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Third party dismisses Sony's claims to better developer support

A former third-party developer has described the notion that Sony has better developer relations than Microsoft "laughable".

"I'd say any comment by Sony that they have better developer relations or fewer insane hurdles is laughable," the former Vivendi staffer told IndustryGamers in response to comments by Sony's Chris Lewis praising the company's developer relations over Microsoft's.

"Things may have changed, but it still seems pretty funny to me that they could possibly try to call themselves always the better chance for small developers to get in, or some sort of indy safe-haven."

The anonymous source said Sony's technical requirements checklist and technical certification requirements for both PS2 and PlayStation 3 were "so much worse than anything needed for the Xbox 360" and inconsistent across Sony's three major territorial offices.

"I heard a lot of horror stories about the PS3 dev tools, and our launch-title devs got absolutely no support from Sony itself when they needed it - up to and including Sony calling one of our developers liars when we said their networking code wasn't working for our game, and it was a problem with their system," the source continued.

"In contrast, the Xbox tools and support were always excellent."

The source said Xbox documentation and requirements "were much easier to read, understand, implement, and tes", "much more lenient about what was acceptable in a lot check", and that Microsoft was willing to make exceptions.

"I've heard Sony has greatly improved their tools support for development and testing," the source grudgingly conceded, "Though I believe they're still lagging behind what the Xbox 360 had available at launch.

"I don't recall Sony PS3 Dev Kits being cheap - our test boxes were something like $10,000 each, and the actual development kits were significantly more - or anything like the Developer Net attached to XBLA allowing anyone to just jump into development with a low overhead cost," said the source.

Dyer's comments were themselves a response to European Xbox chief Chris Lewis standing by eyebrow-raising publishing guidelines.

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