The 7th generation of consoles was a rough one for Sony. The PlayStation 3 launched six months after Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and was immediately criticised for being incredibly expensive. Sony eventually learned its lesson, making the PS3 cheaper, but developers still have nightmares over the console’s hard-to-use hardware, including the director of Dragon’s Dogma.
Due to complications with the PS3, many developers focused on Xbox 360 games and simply ported them to Sony’s console. Granted, porting games to a console is no easy task but you would rarely see a 7th generation game optimized for the PS3, at least in the early days.
Sony has since made its technology easier to handle for developers, hence the massive success of the PS4 and PS5. Dragon’s Dogma eventually made its way to stronger systems like the PS4 and Xbox One but it wasn’t always this easy for the JRPG.
In an interview with Bokeh Game Studio (transcribed by VGC), Dragon’s Dogma and Devil May Cry Director Hideaki Itsuno talked about struggling with PlayStation 3 hardware. When making Devil May Cry 4, Itsuno learned the hard way that developing for the PS3 wasn’t going to be easy.
“It was strange with the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 that we could work with so many semi-transparent layers. We could just pile them up to make visual effects, said Itsuno. “On the contrary, we couldn’t do this from the PlayStation 3 onwards. Everybody struggled during that generation. We really felt let down.”
"For five years, all we had done was work with semi-transparent layers to make games look cool on the PlayStation 2. Once on PlayStation 3, we couldn’t even think of that technique. I think [developers] all over the world struggled,” Itsuno continued.
Obviously, things are better now on the PlayStation side. After failing so hard with the PS3, Sony has made development for PS4 and PS5 a treat for developers trouble.
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Dragon’s Dogma received positive reviews when it was released on PS3 and Xbox 360. The re-release, Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen, did just as well on PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch. Netflix also made an anime based on the Capcom property and a sequel to the game is underway.