Uncharted 2: Among Thieves continues to be a run away hit for Sony and Naughty Dog. In an interview with Game Trailers, Amy Hennig comments on many aspects of what makes the game so unique, notably the processing power and storage of the PS3.
Along with revamping the games engine and the graphics engine the Blu-ray storage was one of the crucial factors allowing the game to have such a large scale. The storage capability (presumably a BD-25) allowed the designers to include more data than would have been possible otherwise (even though she states that with all that space it was still a challenge).
One of the key aspects however is the processing power of the PS3. Amy stated that initially the SPU’s inside their respective SPE’s were running about 30% capacity. This was due to more working being done by the PPE (and possibly the RSX) and less by the SPU’s. Now however more work is being done by the SPU’s themselves which are primarily designed for heavy number crunching but can process other types of data as well (which is inline with tip1 for Cell/BE best practices) and the percentage of usage has been “maxed out” which is assumed to be 100% (although she didn’t actually state a hard number). This allows the PPE to focus on rich backgrounds, other processing elements and to route data to the SPE’s. No mention of the RSX was made at all, so I am curious as how that is being integrated in to the programming model, maybe at some point I can interview Amy and ask her some questions about that. Click on the image below which will take you to the interview. To hear her tech related comments, fast forward to about 3:46.
It’s safe to say we are looking possibly at our first second generation PS3 title. As more and more developers become familiar with the Cell BE we can expect more good things on the PS3 console in the future. Having played the multiplayer demo, the sheer number of things happening on the screen at any given time and the level of detail associated with them is quite impressive.