Mark Rein on PS3, PhysX and Pwnage

Written by Joe Martin

November 11, 2007 | 10:04

Tags: #engine #event #events #gears-of-war #interview #joe #launch #mark #physx #ps3 #rein #tournament #ue3 #ut3

Companies: #epic #omega-sektor #silicon-knights #unreal

Sweet Console-nation!

I was initially very tempted to make my first question “What’s the PS3 version like?”, but I just about managed to stifle the urge and instead I left the honour to another journalist.

Unfortunately, that little joke was about all that was needed to set Mark off. I’d been warned that he likes to talk, but I hadn’t counted on the being true to such an amazing degree. It wasn’t just talking, it was an oration and it was utterly fantastic to see a man so enthusiastic about his game.

I decided to let him get it out of his system.

The PlayStation 3 version is awesome and it’s fantastic to see how much I get asked about it. I mean, you guys have seen it and played it so you know how good it is. Everything in it is just right and is finely balanced for the platform. I think it’s about 20 percent slower off the top of my head, to help make things fair.

Mark leaned back, put his arms behind his head and got ready to let loose another burst of information. I cut him off. While we were on the topic I was eager to find out about the possibilities of PlayStation 3 cross-platform play and why exactly it was taken out of the game design if the PlayStation 3 can use a USB keyboard and mouse.

Mark Rein on PS3, PhysX and Pwnage PlayStation 3
Click to enlarge

Well, the PlayStation 3 is a funny thing sometimes. I mean, we’ve put in this keyboard and mouse support but I don’t honestly think it’ll get used all that much. Who uses a keyboard and mouse to play on a console? You’d just use the PC version, right? It’s cool because it’s there if you want it, but I don’t think many people do.

And cross-platform play? What about that, eh Mark?

We had to cut the crossplay in the end because of issues with making the game. The game is going to launch on PC on the 23rd of this month. Because of how PC games are made though if we finished it today then we could get it in shops pretty quickly. Print the discs, box it up and send it off. If there’s an error then we patch it afterwards.

With the PlayStation 3 version though, there’s all this certification stuff to go through. The game has to be approved and so on. That really holds things up in some ways…The other thing to bear in mind is that the two versions aren’t really compatible. The PS3 version is just right for the console and the PC version is just right for a PC – so how do you get the two to play together? We’d have a game which is not quite right for either!

Mark Rein on PS3, PhysX and Pwnage PlayStation 3
Click to enlarge

So, the PlayStation 3 and PC version aren’t compatible at all?

Not quite. There’s still some interaction between them. If you own both then you can start up your PC and set it to run a dedicated server just for PS3 and use that, which is so, so cool in my opinion. The mutators and mods are compatible too and can be taken from PC to PS3. There’s a few steps to that and you have to use a memory card or whatever, but it’s there.

To me that sounded great – the PlayStation 3 could be the first games console to my mind which could have access to all the PC mods and add-ons as they become available. The question was though, why bother going through all this faff with memory cards? Why not just distribute it on PSN or something similar?

Well, the PlayStation 3 has a lot of unique features and we try to take control of them – like with SixAxis. SixAxis can be used to steer the hoverboard or The Redeemer, but that’s it. We wanted to be very careful not to hammer this functionality in just because we could. As for PlayStation Network, we just don’t have a plan to use that right now to my knowledge but I suppose it’s possible.
Discuss this in the forums
Mod of the Month January 2021 in Association with Corsair

February 19 2021 | 17:15