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Irrational: No Lead Platform For  Bioshock Infinite
Irrational: No Lead Platform For Bioshock Infinite
November 22, 2010 | By Simon Parkin

November 22, 2010 | By Simon Parkin
More: Console/PC

BioShock Infinite has been built from the ground up for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC according to the game's technical director.

Chris Kline took to the Irrational Games forums seeking to assuage user's fears of a weak PlayStation 3 port of the Xbox 360 version of the game.

“We’re doing simultaneous in-house development on the PS3, 360, and PC versions of the game,” wrote Kline. “We all know that the PS3 is powerful but unique console with its own strengths and challenges."

"But compared to the PC," he said, "the Xbox 360 is challenging too. So instead of declaring a 'lead platform' and porting the game to the others, we’ve instead changed the game engine so that all platforms look (to a programmer) more like a PS3."

“This means implementing a task-oriented task processor that assumes a NUMA (non-uniform memory access) design that mimics the PPU/SPU split of the PS3," he continued.

"Writing code this way is more difficult for us, but has a key advantage: it’s both optimal for the PS3 *and* gives speed improvements on other platforms due to increased cache coherence and more efficient use of multiple processing units."

Kline went on to explain how the game is being tested on-the-fly: “In terms of production, we’re constantly testing our code on the PS3, as it is part of our QA team’s daily test plan. All of our programmers have PS3 and 360 dev kits on their desks, and can test on the PS3 just as easily as on the 360."

"To make sure we find and fix problems as quickly as possible, we have a 'continuous integration automated build system' that rebuilds the PS3 version and runs basic tests on it every time a programmer or artist makes a change to the game. It even emails them right away if they break something," Kline explained.

“In addition, we’ve also built tools that allow artists and designers to instantly check whether or not their levels will fit in memory on all three platforms, without ever leaving the editor," he concluded. "I hope that gives you some confidence that we’re serious about making a great PS3 game.”

BioShock Infinite is due for release in 2012.

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Yannick Boucher
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Well, that sounds more like a "PS3 lead" to me, to be honest! More and more teams work this way...

Joe McGinn
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Honestly at this point in the cycle, there shouldn't even be a lead between 360/PS3 games. The platforms are close-enough to identical for practical purposes that if you have decent tech, you don't even have to think about it.

At at this point in the console life cycle, if you don't have mature tech you have serious problems.