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Unity CEO On Current Gen: "Sony Paid Gamers More Respect"

What do you think of the first year of the new generation?

Many are wholly unimpressed, such as Unity CEO John Riccitiello, who calls it "one of the more depressing stories of the last couple years."

Speaking during the recent GamesBeat Summit (as attended by, Riccitiello reflected on the different approaches taken by Sony and Microsoft:

"There was a clash of ideas that really separated Sony and Microsoft in this generation... The clash of ideas was simply this. They actually had very similar architectures that they were trying to bring to the table, but Microsoft focused on the entertainment marketplace."

He went on to say that Xbox One was supposed to be "bigger than games," and was designed to be a mainstream cultural force like Google or Apple. But Sony just wanted to make a solid video game system, especially after missing the mark with the PS3 launch. Added Riccitiello:

"I think it was a little bit like a game of pool. Microsoft was focused on the shot after the one they needed to make... but they missed the first shot and they didn't get another shot at it. Sony worried about the shot they needed to make, which was [to] win the hearts and minds of the gamers. They did a better job of execution with that. Frankly, the broad scope of entertainment may be a bigger idea, but not with an unfocused execution... Sony nailed it. They paid respect, more respect, to our community than the other guys."

He also lamented the lack of innovation, saying the console world "desperately needs reinvention in terms of some of the game mechanics." He says we've basically been playing the same game since 1997, around the advent of 3D gaming. He cited Bioshock Infinite as having a "beautiful world" but there still isn't enough innovation.

Well, what do you say to that?

Tags: console war, next gen, playstation 4, xbox one, john riccitiello

5/9/2015 10:59:52 AM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (15 posts)

Saturday, May 09, 2015 @ 11:36:46 AM

When I read something like this, I wonder what people want from developers. If Bioshock wasn't original enough, what is? This guy couldn't tell you that.

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Saturday, May 09, 2015 @ 2:46:35 PM

The mechanics weren't original enough he's saying, which is pretty true though at least its not the exact same as other fps.

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Monday, May 11, 2015 @ 4:18:29 AM

The guy got a point. Behind the wrapping, what really is different from Bioshock Infinite and, say, Half-Life?

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Saturday, May 09, 2015 @ 11:56:04 AM

As far as PS4 vs XO I think he's pretty much spot on.
MS tried to sell out to the masses. They failed miserably at it. They tried to force the Kinect down everyone's throat despite their being no good evidence to suggest it was something their core wanted. They led with mainstream accepted ads showing social gatherings and sports games.
Their XO packaging showed various TV media based features and what kind of games? Sports games. Their base gamer from year's before was given second class treatment.

These missteps had the expected results in sales.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 5/9/2015 12:00:14 PM

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Saturday, May 09, 2015 @ 2:41:42 PM

Don't forget the draconian DRM MS tried to force down people's throats... That alienated allot of core gamers.

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Saturday, May 09, 2015 @ 2:47:38 PM

That was one of a few unforced errors that showed arrogance toward the community.

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Saturday, May 09, 2015 @ 5:55:36 PM

Their problem with the DRM stuff was that they were basically trying to force a digital model on physical media, without indicating there would be any of the benefits that come from a model like Steam's. The fact that you can't ever resell your Steam games only works because they're almost always cheaper right from the start, and go on sale all the time. MS seemed content to employ the same kind of restrictions without even suggesting it would result in lower prices. That makes it seem less like an innovation and a "here's how we're going to screw you over".

I think MS expected Sony to follow suit on the used games stuff (Sony's had a patent on that kind of technology since the PS2 days). Maybe Sony was going to, but saw the backlash against MS and, smartly, changed course.

And not even Steam requires you to constantly check in online. You can take the entire client offline and access any game. MS botched it all around. Easily the worst E3 press conference of all time. My favorite part was when Don Mattrick basically said "Hey if you don't like it, go buy a 360 instead". Nothing says "screw you" like telling people not to buy your product. I wonder why he got fired a few days later lol

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Saturday, May 09, 2015 @ 2:53:02 PM

MS always thinks they will get everything eventually, in this case the living room. Cuz then it's better to also have a windows phone and a smartglass and a microsoft refrigerator etc. They always fail though.

And Sony gave more respect last gen too but people were too busy hating on the console due to blind MS love.

Now, on the mechanics I've been saying this for awhile so I agree. People keep saying there's nothing new to do with controls and mechanics. That's a load, if I can come up with a bunch of great ideas then devs can too. It's just easier not to risk big sales, or they need to sit and question every mechanic they use that could possibly be updated. There's a lot of them.

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Saturday, May 09, 2015 @ 6:03:26 PM

People gave Sony shit at the start of last gen because their CEO told people to get a second job to afford their $600 machine while boasting that even if they had no games the PS3 would still sell 5 million on launch at that price. It was the height of hubris.

It didn't help that CELL wasn't even designed for gaming and relied on raw computational power, which is why it took a few years for multiplats to look and play as well as they did on the less powerful 360.

And because at the start of the gen, PSN was a poor man's XBL.

They eventually fixed all that, ending up with games that consistently looked better and a service that was ultimately a much better deal with PS+, but they stumbled big out of the gate.

It seems to be a cycle in the industry. Nintendo did the same thing when Sony was the upstart company, and the N64 and GC ended up being miserable flops because Nintendo were arrogant and complacent. Sony didn't learn from Nintendo's mistakes, and now MS failed to learn from Sony's mistakes this gen. Nintendo hit big with the Wii, figured they could ride gimmicks into the sunset, and now the Wii U is a joke.

You'd think these corporations would figure out sooner or later that you don't automatically get to stay at the top once you get there, but apparently not.

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Saturday, May 09, 2015 @ 6:37:53 PM

"Pride comes before a fall."

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Saturday, May 09, 2015 @ 7:05:19 PM

I did exactly that! I got a second part-time job at a shoe store to pay for my PS3! (which broke down 2 and half years later)
It was worth it though!

MS usually fails in the hardware consumer electronics scene. They always have. The 360 was their one lucky break. Xbox One is par for their course. Investors continue to pressure them to get out of Xbox as they usually spend more to maintain it than they do profiting from it. Just look at the ridiculous gouging they did to themselves to take the last holiday season.

As far as mainstream consumer success goes, Windows licensing is about all they ever had that could be considered a success. They just so happened to get in on the gig in the early days where a software eco-system was built on top of their OS. This makes it tough for businesses and consumers to turn away from a product many people don't like. They literally made themselves a mountain of malware and viruses through their business practices from years past. Many have tried to slay the Windows beast in this manner because of disdain for their existence.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 5/9/2015 7:17:39 PM

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Saturday, May 09, 2015 @ 7:40:06 PM

Oh they've had great success with both Office and DirectX licensing as well, but yeah their hardware divisions do not fare well financially, and few if any other companies could have weathered the clusterwhoops that was the 360 hardware failure. Between repairs and class action settlements it cost them hundreds of millions.

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Sunday, May 10, 2015 @ 5:01:52 AM

I personally think that the divide between console developers and mobile developers hamper the overall progress of this 'innovation'. With more and more AAA developers switching over to mobile development, there becomes an outpouring of the creativity and innovation on that side of the gaming industry, leaving console games to focus more on the power, rather than the potential of the machines with which they are developed for.

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Sunday, May 10, 2015 @ 8:19:10 AM

so yeah sony did do what they inteed to do which was one specific thing very very well. where as M$ was trying to do too many things and was missing in most if not all directions. so credit where credits due. but maybe he wants a bit more from the games side of things i think he saying

happy gaing

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Sunday, May 10, 2015 @ 6:20:24 PM

he is right.. MOST games keep the gameplay and mechanics the same or very similar. You have to applaud those that step out and care to venture further out than the norm. Usually it can pay off with a well done game. Bioschock is a great example. Just cause 2 or devil may cry i think are decent other examples, that arent really fps but still good examples.

Same goes for platforming if you bring that into the mix. Some say its actually dead, but well done games can pay off big, look at mario 3d world or the hype for the spiritual sequel to banjo kazooie.

People really want a new spyro or crash like the good old days. But at the same time when you mention these types of games, well certain games will do better if a similar formula is kept. It all depends on what game it is and how or if youre able to change it up a bit. It doesnt always work. Crash certainly became a letdown after it was sold off.

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