Valve Shuts out "Too Complicated" PS3

At E3 while checking out Left 4 Dead 2, Loot Ninja had a chance to talk to a few of the game's developers at Valve. Amongst questions about the game, they snuck in a bit asking why Valve won't develop for the PS3. It's not because they're a small studio, it's because the PS3 is too complex.

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Mindboggle3271d ago

Too Complicated = Too Lazy to learn

Jamegohanssj53271d ago

Haven't I heard this from Valve already? It's nothing new. Let's move on here. By the way I hope they don't think that over time developing games are going to continue to be just straight forward. Them just attempting to develop a PS3 game will introduce them to the future of developing. I don't like Valve games to be honest. I've never seen what's the big fuss aboot them to be honest. The only game they've done that's decent is Team Fortress 2. Half Life and Portal are overrated in my opinion.


40cal3271d ago

Just makes themselves sound and look stupid with comments like this. We don't have the capacity to learn something new is all this says to me.

JOLLY13271d ago

Then they make themselves look brilliant with their games.

menoyou3271d ago

Ok, I am boycotting Valve. This is just unacceptable.

saggyscrote3271d ago

They make themselves look very very silly

3271d ago
Doctor_Doom3271d ago (Edited 3271d ago )

We know that L4D don't the advantage over KZ2 or R2 in the graphic side but, I'm sure that it has a good multiplayer

hay3271d ago

From Valve's site:

"Today, Valve is composed of just over 160 of the industry's best artists, programmers, and writers."

So... If they're the best, comparing all the indie devs and pretty much everyone that could make a game for a PS3, they must be godlike.

raztad3271d ago (Edited 3271d ago )


Valve is so funny. They produce high quality games but the fat dude over there is too lazy to learn something else. What Im saying? they are too lazy to update their ageing Source engine. Why to bother with the PS3, it seems they are making good business with MS. Sony has Insomniac and other guys making exclusive games for it. Let Valve do its stuff.


I was one of those 1K. Btw, that is a way low number. It's fat dude's fault. He has been bashing the ps3 constanly and the EA port wasnt up to standard.

irish-leprecaun3271d ago

im pissed with ea for not doing a second hand port of their games!! for the v. few ps3 owners that care! the orange box only sold about 1000,00 on ps3

3271d ago
kwyjibo3271d ago

"Too Complicated = Too Lazy to learn".

No, "too complicated = too complicated". It's not laziness, the developers and designers are hard at work every f-cking day. Their priorities just happen to be different to your none-working, none-developing ones.

"Them just attempting to develop a PS3 game will introduce them to the future of developing."

Really? The "future of developing" is some weird bespoke cell architecture is it? It's about wasting time getting to know the ins and outs of a system with the lowest install base in the Western hemisphere is it?

No, the "future of developing" is about easy access to tools, high quality support, games as a service, and rapid prototyping. The "next generation", whenever that's going to hit, is also going to be symmetrical multicore processing, like this generation - because that's the way that PCs will continue to lead.

stevenhiggster3271d ago

How do they even know it is too complicated? They passed development duties for the Orange Box on PS3 to EA!

Anyhow HL2 is still in my opinion the best FPS ever but Valve are clearly lazy/stupid.

RememberThe3573271d ago

That is actually funny. How is he really going to say that? He doesn't need to learn the architecture, his programmers do. Stop b*tching and let them get their hands dirty.

It's funny that a lot of people throw out that "lazy dev" rhetoric, cuz this is basically it in a nut shell.

This is going to be used by fanboys for a long time to come.


Alvadr3271d ago

They should rename the article . "Valve Says NO to Money"

Jamegohanssj53271d ago

I'd like my bubble back. Please and thank you.


ultimolu3271d ago


Try telling that to Guerrilla Games, Naughty Dog, Tecmo, and all those developers out there who worked hard to understand the PS3's infrastructure and are now delivering some kick ass games.

I don't hate Valve but they're full of it.

Kaneda3271d ago

hmm.. I wonder if they spent any real time working on L4D2 or just change a few things and just labeled #2.. and rip-off gamers!

kwyjibo3271d ago

I'm pretty sure if Sony threw bucketfulls of money at Valve, a la Guerilla - that they'd manage a PS3 port. You could just as well ask why those guys don't release PC ports.

That said, I'd probably have even more respect for Valve had they just said, "Sony will need to pay us x amount for a port".

The "lazy devs" argument that I refuted above, and yet still repeated ad infinitum by guys like RememberThe357. Take a look at all the content updates Valve have been putting out, and the ongoing development of Steam. If there's one thing they're not, then it's lazy.

Really, what do you think they're doing now? They're hard at work, but I'm sure you'll just throw in a lazy "Gabe's eating" quip to throw everyone off your lack of real argument.

3271d ago
IdleLeeSiuLung3271d ago (Edited 3271d ago )

You can blame it on the developers or you can take your fanboy goggles off and see the truth:

"We don't provide the 'easy to program for' console that (developers) want, because 'easy to program for' means that anybody will be able to take advantage of pretty much what the hardware can do, so then the question is, what do you do for the rest of the nine-and-a-half years?" --Kaz Hirai, CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment

"So it's a kind of--I wouldn't say a double-edged sword--but it's hard to program for," Hirai continued, "and a lot of people see the negatives of it, but if you flip that around, it means the hardware has a lot more to offer."

"..., due to its architecture and limited support offered by the compiler, you can't expect to exploit this potential by just recompiling your current applications. Applications must be radically redesigned in terms of computation and data transfers. Computational bottlenecks must often be analyzed and addressed manually, and data transfers must be properly orchestrated in order to hide their latency completely under the computational delays." --Dr. Dobbs Journal, a magazine for programmers

Let me see, we have:

- developers complaining
- the ceo of the company making the PS3 hardware official state the difficulty level
- magazines investigating the programming model suggesting it is difficult

but hey, everybody that says so must be lying. It is lazy developers and the problem is non-existant! /sarcasm

Nobody said it isn't powerful, it just takes a hell lot of more work to squeeze that power out of a niche architecture.

ultimolu3271d ago (Edited 3271d ago )

kwyjibo: I could care less about Gabe's weight. Doesn't concern me as a person. He can do whatever he wants with his body. I'm not implying that they're lazy but they are full of it.

IdleLeeSiuLung: And I could find just as many articles showing that other devs don't believe the PS3 is hard to develop for but I will only list two.




The PS3 is not hard to develop for *if* developers put their minds to it and learn new technology. How could they call themselves developers when they're not even willing to take the next step in developing games? Bloody hell, stop sticking with the old stuff and try new things.

Oh, and look what I found here.

Oh dear, a developer says that the PS3 is not hard to develop for, it just has to be learned?

Ya don't say!

vhero3271d ago

OMG talk about admitting how lazy you are!

JasonPC360PS3Wii3271d ago

This isn't the first time Valve has said this, and since Valve does nothing but make AAA award winning games everytime, these words are powerfull. This also isn't the first time Sony fans have logged onto all their multi accounts to do rage drive by disagree's.

kwyjibo3271d ago

The Gabe weight thing wasn't really directed at you - rather at the general lack of coherent arguments from others on that side of the fence.

Valve are willing to try new things, it just so happens that those new things don't coincide with the developing for the PS3.

Nineball21123271d ago

That's right Valve... just let someone else do it.

3271d ago
IdleLeeSiuLung3271d ago (Edited 3271d ago )

Let's disssect that shall we straight from your links:

"It's wrong to say it's harder to code on the PlayStation 3, it's just something that needs to be **learned***," said Yann Le Tensorer,

"When we first got our hands on the hardware it took us a while to get back into the flow of working with Sony, because they way they do things is a little different," he explained. -- Yosuke Hayashi

The PS3 is not hard to develop for *if* developers put their minds to it and learn new technology. -Capcom

In all instances, developers are saying at a minimum it is different from standard programming practice. To me that is just a difference of one developer taking a positive attitude towards changes as opposed to another. As Hayashi said, difficulty is relative.

You can say one b!tches more than the other, but it doesn't exclude the fact that the Cell architecture is very different and new which means it is inherently is less understood making it more difficult to program for. Sony chose this approach, and as I said even the freaken CEO is saying it is a b!tch to program for!

To me that is overwhelming proof.

By the way, once you learn something it is no longer hard. It is the process of learning that is difficult....

ChampIDC3271d ago

Why can't you people realize that Valve is and always will be a PC developer first and foremost? The only reason anything of their is on the 360 is because the 360 practically is a PC.

Stop complaining and just live with the truth. Crying and boycotting won't change anything. Valve's formula has been working for them for over a decade, and I can't see them changing now.

ultimolu3271d ago

Stop forming excuses for Valve. Two years ago you could have said that yes...the PS3 was hard to develop for but in this day and age, things are simmering down.

How does Valve still say this after two years?

How could they call themselves developers if they're not willing to learn?

You can dissect whatever you want but my point still stands.

IdleLeeSiuLung3271d ago (Edited 3271d ago )

You are right as times go by new things are old and common knowledge. However, instead of arguing with me you should just read that Dr. Dobbs Journal that details with code examples of why the Cell is harder.

Among other things, it shows you a factor of 20 increase in performance in certain type of calculations, in exchange for an "explosion" in code complexity. In the same example they state:

"While the algorithm in Listing One [code for a traditional Pentium IV] fits in 60 lines of source, our final algorithm on the Cell measures 1200 lines of code. "

Oddly enough, that is also a factor of 20 in code bloat. Things like this makes it hard to argue that the cell is more complex and difficult to program for. Keep in mind then that this isn't just about difficulty, but resources. How much longer does it take a person to debug 60 lines of code as opposed 1200? What about writing it or figuring out how to write it?

The power vs. resource is no longer a good value proposition to developers which we also seem to see as only first/second party developers take advantage of the Cell architecture that usually take their time doing so. Impressive result yes, but resource management, probably not.

RKRigney3271d ago

I didn't see "too complicated" anywhere in that quote. You people are idiots. "nernerner Left 4 Dead looks like a PS2 game nerner." WTF? What retard would agree with that?

Seraphim3271d ago

I'll agree with that...

However, how long and complicated was it to originally develop the Source engine that ran HL2? If I recall that game took half a decade+ to develop. Now all the sudden because it's not simple to continue using a dated engine and taking to the PS3 they don't want to develop because it's too complicated? Sounds like a lame excuse to me. If they were real coders they'd take the challenge and prove they're one of the worlds best. ;)

I'll have to agree with others who have said Valve is just lazy. They created this great engine years ago but now it's dated. They released L4D last year that was clearly dated, by looks, and was really half a game, imho. The campaign was nothing at all, an arcade game to suck up quarters but not a stand alone $60 title. A lot of people loved the online and can kinda see why. but personally I thought it was pretty weak and very uninteresting. Right now, to me, I see Valve doing nothing more than milking the momentum they've built in recent years and pumping out half ass games, or game (L4D) until sales dwindle. Then maybe they'll begin work on a new engine that puts everything to shame. Or maybe ole Twinkie Gabe will just call it quits with the fortune he's amassed from blind loyalists...

Milky Joe3271d ago

Sorry, but how can anyone defend Valve over this? They make great games, sure. I really like TF2 and can see why people like Half Life, even if I didn't enjoy it as much as some. Portal was a lot of fun as well.

But when they say that the PS3 is TOO complicated, you just can't justify the claim. Back when the PS3 was new and dev teams were working on their first PS3 games, these comments could've been believable. Although they really layered on the hatred (saying things like PS3 is a waste of everyone's time etc.), you caould at least say that they sort of had a point.

Now though, with games like COD4 (identical on both platforms and similar style game to the ones that Valve makes), and with the PS3 exclusives we've seen, you just shouldn' be able to get away with saying that it's TOO complicated. Because everyone else seems to be getting along just fine with it. Complicated? Yes. Very complicated? Probably. TOO complicated? Not according to every other major developer on Earth, it isn't.

Valve should've bitten the bullet with everyone else back when the PS3 was introduced and used the time to get their heads round it. Instead they told everyone that it was a waste of time and that they wouldn't work on it and now it's too late. The excuse that it's Too complicated just isn't valid any more. Infinity Ward did a superb job with COD4, getting it to run smoothly on the PS3. It would've been difficult, but they did it. And now that they have got over the big hurdle and have a strong engine that runs on PS3, MW2 will be much simpler. This is the approach Valve should've taken. Instead, they stuck with Source and turned their back on millions of PS3 owners in the process.

To reiterate, Valve make good games, they were just too stubborn at a time when everyone else was getting their heads down and now it's too late for them.

rockleex3271d ago (Edited 3271d ago )

Valve can do whatever they want to do.

But, that doesn't change the fact that they themselves admitted they don't want to learn how to program for the Cell.

Does it matter that they don't want to learn? Not really, they have different priorities than other devs. Could they potentially break new ground if they learn how to efficiently program for the Cell? Probably.

Just look at what Guerrilla Games accomplished with Killzone 2: differed rendering, over 100 different light sources at the same time, the most advanced and dynamic post processing effects ever seen, etc. Not only that, they're currently working on getting Radiosity to work on the PS3... O_O

But just think about it, Guerrilla Games had just started making games after the PS2 came out and look how much they accomplished with the PS3. Now just imagine a company as talented as Valve trying to break new grounds with the PS3!

That being said, not all companies try or want to break new ground. Most companies just want to make great games.

Jinxstar3271d ago

@1.10 - "valve have every rite not to develope ps3 but
im pissed with ea for not doing a second hand port of their games!! for the v. few ps3 owners that care! the orange box only sold about 1000,00 on ps3"

Maybe it was such an incredibly bad port done by a company other than valve with too many other good games competing with it out for the system people decided not to buy it... thats what happened to me. That and I am a PC gamer and anyone who wants to play a quality valve game should get it on PC anyway... Even though I had no idea how much of a headache it would give me(The engine they use really messes up my head)... Kinda sucks

Ju3271d ago


You take this 60 vs. 1200 line and want to generalize on it.

Well, it is not that trivial, I would guess. What you'd do in such a case is already there in those 60 lines.

In case of a testing environment you'd have to run n test case through those 60 lines and you run n test cases through those 1200 lines.

Now, the reason why the CELL code is 1200 line is, because it most likely contains explicit code for each use case, thus allows you to use unit testing for each section of those 1200 lines. That said, the testing can actually be easier, because you can isolate bugs for certain use cases which will not affect other parts. Its more like a loop unrolling. Sure, this takes time, but it makes code actually more modular then a condensed chunk of code which needs to be tested against a various cases.

It requires more thought into doing that "unrolling", and it also is not a requirement. Your reference does not imply, those 60 lines can't run on the CELL with the same performance as the P5, it just says, if you want to achieve 20x performance increase, you need to invest in SW technology and algorithms.

GWAVE3271d ago

Well, I don't blame them for saying this! Valve hasn't made anything cutting-edge (in graphics, physics, or anything else) since the first Half-Life 2, so I can imagine that when they take one look at the likes of Killzone 2 and Uncharted, it WOULD be "too complicated" to compete with those titles.

marinelife93271d ago

Things Valve developers will never accomplish.

Beat a Ninja Gaiden Game

Bench press 225 lbs

Get the phone number of the hot girl who's hanging out with her friends.

sarshelyam3271d ago

"We don't have the capacity to learn something new is all this says to me."

EXACTLY!!! Damn Valve and their outward laziness. I mean seriously, how can anyone look at this and think otherwise. Whining about having a different architecture than what you're familiar with. Imagine if they took the time AND found out they could do more...what would happen to Mr.Newell? He might just explode from the idiocy he exuded and turned into what we know as Valve.

sorceror1713271d ago

@IdleLeeSiuLung - Kaz was really stupid to phrase things the way he did. He was practically begging to be misinterpreted.

Yes, developing for the Cell is very different - in some ways - than developing for the PC or the 360. And that definitely makes things harder. What he was trying to convey is that Sony prioritized power over simplicity of development. It's not that they tried to make developing for the PS3 hard, it's just that when given a choice between more power or easier development, power tended to win.

Now, that may have been a bad choice. But it's not the choice you seem to be implying that they made - and that those stupid comments sure make it sound like they made. (We may actually be in violent agreement here, but it's hard to tell.)

Sure, Valve doesn't owe Sony or PS3 owners anything. They can decide that the cost of coming up with new designs and development models outweighs the benefits of selling on the PS3 - and heck, they know their business and programmers better than I do. They may be right. But development models and techniques have been developed in the last few years - and it's clearly possible to do some pretty impressive things with the PS3. It'd kind of be nice if Valve maybe re-evaluated based on the current state of the art rather than what was current three years ago.

Syronicus3271d ago

Why Valve, why come off as being reluctant to work with new and future proof hardware? Why not make a game that uses something more advanced than the Source Engine? Come on Valve, get your hands dirty and make the PS3 a game that shines.

3271d ago
cmrbe3271d ago

they are not Lazy. Valve just see the PS3 as a threat. Thats it. PS3 promotes the cell which Valve sees as threat.

IdleLeeSiuLung3271d ago (Edited 3271d ago )

I didn't intend it to generalize the statement, but rather to illustrate a point that the cell's architecture can quickly change your code extremely complex for sometimes the simplest things.

Case in point this is a breadth first search (BFS) nothing complicated and very commonly used (in fact you learn this in the introductory CS course at UCB and in most other schools the datastructure class). This is extremely easy to implement and in my opinion shouldn't take 600 lines of code let alone 1200 even if you parallelize it as in this case!

You can always do smart software engineering to ease the process, but it is still vastly more complex to debug no matter what you do.

I can't comment on if you used the exact code for the Pentium 4 (I'm assuming you meant 4 and not 5) for the Cell, but I would venture to guess it would run slower. Otherwise you would have a damn great processor if it has all the x86 advantages combined with the Cell advantages with none of the x86 disadvantages at the cost of the chip.

I agree, those were some stupid comments coming from an executive. I assumed that nobody intentionally complicates things (although it darn sounds like it).

Yeah, Valve knows their programmers/business best and it is clear the Cell have some nice advantages if you invest the time.

I just find it silly that many of these non-programmers call out developers as lazy with no knowledge let alone first hand experience. The Cell is certainly impressive in some areas, but it is a double edged sword. It's power doesn't come free.

Rainstorm813271d ago

What a joke of a dev company, Half life was never my cup of tea but I liked Team fortress and Portal. But L4D was one of the worst looking games i've seen for console and L4D2 looks to follow suit. (20.000 agree)

Valve is a PC dev studio nothing more nothing less.

When it comes to consoles both systems have far more talented devs than Valve. (Bungie, Guerilla Games)

solar3271d ago (Edited 3271d ago )

why learn a "complicated" system from scratch, put all those resources into developing, for a console? its all about MONEY. stick with what you know, make money fast, make Half Life 3. thank you and good night! Half Life > all.

and Bubble for you up there Idle. great comment.

Sarcasm3271d ago

They don't want to learn the PS3. Fine. But they need to ditch that old source engine and make a new one already.

Don't tell me they're still going to use it for Episode 3, which would really be a shame.

They're stuck in the early 2000's it seems.

MaximusPrime3271d ago

totally spot on Mindboggle

littletad3271d ago

So what? Valve is biased in who they develop for and they aren't being coy about it. Their blunt and to the point. There are many developers who develop for a specific platform and they have their reasons. I don't see Xbox fans whining that Insomniac is only making games for the ps3. I only see ps3 fans complain about this. It's their choice to develop for whichever system they want, and OUR choice to buy their game or not.

Montrealien3271d ago

Only these kinds of "useless" stories matter to N4G users that claim to be gamers....lulz

popup3271d ago

Being the number one on a torrent site is not good valve!

Real Gambler3271d ago

Dual core? Are you crazy, I've been programming one core all my life, forget it.
Hmmm, OpenGL, too complicated, use old routines
DirectX, nah, too complicated too.
Shaders? Nah, I don't want to learn new stuff.
No way I'm programming for SLI graphic cards... Are you kidding me? TWO GPUS???

Dang, Apple switched processors from Motorola, to PPC, to Intel, you name it, and still their O.S. is running great and look the same!

Windows can work with zillions of different graphic hardware, soundcards, motherboards, etc.

Dang if all those programmers would have said: Ouch, new hardware, too complicated, I'm not learning that, then we would still be using 8086 8 bit processors, and black and white screen with 80 letters across.

Valve can do whatever they want. If they don't want to learn new hardware, it's their choice. Sure enough though, I'm VERY glad that most devs are not like them. I love my games in color, thank you very much. And if possible, not just sprites!

Jaces3271d ago

Yea, these other developers must be cheating or something cause I don't know how they make all these great games on such a complicated piece of junk.


njr3271d ago

This all makes sense. "Its too complicated to develop on the PS3." "Its too big to be DLC.", Valve gets less respect everyday.

PistolPumptMonk3271d ago

I bet every member of Insomniac is dying laughing at this complete bs excuse to cover up laziness. Insomniac produces an amazing game every year. Seem like that wouldn't be possible if it was so complicated now would it?

The Mikester3271d ago

(wow Too Complicated = Too Lazy to learn)
so true man. the PS3 is hard to figure out but come on man get some help or something from the Sony Company.
god they're stupid....

No Way3271d ago (Edited 3271d ago )

Why are they to lazy? Cause they don't want to develop for every console?
I guess Insomniac is lazy, too? Because, they develop only for the PlayStation.

Let Valve develop solely for x360 and let Insomniac develop solely for PS3.
If you're going to complain about one company, don't exclude another..

Yipee Bog3271d ago

i didnt get the first one, maybe this will be a chance to get into the franchise. would suck if i already had the first though

jessupj3271d ago

Do you see insomniac whinging 'the 360 is too complicated to develp for'? Well do you?

No you bloody well don't, so please don't give me that excuse.

andron6663270d ago

Half-Life is one of my favorite games, but Valve has really fallen in respect with me over their anti PS3 campaign.

It's probably to appease MS and that leaves a sour taste in my mouth...

Chrisny853270d ago

i cant believe i stuck up for valve making lfd2...

its obvious they dont know what they are doing

noobs lol

Tiberium3270d ago

"Ok, I am boycotting Valve. This is just unacceptable."

wait a second. Sony fans just can't be happy. They got fallout 3 and it was a crappy version without any DLC. It's obvious they will complain no matter what valve does. So if you want you want to play it get the PC version.

No Way3270d ago

Fair enough. They do not. Okay, then, what is their reasoning?
Because they have a good relationship with Sony?
And? Valve has a good relationship with MS..
So, leave Valve alone, and let them develop for whoever they want..

+ Show (62) more repliesLast reply 3270d ago

Excuses excuses.

It's a bit weird how they're the only ones STILL saying this bullcrap.

Just take the so called "Complex" challenge or you might aswell not make games at all.

TheHater3271d ago

Actually they are not they only ones saying that. The Developers of The Wheelman also claim the PS3 is too difficult to program for. But the Wheelman sucked major balls. Maybe developers should focus more on their game and not b!tch about the PS3 is hard to program for.

MegaMohsi3271d ago

Major developers have been able to develop successfully for the PS3, Valve seems to be the only one not even giving the PS3 and its 23 million+ install base a second look. Capcom, Konami, Bethesda, Square, Epic, just to name a few have developed/currently developing PS3 games.

Ju3271d ago

Wheelman...that's kind of ironic, because they use the UE3 which is actually identical between all the platforms.

Pennywise3271d ago

So I guess being they are the only devs still crying, that makes them a bit retarded?

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 3271d ago
raztad3271d ago

More? in what sense? in any case the 360/pc are getting the games, not matter what. Actually is less games for the Ps3.

I hope when the inevitable HL3 is announced, Valve announces a new engine. I dont care if EA makes the port. Ironically enough EA has been pretty solid at doing PS3 games.

RememberThe3573271d ago

But it's nothing to jump up and down for. I personally thought Left 4 Dead got old really quickly. Half-Life is the best shooter series ever, so I definitely give them props for that, lol but that's two games.