Naughty Dog to keep current engine for PS4 projects

Friday, 31st May 2013 09:31 GMT By Dave Cook

Naughty Dog has confirmed it will retain its game engine from PS3 releases Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception and The Last of Us moving forward onto PS4.

Speaking with Digital Spy, The Last of Us game director Bruce Straley explained why the studio wasn’t starting over with a new engine, “We learned a big lesson coming from PS2 to PS3. There was a lot of hype over what next-gen was going to be.

“It was all going to be like movies, like a pre-rendered cutscene-style fidelity. That turned out not to be true. Granted, what we’re able to do now is pretty damn close, but it took Naughty Dog four games to get there – one of the top developers in the industry with some on the most amazing scientists working in our programming department.”

“We scrapped everything at the beginning of Uncharted 1, and we had a perfectly good engine with the Jak & Daxter franchise. We could have started with something there and then built off of it and only changed the pieces and parts as we needed, when we needed. And that really caused a lot of turmoil.”

Straley added that Naughty Dog will retain its existing engine moving on to PS4 and explained that it’s easier to change parts of the framework to meet the studio’s needs as and when new challenges arise.

“We learned our lesson in saying, as we move into development into next-gen, we want to take our current engine, port it immediately over as is and say, ‘Okay, we have a great AI system, we have a good rendering system’.

“We have all these things that already work. Only when we hit a wall will we say, ‘When do we need to change something? When do we need to scale it? ‘When does the gameplay, when does the story, when does the world that we need to create – when does this engine hit the wall? Right, now we need to change this part of the engine.’”

What do you make of the Naughty Dog engine at present? Does it need work, or is it fine as it is? Let us know below.



  1. KineticCalvaria

    Well at least it’s better than a certain ‘brand new, next gen’ engine. Uncharted looks great and last of us is looking good too.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Iliad

    Nice to see some honesty.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. TD_Monstrous69

    I can see why they’re going this route, and quite frankly, not a bad idea in the least. It looks and runs quite phenomenally on the PS3, now imagine that same engine running on PS4. I can only imagine the possibilities.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. The_Red

    You know, you can always come out and just say you are using the same engine with upgrades for your new game with honesty… Rather than calling it brand “NEXT-GEN ENGINE” that turns out to be mildly upgrade version of your crappy old one (Skyrim, Ghosts and many more).

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Beta

    It’s a brilliant engine and they know what they’re doing with it. Makes complete sense. :)

    #5 2 years ago
  6. M. K.

    Considering some “engine expert’s” talk I’ve been reading a few days ago this is quite plausible. If the engine is stable it’s always good to keep it running and, if you get some free space so you can still add some bits to it. I don’t know how good ND’s engine is, but I guess it’s a good choice.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. redwood

    one of the few companies i would love to work at

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Lengendaryboss

    If it ain’t broke don’t fix it right?

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Erthazus

    It’s because PS4 is PS3.5

    you can play games that are current gen…. in 1080p. But it’s Naughty Dog. Their engine so far is excellent anyway.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. M. K.

    PS4 is PS3.5? I’m no PC nazi, but I guess there’s a difference if you compare an x86 System with a Cell chip based system.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Erthazus

    i’m talking about system specs.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. viralshag

    I don’t know what I’m talking about so someone, please feel free to shed light on this…

    But I thought you couldn’t play PS3 games on a PS4, I would have thought that applied to games built exclusively for the PS3. As in I would have thought their engine is built around PS3s Cell.

    I’m just surprised it seems like an “easy” transition given that the PS4 is completely non-backwards compatible.

    Like I said, I have no idea about this sort of thing so there may be an easy explanation but I have no idea what it is! :D

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Eregol

    @4 Does it matter that the COD and Gamebryo engines are staying the same?
    They did the jobs on current consoles, and looked phenomenal on top spec PCs. Now they can just scale them up to meet the needs of the next gen consoles in line with PCs.
    Granted, Skyrim needs a high res texture pack to truly fulfil it’s potential, but it’s still a good engine, if they can iron out all the bugs.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. CPC_RedDawn

    I am one of these so called PC nazi’s you talk of. And all I have to say about Naughty Dog is praise for what they have achieved. It really does not matter if you compare an x86/64bit architecture to the PS3′s Cell architecture at all. What matter in terms of graphics is the GPU and the PS4 ultimately has around 50% more raw horse power than the GPU in the Xbox One, and about eight times what they had in the PS3′s RSX (which was basically a watered down Nvidia 7800GTX). If these current game Uncharted 3 and The Last Of Us is what they can squeeze out of their engine with current consoles and their quite frankly pathetic GPU’s and incredibly low amount of RAM I am extremely looking forward to see what they can achieve with 8GB GDDR5 and a somewhat current GPU (it being based on AMD’s GCN architecture). Sure it’s nowhere near the power of high end PC’s systems. But even a hardcore PC gamer like my self can admit that games on consoles are more optimized, I seriously can not wait for Uncharted 4 or the The Last Of Us 2 or whatever it is they make next. Naughty Dog are some of the most talented people in the industry, and its great to see how far they have come in the past 18 years from a small red bandicoot to some of the best looking triple A blockbuster games the industry has ever seen. Whatever they do next is up to them and if they feel like their engine can scale well enough with new hardware then I am 100% behind them.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. CPC_RedDawn


    It wouldn’t take a company this big, very long to change their API’s, and instruction sets in order to get the engine running on x86/64bit architecture. I mean, there are already PS3 emulators roaming around the web. There are videos of people running Uncharted 3 perfectly fine as well. So if PC’s have the power to decode and re-encode PS3 games then I am sure a company like Naughty Dog can easily transfer their engine to a new platform.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Erthazus

    “As in I would have thought their engine is built around PS3s Cell”

    Every software can be ported over.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. The_Red


    It does matter. COD games have looked horrible for 2-3 years and GameBryo… don’t even get me started :)

    That is a horrible base engine that ruined Fallout 3, Fallout NV and Skyrim. So many bugs and problems. While a whole bunch of them were fixed for Skyrim, it was still full of crap that only GameBryo games have. If Oblivion wasn’t such a show-piece when it came out, it would have been butchered by critics due to insane amount of glitches and technical problems.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. ps3fanboy

    Naughty Dog are smart by doing it this way and upgrading the engine when needed, they save time and money… and can focus on making more games. its a win win for everyone…

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Lewis247

    I’ve been playing U3 recently and while a lot of the game looks stunning there is some really bad jaggies all over the damn place. Hopefully this is sorted for the ps4.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. Osric

    It’s logical. It’s too soon for “next-gen”. A 720 to 1080 and a little speed upgrade/boost isnt’ any “next-gen” for me.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. xxJPRACERxx

    @12 A 3D engine is really a couples of algorithms that calculate different things: shaders, lighting…

    Of course, all the low-level management (how RAM and cores are used) is specific to certain architecture, but the actual 3d algos are not really (eg: x + y / z will stay the same between architecture).

    Of course there’s still a lot of coding to be done to port it to the PS4 but it’s still less work than start from scratch.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. Da Man

    Yep, get ready for a couple of years when all you’ll be playing are PS3 games running on PS4.

    Just like with PS3, real time weapon change and Tomb Raider with autoplatforming and no Lara Croft.

    All while passionately watching promises of revolutionary space age visuals from David Cage and Guerilla games.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. Lengendaryboss

    @Da Man
    Don’t you see controversy in your comments?

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Da Man

    I apologize, Genji was amazing and so was Uncharted.

    And the whole E3 2005.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. Lengendaryboss

    @Da Man
    Couldn’t care less what you think an opinion is an opinion but it was a question best answered without the wonderful use of sarcasm.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. Phoenixblight

    @Da Man

    DO you ever have days where you say “Today I won’t post on a Sony article”. Its just as bad as loki and consoles. At least you can formulate coherent sentences.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. lexph3re

    *reads thread*………

    #27 2 years ago
  28. viralshag

    @15 & 21, Thanks for the info.

    #28 2 years ago

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