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Why no Valve games on PS3? |

Valve’s Tom Leonard explains why there have been no Valve games on PS3 since The Orange Box;

The PC and the 360 are just more straightforward. We can focus on what we want to do, which is make game experiences, instead of sweating bullets over obscure architectural decisions they make with their platform. […] I didn’t come into this business in the 90s because of some technical fetish. I came in because I wanted to give people experiences that made them have fun.

So is the PS3’s architecture is too complicated to program for? Yes but with the quality titles like uncharted and Killzone 2 on the platform is obvious it can produce quality results. This strikes me more that the developers are too lazy to learn it rather than it being too difficult for them to handle. Valve are a hugely talented company and I just wish they would put the effort into porting their games to PS3. Maybe it isn’t profitable for them as they are not the biggest company out there but surely the PS3 audience is big enough to warrant the risk? Either way as a PS3 and Mac owner this really leaves me in the dark in terms of being able to play any future Valve titles let alone Left 4 Dead.


  • teflon6678

    Completely agree. Its laziness mixed with a lack of market share as an incentive/imperative for Valve to port to the PS3. When in fact being able to get the most out of the Cell CPU will help you when it comes to the X360 and PC, since many threads to few cores go much better than few threads to many cores.

    Also, the PS3 is far more flexible when it comes to multiplayer. On X360 everything has to go through XBL’s closed system, which can only play with the PC if they use MS”s networking software. PS3, by constrast, you can do pretty much whatever you want. The only reason why UT3 isnt cross platform is because the PS3 version runs slower to compensate for the dulled reaction times. But The Agency shows that cross platform gaming is possible.

    Sony definitely made a couple of bad choices in designing their system, and it has ended up a complicated beast, but Valve are so f*cking close minded and stubborn that you cant help but get p*ss*d off with them when they do stupid things like this and L4D2.

    As for playing L4D, you could always use boot camp. BTW, props to you for being a mac user, I am too, always have been, always will be.

  • Mike

    It is laziness, but they could be prompted to make some effort if PS3 had a larger install base. And that isn’t going to happen until a price drop to $299.99

    There is one thing that everyone, including Valve overlooks – they don’t have to port anything themselves that they do not want to. Gearbox software ported Half-Life to PS2. Any team within EA could be assigned the task of porting something like Left 4 Dead to PS3. And given the fact that fall 2008 releases like Mirror’s Edge underperformed across the board, it makes EA look stupid for not getting the hit games onto more systems. Activision does some whacky stuff but you can’t call them stupid – World at War was everywhere on launch day.

    So honestly Valve never has to touch the hardware under any circumstance for their games to appear on it. And with Sony leading the push for digital distribution through console and hand held games, you’d think that would pique Valve’s interest.

    At any rate getting Valve games on a console has never been a terrific idea (there’s been about a hundred updates for TF2 on the PC, how many on 360?) and Left 4 Dead was extremely lean on content. The campaign is worth running through once but it is extremely short (3.5 hours) and Versus mode gets tiring when people jump out of the lobby just because they can’t play as infected to get achievements (by far the best thing about COD is no trophies/achievements in multiplayer). And they’re already coming out with a sequel in November that any reasonable person is pretty disgusted by.

    In the long run I’d be more worried about Half-Life 2 Episode 3 or new Counter-Strike not appearing on PS3. I’m glad I rented L4D on 360 through gamefly instead of buying it on steam. The game is just totally skeletal, and perhaps strangest brand to come from Valve considering how well they tend to support products and not milk things annually.

    Anyway, play Modern Warfare 2 in November along with the rest of the planet!

  • ehandlr

    $%#$%^#% Valve. I’m a little tired of their shenanigans and boasting what I feel are mediocre games to begin with. Sorry if I offended any half life fans.

  • Darrin

    (I removed separate post on same issue)

    This isn’t laziness at all.

    Insomniac is independent and prefers PlayStation, they develop exclusively on PlayStation, but they aren’t obnoxious jerks that spew venom on the competition. Valve is independent and prefers Microsoft and isn’t quite so cool about it and respectful of others opinions.

    Developers (particularly the programmers) are opinionated: OS wars, language wars, web framework wars, vi vs emacs, etc… 360 vs PS3 is just another contentious issue like that.

  • JimmyStewart

    I’ve got to agree with Darrin on this. I don’t think it’s anything to do with being lazy. I think more over Valve has and continues to play by their own rules. I’m not a huge fan of them myself, but they like to come out and do things their way even when it might not seem like a best idea to the rest of us initially. I know the idea of forcing gamers to log in on the internet in order to play Half-Life 2 through Steam on the PC was a HUGE ordeal at the time. But now years later, Steam has become a much bigger presence. Steam is arguably the future of gaming on the PC.

    Valve isn’t the first group (probably not the last group either) to claim the PS3 is harder to program for. It makes sense to me. They came into the business making PC games on Windows. The 360 is supposedly very similar for developers. So for them, it’s an easy transition. If it’s true that it’s that much harder to develop for the PS3, put yourself in their position. Do you take man hours away from making your games better to focus on making them available on all platforms? And then where do you stop? Should they be forced to get these games onto the Wii as well? The DS? It already takes Valve ages to ship most of their games with L4D 2 a shocking exception (HL Ep 3 anyone?). As much as I personally dislike the Valve games, I have to admit they have the midas touch. Everything they put out is an instant critical darling. So really, who are we to second judge them when it comes to making games. Hard to imagine a group of lazy people could pull that off if you ask me.

    But I will say, I do wish you guys could get to the games you want to play. I really hope that we continue to see exclusives switch to multiplatform titles. Hopefully it would stop all this petty fighting over whose console is 733t. It’s all about the games.

  • matt

    Valve is a PC developer. 360 is basically the same and they make it available to that platform. That’s it. If the 360 was as different from the PC as the PS3 then they wouldn’t get the games either.

    I think the major factor is many PS3 owners are also PC gamers. Given the choice people go PC over console. The market isn’t large enough to port the games. I also don’t think Valve would just turn there game over to someone else. They still want the quality to be high (Orange Box didn’t go so well)

  • Trieloth

    Pfft I have played L4D (i have a 360) and thats a big pile of hyped up ****. I have zero desire to play valve games. Half life 2 was good for its time but not anymore.

  • riZe-

    ms prolly pays them to stay. I would stay too if I got paid a crapload from ms.

  • Darrin

    Stewart, we both agree it’s definitely not laziness, and clearly the PC is more technically similar to the 360 than the PS3, but beyond that we disagree.

    The technical issues are not significant by themselves. They are merely justifications used to rationalize Valve’s set-in-stone religious preferences on the platform wars debate.