Warframe developer Digital Extremes is bringing its free-to-play ninja shooter to PS4 at launch, and in an interview with VG247, has discussed the console’s technical power and PC-like architecture. The studio also championed the DualShock 4 controller as the best console pad they’ve ever held.
Digital Extremes is bringing its free co-op shooter Warframe to PS4 at launch and it will bear negligible differences to the PC build. It is almost like-for-like and allows cross play between Sony’s hardware and PC, making for a truly connected co-op experience. The team has repeatedly stressed that it wants no content differences between builds. At all.
When asked if Digital Extremes approached Sony with a view to bringing Warframe to PS4, creative director Steve Sinclair replied, “They approached us actually, I guess it’s coming up to about four months ago. We were in our open beta and rocking the Steam charts there, and Sony got in contact with James, who’s the owner of the company and said, ‘Hey what would you think about bringing Warframe over to our next gen console?
“We had, probably, a 30-second conversation about if we should do it, “Sinclair added, and then, “[Sony] squeezed themselves to send us as many dev kits as possible and three months later we were on the [E3] show floor at PlayStation 4 showing Warframe playable.”
The speed with which Digital Extremes brought Warframe to PS4 in a playable state for E3 speaks volumes about how closely akin the PS4 architecture is to PC systems. I asked Sinclair to describe just how closely matched both platforms are in reality.
“Warframe supported 64-bit and DirectX 11 for a long time, and there’s a lot of commonality in that sort of architecture with what they’re doing on PS4. They’ve got a lot of cores on there, so, I was every surprised how fast we got up and running – I think Sony was as well.”
“When we went to [E3] and people said, ‘Holy smokes this is on PlayStation 4, it looks amazing.’ Maybe they were Warframe fans so they were just trying to appease us, but they said it was one of the best-looking games they saw at the show.
“In three months time, that’s a testament to how developer-friendly this version of PlayStation is. It’s absolutely awesome. What surprised me most is how kick-ass the GPU is – the graphics are super, super high-end.”
Sony’s encouragement of a flat-development architecture seems to have ushered many indies into the PS4 fold, and the console’s technical aspects are easy to understand and utilise. Sinclair stressed that while PS3 was a powerful console it was “Byzantine”, and that PS4 is powerful yet manageable.
The studio is also impressed with DualShock 4, and this new version of Warframe will allow for gesture controls using the controller’s motion functionality – only if the player chooses. Sinclair added, “There are cool things on PS4 that we are taking advantage of. The DualShock 4 is the best game controller I’ve ever put my hands on, I’m so excited about it.
“It has touch screen controls. At E3 we showed little swipe gestures to activate your Warframe abilities that people thought was really cool. There are the ‘social features’ like the share button, all those integrated features where you can say ‘I just did this cool thing in Warframe’ and that pushes out over your network.”
We’ll have our full Warframe interview live soon, but for now you can play it on PC for free here.
For now, what do you make of Sony’s approach to indies and independent, publisher-less projects like Warframe on PS4? Let us know below.