We wrap up the console development series with a look at Sony PlayStation hardware, the development programs they run, interesting funding initiatives, and an unusual story about how Sony delisted a previous podcast guest.
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Sony’s developer program may look similar to those we’ve explored from Microsoft and Nintendo, but it’s not without unique quirks. Registration itself is free, but Sony requires specific plans from studios for their projects (including game design documents where applicable), and most developers agree that publishing can’t be accomplished without access to a dev kit. Developers don’t seem to agree on how easy it is to get access to the necessary development hardware.
Developer landing page – https://www.playstation.com/en-us/develop/.1/
PlayStation Partners site – https://partners.playstation.net/
With the exception of Microsoft, major console manufacturers are sticking with the longstanding dev kit tradition, and they aren’t always easy to get ahold of. Images of the PS5 dev kit already leaked over a year ago, so we have confirmation that Sony developers will still need them for a long time. Here are the links we touch on in the episode.
- Image leaked in December ‘19 https://www.extremetech.com/gaming/302857-this-is-the-very-weird-playstation-5-developer-kit
- PS4 dev kits cost around $2,500 – https://www.polygon.com/2013/7/24/4553842/so-how-much-does-it-cost-to-develop-for-playstation-4
- Process “still requires access to dev kits”
- “Feedback is optional” there’s a box to check if you want feedback from Sony about your game
- Sony determines how much marketing they’ll do for you based on their opinion of the game’s quality.
It will sound like I’m pinning Sony to the wall about funding, but the truth is, their funding programs are entirely unique in the console development space. It’s just worth noting that there’s a lot we don’t know about the latest fund they announced, including whether or not it will work like the Pub Fund program they initiated in the past.
This isn’t BIG news, but it involves a previous podcast guest–and someone who will appear in the upcoming book–and it’s a story you won’t hear a lot about elsewhere.
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Todd Mitchell is a US Midwest-based comedy writer and game developer with bylines at Weekly Humorist, Fanbyte, Slackjaw, End of the Bench Sports, and more. He’s the author of Inside Video Game Creation, the founder of CodeWritePlay, and host of the GameDev Breakdown podcast. Follow him on Twitter @Mechatodzilla.