Naughty Dog said it was “hell” porting The Last of Us over to PS4

Friday, 16th May 2014 20:20 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

It apparently wasn’t a picnic porting The Last of Us over to PlayStation 4. Instead, it was “hell” according to Naughty Dog creative director Neil Druckmann who wished they could just hit “Turn On PS4 Mode” button.

the last of us

Speaking with Edge, Druckmann said the team didn’t expect it to be easy in the first place.

“We expected it to be hell, and it was hell,” he said. “Just getting an image onscreen, even an inferior one with the shadows broken, lighting broken and with it crashing every 30 seconds … that took a long time. These engineers are some of the best in the industry and they optimized the game so much for the PS3’s SPUs specifically. It was optimized on a binary level, but after shifting those things over, you have to go back to the high level, make sure the systems are intact, and optimize it again.

“I can’t describe how difficult a task that is. And once it’s running well, you’re running the [versions] side by side to make sure you didn’t screw something up in the process, like physics being slightly off, which throws the game off, or lighting being shifted and all of a sudden it’s a drastically different look. That’s not ‘improved’ any more; that’s different. We want to stay faithful while being better.”

He went on to say that cinematics are now running at 1080p and 60fps, and in order to accomplish this, the team had to render them all from scratch.

“It’s interesting that now [instead of a technical bottleneck], the bottleneck is ‘Can we fit all this on the disc?’,” he said. “How do you show it on the Internet? Any next-gen game?. We have the game running in 1080p at 60fps, and YouTube brings it down to 30fps and does a compression on it, and it’s hard to tell the difference.

“When you see it running on your big TV and you see all the hi-res assets running smoothly, it’s hard to go back to the previous version after that, but it’s hard to show all the work, the optimization and the artistry that went into it. We tried to put a non-compressed version of the trailer running at 60Hz for people to download, but it’s several hundred MBs. It’s a huge file, and it’s something we have to address.”

Other than the port for The Last of Us, Druckmann said Naught Dogy is also at “the same time working on two other brand-new experiences.” Whether this includes the next Uncharted game in the works or two other games besides that, wasn’t clear.



  1. Erthazus

    Because PS3 hardware is a failure and a mess. These devs all these years developed on a bad machine basically and it was not worth it.

    Now with PS4 they can finally make great games without some stupid CPU mess.

    #1 8 months ago
  2. Talkar

    They do realize youtube doesn’t own a sole right to all video content having to be put on youtube right? They can release a video on a different site that supports 60 fps videos, and then just link to that…

    #2 8 months ago
  3. aseddon130

    @1 you are the most boring member of this site I’ve ever encountered. Completely predictable and really pointless.

    It’s good that they have done a full upscale job on this, it looked decent on the ps3 so it should look spectacular on the ps4 providing it is a good port

    #3 8 months ago
  4. fengato

    Put this high quality vid up as a torrent – that’ll do the trick, Naughty Dog.

    #4 8 months ago
  5. BrokenSpline


    No need they can just put the full res video on their own site to download much like Bungie has done.

    #5 8 months ago
  6. Rat

    Am I the only one who is very interested to know what is the OTHER project they’re working on ?? we know that Uncharted PS4 is in the works but he said they’re working on TWO projects at the same time ! Curious as FUCK !

    #6 8 months ago
  7. silverstorm

    @Erthazus That’s the most true and insightful comment I’ve heard from you 3+ years on this site. Bravo.

    #7 8 months ago
  8. spoffle

    Pretty much all the uses of “port” on this an other sites is added by people writing about what devs have said it’s very very very rare that an actual developer says “port” because, well games aren’t ported and I wish news websites would stop perpetuating the notion that games are ported.

    #8 8 months ago
  9. marporte

    Despite being a failure and a mess of hardware it still had the best exclusives in quality and quantity across several genres in the last generation. Hopefully these same developers can up their game since they don’t have to worry about the PS3 architecture.

    #9 7 months ago
  10. Fragpuss

    Naughty dog could’ve saved themselves a lot of trouble by not joining the mass of companies porting over all their ps3 games to the ps3.4 (as i call it) also if they had to how about a good game like uncharted instead of shitty last of us, say yourselves the bother, nobody wants that shit

    Before anyone screams it aswell, i also hate cod, bf and most other modern combat FPS…

    #10 7 months ago

Comments are now closed on this article.