While the PlayStation 3 is right up there with (if not in front of) the Xbox 360 in terms of power and performance, there is a serious dearth of good games for the console. And even though the Xbox 360 has been out since 2005, it seems that there have always been enough good games to keep Xboxers interested.
It's generally been assumed that the PlayStation 3, while being an especially powerful machine, is rather hard to make games for. And while no high profile programmers have actually come out and said this, a new report appears to confirm what everyone already thought to be the case.
The report by Dr. Dobb's software journal says that the architecture of the PlayStation 3's cell processor is much harder, and a lot more expensive to program for than the Xbox 360.
"Software that exploits the Cell's potential requires a development effort significantly greater than traditional platforms," says the report. This makes games developers and publishers more wary of PS3 projects.
Cost and complexity
Games site GamePro got in touch with Sony about the issue. It was told: "Since PS3's Cell processor allows more features - better physics, more complex graphical processing, lighting or sound - there is inevitably going to be more cost in supporting those extra features.
"It's not that PS3 is harder to write for, it's just that you can do more with it. If a game starts life on PS3, then man-hours per feature or costs related to asset production are comparable with industry norms."
Game developers can't even manage their costs by porting Xbox 360 games to the PS3. This is because the PS3's Cell processor is so radically different to everything else, the report says.
And that's one reason why there are not too many great games out for the PS3 yet.