PlanetSide 2 is coming to PlayStation 4 by the end of the year, albeit only for beta testing.
Sony announced a console version of its popular free-to-play massively multiplayer first-person shooter back in June 2013, but there hasn’t been a lot of news on it lately. So it’s interesting to hear creative director Matt Higby say that a beta test for PlanetSide 2’s large-scale space battles will hit PS4 in 2014. It’s good news for developer Sony Online Entertainment, which is hoping the game’s micro-transactions convert into significant revenue dollars.
Higby told Eurogamer that the desire to make PlanetSide 2 feel like a tailored console experience, instead of a PC port, is what’s delayed its release.
“It’s taken us quite a long time to re-jigger our user interface and our controls,” he said. “There’s a lot that needs to get done. But our goal is, at the end of the day, to have our launch on the PS4 feel like a great PS4 native console game. Not just a PC port. So it’s taking a while.”
The game is looking great on PS4, though, according to Higby, and Sony Online Entertainment is aiming for 1080p resolution on consoles. It’s also shooting to run at 60 frames-per-second, which is seen as the gold standard for today’s triple-A titles.
“Generally speaking, the client is running at well over 60fps,” said Higby. “In a really big fight it gets bogged down. That’s the bottleneck we’re chasing down.”
But Higby warned that the ultimate goal is running at a solid frame-rate, which may mean dropping below 60fps: “If we go to 30, it’ll be because we want to maintain a completely solid 30fps. But that’s the optimization we’re working on right now. And we’re still grinding on it.”
Regardless of frame-rate, Higby said the game is looking great on console, comparing favorably with PC and using the same ultra textures, full particle effects, shadows and lighting.
“From a graphical fidelity perspective, I think people will be very impressed with what they see on the PS4,” he said. “That’s always one of those things people are sceptical about. I see every time we post an article like this I always get called out: ‘Haha, it’s bullshit that he’s saying it’s going to look as good.’ It really does.”
But console gamers won’t be able to test themselves against their PC counterparts as there won’t be any cross-platform play. That has to do with the extra QA that updates need to go through on PS4, and it’s also to stop people bringing their existing characters across to console.
“People don’t necessarily want to be able to take a character you’ve spent money on on the PC and bring that character onto the PS4 without having spent money on the PS4,” said Higby.