony than a third-party would

    Sony seems to not care about making half-decent development tools, the ps2 had the same problem (but it was the ps2, developers were willing to ignore it then because of the ride from ps1) and the really strange setup of the cell makes it more annoying

    Does the ps3 have power? Yes, quite a lot, but that comes at the cost of making it a very hard time on the programmers to get the most out of it, even camarak said the same a long while ago
  • 9 Hide
    crockdaddy , June 10, 2009 9:34 PM
    Stupid Sony fanbois comments. Valve has made a decision as to how to best use its limited resources. IF they truly thought a Sony version would yield a large amount of $$ in return for their investment without impacting product quality I would be willing to think Valve would commit. Valve is just making a rational business decision for itself good or bad.
  • 11 Hide
    the_one111 , June 10, 2009 9:45 PM
    crockdaddy Valve is just making a rational business decision for itself good or bad.

    Indeed. Valve is one of the few companies that makes rational decisions anymore. I would rather have a great game on 2 platforms than a mediocre game on 3.
  • 0 Hide
    NobodyImportant , June 10, 2009 9:52 PM
    "I think that we've maxed out the 360 but we haven't maxed out the PS3."


    That can be taken out of context. There two ways you can take that statement. 1. both platforms perform equally right now, one is maxed while the other has headroom. 2.One is outperforming the other running at peak performance but the one lagging has the headroom to catch up. In reality Id say 2 makes more sense. The ps3 doesn't perform as well as the 360, the anti aliasing is terrible, and the colors look washed in comparison. Im tired of buying games on the ps3 and being disappointed. If it weren't for the controller Id probably buy all the dual platform games on 360.
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , June 10, 2009 9:55 PM
    I am a senior developer and I can say from experience that Valve is just making excuses to cover their true objective (make lots of money). Everything has a learning curve. Some languages are better than others at some things and not at others. Writing code in HTML is damn easy. It is also very weak when compared to php or java. The PS3 has more power than the 360, the difficulty in accessing that power is a offset by the benifit it provides. If a company is truely looking to make cutting edge projects then they will overcome the learning curve and utilize the additional logic processing.

    If you are simply trying to make a quick buck then you will take the easy path and code for what is tried and true for you. The risk in learning the PS3 development could pay big dividends if they were willing to take it, but it could also hurt your company if you fail. Most businesses are out to make money with tried and true. Very few are willing to push the envelope. This sounds to me like a they are simply saying we are happy milking the 360 and PC for money and we are not willing to take a risk for the possibility of making better games. I am not saying they would necessaryly make better games on the PS3, but the possibility is there and they are simply not attempting to do it because of the risk their deveopers and management will fail. I personally believe it is worth taking the risk for a possible big return, but I also don't have a problem with playing the lottery now and then.
  • 1 Hide
    The Schnoz , June 10, 2009 9:58 PM
    Quote:
    Patrick Soderlund, Senior VP of EA Games Europe, presented a different view at E3, saying, “I do think that we'll see developers inside the organization getting to understand the PS3 better and I think that we're getting more power out of PS3 right now... I think that we've maxed out the 360 but we haven't maxed out the PS3."


    Thats good, because the Need for Speed games on 360 are much smoother than PS3. Maybe now EA can squeeze enough out of the PS3 to make the same game run as good as its 360 conterpart.
  • -1 Hide
    ta152h , June 10, 2009 10:52 PM
    What people say about you means little; only what you say about yourself is really important.

    Valve basically said they have weak programmers. As a programmer for many years, I'd NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER admit something was too difficult for me to learn. No programmer worth his salt would. I'd never admit I couldn't learn a new architecture and learn it well. It's called pride, and this man is absolutely shameless.

    It would be like a boxer admitting he didn't want to fight someone, for fear of losing. Or a baseball player asking his coach to take him out of the game, because the opposing pitcher threw too hard and he couldn't hit him. This guy is absolutely shameful. Even if it's true, did he really have to admit it, and make people sick? He could say how difficult the PS3 was if they did write programs for it. Then he could say that as someone that conquered it, not out of weakness because his developers were overmatched. Ugggh. Disgusting. I don't know any programmers who would be so shameless. I don't get it.
  • 4 Hide
    duckmanx88 , June 10, 2009 11:10 PM
    the_one111Indeed. Valve is one of the few companies that makes rational decisions anymore.


    not counting L4D2 right?
  • 7 Hide
    tayb , June 10, 2009 11:27 PM
    ta152hWhat people say about you means little; only what you say about yourself is really important.Valve basically said they have weak programmers. As a programmer for many years, I'd NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER admit something was too difficult for me to learn. No programmer worth his salt would. I'd never admit I couldn't learn a new architecture and learn it well. It's called pride, and this man is absolutely shameless. It would be like a boxer admitting he didn't want to fight someone, for fear of losing. Or a baseball player asking his coach to take him out of the game, because the opposing pitcher threw too hard and he couldn't hit him. This guy is absolutely shameful. Even if it's true, did he really have to admit it, and make people sick? He could say how difficult the PS3 was if they did write programs for it. Then he could say that as someone that conquered it, not out of weakness because his developers were overmatched. Ugggh. Disgusting. I don't know any programmers who would be so shameless. I don't get it.


    No, that is not what Valve said. Valve did not say they had weak programmers they said they have no interest in spending the millions of dollars it would take to hire a programming team or train current programmers on a system that is difficult to learn. I have no doubt in my mind that the team who created Half Life 2 and more could program a game for the Playstation architecture Valve simply isn't interested in spending the money learning to do it just as PLENTY of game developers don't have OS X dev teams to develop their games on OS X as well as Windows. It is a cost decision, not a talent decision.

    Programmers don't get to speak for the company.
Display more comments
Tom’s guide in the world
  • Germany
  • France
  • Italy
  • Ireland
  • UK
Follow Tom’s guide
Subscribe to our newsletter