Skip to main content

Sony’s Yoshida: The Last Guardian pushed the PS3 to its breaking point

yoshida last guardian ps3 limitations technical header
Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida opened up regarding the troubled development of Team ICO’s The Last Guardian in a recent Eurogamer interview, revealing that hardware limitations drove the decision to delay the game and revive it for the PlayStation 4.

Blaming the Ico and Shadow of the Colossus follow-up’s years-long delay on “technical issues,” Yoshida claims that the PlayStation 3 was incapable of delivering director Fumito Ueda’s creative vision.

“Because of the technical difficulty, running the game at [an acceptable] frame-rate required that the team look to compromise some features – the number of characters that Ueda-san wanted to do – if we were to continue on PS3,” Yoshida stated. “But because we moved to PS4, now he can make what he wanted. So people say it looks like the same game – there’s a reason!”

Yoshida revealed that previously released footage of The Last Guardian was altered in order to create the appearance of a smooth framerate, as the game in its original state on the PlayStation 3 was actually much slower.

“The trailer that we showed at E3 2009 was speeded up,” Yoshida said. “It was from the development system but we took it frame by frame and made it run smoothly.”

Yoshida additionally dismissed rumors suggesting that PlayStation 4 hardware architect Mark Cerny had joined the project as a replacement for director Ueda. While Cerny’s team contributed to the PS4 porting process, Ueda continues to work on The Last Guardian in his original role, but now as an independent contractor at studio Gen Design.

“Gen Design is a small studio created by [Jinji] Horagai-san, he’s the lead programmer of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus,” Yoshida notes. “Ueda-san is independent. So Ueda-san and Gen Design and Japan Studios are three groups working as one team. Gen Designs guys include some lead animators from Shadow of the Colossus and some character designers, so that veteran team creates lots of the creative side of content for the Japan Studio team to implement. Ueda-san does the overall direction of the game design, art direction and animation.

Yoshida explained that a small development staff and low costs allowed production of The Last Guardian to continue years after its initial announcement.

“The team is much smaller,” Yoshida said. “Teams in Japan are much smaller in general than teams in the US and Europe… [Guerrilla Games’ upcoming action-RPG] Horizon is a much bigger budget title than The Last Guardian! It’s not so small, it’s much bigger than Ico or Shadow of the Colossus, but it’s not a US or European-style budget.”

The Last Guardian will launch as a PlayStation 4 exclusive in 2016.

Editors' Recommendations

Danny Cowan
Danny’s passion for video games was ignited upon his first encounter with Nintendo’s Duck Hunt, and years later, he still…
Nintendo and Microsoft say they’re all-in on E3 after Sony bows out of 2019 event
nintendo vr reggie fils aime

Phil Spencer

Shortly after Sony made an unprecedented move by announcing it will skip E3 2019, the PlayStation's two largest competitors reaffirmed their commitment to the annual trade expo. Microsoft and Nintendo will still take part in E3 2019, and each studio sounds very excited about the June event.

Read more
Sony says its E3 press conference will focus in on four games

THE LAST OF US 2 Official Trailer (2018) PS4

E3 is now just a month away, and we're always excited to watch Sony's PlayStation conference, as it typically features a huge number of game announcements. This year, however, things will be a little bit different, as Sony will focus on four already-announced games during the show.

Read more
Here’s how to find a ‘Last Guardian’ Easter egg in ‘Shadow of the Colossus’ on PS4
shadow of the colossus boon of the nomad last guardian easter egg

Sony's PlayStation 4 remake of Shadow of the Colossus has added a few things to a game that was originally released way back in 2005. That includes one hidden gem that references its creators' more recent title, The Last Guardian.

The Last Guardian came out in 2016, marking the third title from Sony's SIE Japan Studio that make up a roughly related series. It started with ICO on PlayStation 2 in 2001, which was followed up by the original release of Shadow of the Colossus in 2005. The Last Guardian mixes ideas from the first two games -- players are paired with a giant feathered creature named Trico and have to work together to make their way through the game.

Read more