PlayStation 4 Indie Developers Speak Out: Is PS4 Good Or Awful?

Sony created some positive vibes at its PlayStation 4 unveiling when it announced it would be taking a more open stance toward indie developers with the PS4.

Details of how exactly Sony intends to do that aren't quite clear yet, but the company has stated it'll probably still require indie teams to acquire development kits for the PlayStation 4.

Still, a number of indie developers have responded to Sony's PS4 proposition with optimism, saying they're looking forward to working on the system. Here's a small sampling of what some game creators told Develop this week:

"The PS4 looks like a much more practical option for indie devs than past Sony consoles. I really appreciate what they've done in terms of its architecture," said Mode 7 joint MD Paul Taylor. "Also, there are loads of ways for players to share content, which helps out teams with smaller marketing budgets."

"Of course they need their triple-A showcases, but Sony are doing a great job supporting indie developers, particularly on the PS Vita," FuturLab MD James Marsden said. "The message that indie is important for Sony on PS4 took center stage with Jonathan Blow, so we're sold, and hope to get our hands on a PS4 development kit as soon as possible."

Other developers thought the idea of developing for the PS4 sounded interesting, and wondered if Sony would be taking a page from Microsoft and developing its own XNA-style platform.

"Indie for PS4, now that would be interesting," Gearbox Software FX artist Nick Peterson said. "I wonder how much of the hardware they would open up for indies? My guess is it would be something akin to what Microsoft did with XNA for the Xbox 360. It would be neat though."

For his part, Lextech Global Services' Felipe Laso Marsetti wants to see Sony charge an annual fee and allow game developers to publish their own games:

"For indie developers who have grown accustomed to the mobile landscape, it would be fantastic to see Sony embrace a similar model to iOS or Android, letting us pay a small yearly fee ($99 or so, like iOS) to be able to publish our apps and games on the PS4 taking full advantage of Move, the DualShock and the PSN ecosystem. Even if it means going through a strict review process like Apple."

Finally, even though Sony has hinted that development kits will be required for PS4 game creation, Mojang's Daniel Kaplan said he hopes Sony ends up going in a different direction:

"Something I really hope that they will also address is the openness of the platform and make development easier for the developers, such as no need for devkits, no need for special weird agreements, no need for confusing NDAs and stuff like that," he said.

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