PS3 Harder To Develop For ...Yeah, If You Go Multiplatform
I'm sorry, I must've missed something. Or rather, others missed something.
Everyone is freaking out over what Vigil game director Marvin Donald told Eurogamer in regards to the PlayStation 3 being "a pain in the ass to work on." Firstly...no sh**. Really?
It has been a complaint of developers since the original PlayStation launched in 1995. I remember the fallout over the PS2. Designers were losing their minds; some went so far as to say the new system was just "impossible." It's the reason why, over time, games for PlayStation machines get increasingly better. It's why the PS2 started with Summoner and Fantavision and ended up with God of War II and Final Fantasy XII. Unfortunately, the PlayStations have always been tough on designers.
But I've been reading all this and one thing occurred to me- while I'm sure the PS3 is more difficult to work on than the Xbox 360, I'm also certain the majority of "pain in the ass" comments are due to multiplatform efforts. It's trying to jam the same product onto two entirely different machines. It's trying to keep the exact same design vision intact, all the while trying to offer gamers the exact same experience from a performance standpoint. If the PS3 was such a colossal annoyance, I'm not sure why first-party studios would be so high on Sony. Sure, Sony pays their bills but developers are developers. There's a lot more to this.
All we've ever heard from stellar first-party teams like Naughty Dog, Insomniac, Sucker Punch and Media Molecule (Uncharted, Resistance, inFamous, LittleBigPlanet) is how great the PS3 is in terms of potential, and what they might be capable of doing. Either all these designers are the foremost geniuses of the world, continually capable of overcoming the "overly challenging" PS3 where other developers can't, or it's just because they only have to deal with Sony's machine. I can pretty much guarantee all of them would have similar issues trying to bring their products to another platforms.
People are acting like the PS3 is this massive crutch, all the while ignoring the fact that PS3 exclusives are - and I'm sorry, there is no debate on this issue - the absolute cream of the crop. Something isn't gelling, here. And you know, maybe there's a good reason why guys like Kazunori Yamauchi (Gran Turismo) and Hideo Kojima (Metal Gear Solid) absolutely refuse to bring their franchises to Microsoft or anywhere else. And I'm willing to bet it goes well beyond brand loyalty. The shouts of, "see, the PS3 is too hard to develop for" will continue, I bet. Just not sure they mean anything.
But whatever. People love inflammatory headlines.
7/20/2011 10:47:33 AM Ben Dutka