Console Parity - Is it good or bad for the industry?

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by Hybrid Extreme, Aug 21, 2014.

  1. Hybrid Extreme

    Hybrid Extreme PSLS Level: Newbie

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    Console Parity
    What is console parity? It is purposely underutilizing the available technology and power in a superior console so that a game looks and plays the same on inferior competing consoles.

    It’s the latest trend in game development, or at least the latest that’s been made public! Developers are creating dumbed down versions of games to maintain a balance between consoles. A balance, by the way, that has never been publicly requested by gamers or console makers. It has happened with Watchdogs and it is happening with The Witcher 3 and The Division and likely others too. {Links to sources can be found at the bottom}.

    I wrote a post a while back called ‘Dualshock 4 or Dualshock Forgotten’ in which I discuss how the Dualshock 4 controller is not being used to its full potential by third party developers and is being minimalized with regard to controller abilities for the sake of maintaining a balance with competitor Xbox One. It seems that this practice is being carried on with the entire development of games that are made for multiple platforms.

    While the decision to forego power for parity is the choice of the developer it really is an insult to gamers who invested in the superior console, specifically the PlayStation 4 but certainly to PC gamers as well. Those individuals bought the PS4 believing that developers would optimize games made for it. Third party developers brag about how powerful the PS4 is and how easy it is to develop for, yet the common practice seems to be to use the limited power and technical capabilities of the competing console, namely the Xbox One as the standard in which next gen games are made. Is this a case of developers wanting to be impartial to console makers? Are they being “encouraged” with financial incentives to dumb down PS4 and PC versions of games? Or are they simply taking the lazy route by developing uniformly between consoles?

    Sometimes I wonder if developers do it to optimize sales potential on multiple consoles, which is still wrong in my opinion. The argument could be made by developers that they create games using console parity as a way not to show favoritism to any particular console maker. If this is the case then I would suggest that using console parity by not optimizing the power of the PS4 is actually showing favoritism to the Xbox One! The point is, you can’t ignore the available tech and power of the PS4 because it might hurt Microsoft’s feelings! Microsoft knew exactly which components were going into their console when they designed it and they have to live with their console’s limitations or build a more powerful Xbox One.

    There is another argument to consider. Imagine a room with 100 people in it that fit into 4 groups PS4/PC/WiiU/Xbox One gamers. There is no distinction of how many people own any given system, only that they all own at least one system. Which group would you make a game for? Would you go by national/global sales figures to see who the industry leader was? These 100 people may or may not represent those figures accurately! Would console parity be the correct answer so that no matter which system you make a game for everyone gets the same quality of game?

    The only correct answer is to develop a game that fits each system, optimizing their power and technical capabilities. If console parity isn’t possible using those factors, oh well! People aren’t stupid. They know the capabilities and limitations of their gaming system of choice and proof of purchase is also proof of their willingness to accept what their system can and cannot do! I know my WiiU can’t do what my PS4 or gaming PC can but I don’t expect developers to dumb down a game so that the WiiU and Ps4/PC versions look and play the same.

    Should Sony be investigating this? Should they be concerned? I mean, why create a powerful system if third party developers are going to use the less powerful console as the tech model in which games are created? This is one reason I am so glad that Sony’s first party studios are hard at work making games. It’s also a good reason to start liking the term “Sony exclusive” more and more!

    I own a PS4 and while I’m confident that first party developers are optimizing games as best as they can for the console I now know that third party developers aren’t. In my opinion, console parity is the next wrong step in a long line of wrong steps in the video game industry. Why should PS4 owners have to play a dumbed down version of a game just because the Xbox One can’t compete on a technical level? If developers can make different versions of the same game for old and new gen consoles then it’s possible for them to make a lower spec version of a game for Xbox One and a higher spec version for PS4 and an even higher spec version for those running powerful gaming PCs.

    Console parity is bad for the industry... or at least that's my opinion, what's yours?

    Sources

    http://wccftech.com/the-witcher-3-ps4-xboxl-greaphical-hardware-msaa/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed: Wccftechcom (WCCFtech.com)
    http://www.gameranx.com/updates/id/22664/article/destiny-30fps-on-ps4-and-xbox-one-for-parity/
    http://www.gameranx.com/updates/id/...-2013-enhanced-graphics-hidden-in-pc-version/
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2014
  2. Lifewish

    Lifewish 중재자 Staff Member

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    I could see both sides to this argument but as someone who owns a PS4, I would hate to think about what a game could have been if it wasn't brought down to match another console. I think we saw this a lot on the PS3/Xbox games where not only the quality but the overall gameplay and decisions were dumbed down to match on each console.

    If one console can handle more, than the games should be more on that console.. why hold it back?
     
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  3. dragon82

    dragon82 PSLS Level: Bronze

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    It is always bad in my opinion. Every device should be used to it's fullest. Why hinder a better device just to help a weaker one seem less weak? This goes for any device on the market.
     
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  4. Jacky

    Jacky PSLS Level: Silver

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    I think this was a prime example of what happened with the ps3. A lot of gaming studios didn't want to develop a game because of the ps3's cell processor. It was too hard for them, yet they were pumping out games for the xbox and wii like no tomorrow. The ps3 had lots of potential but because of lazy game developers it didn't get to show off everyhing it could do.

    So now we have the next gen consoles, with amd chips perfect for the lazy developer. Despite making it easier for developers, they are still dumbing down the games which in my opinion, is unfair to the gamers.
     
  5. FAT MAN GO BOOM

    FAT MAN GO BOOM PSLS Level: Bronze

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    Console Parity is one of the worst things to hit gaming and their consumer.

    Not only does it crush smaller developers of every making a game on their with self publishing it hamstrings consumers making them wait for game already completed and ready to go...

    Take Diablo III that game was ready to be released along with the PC version of the Expansion pack for it. Back in May but MS swooped in and made a last minute deal with blizzard making the ps4 version that was ready to back up onto the shelf until the Xbox version of Diablo III was ready to go....


    Things like that hurt consumers. Things that hurt developers are much worst...

    Self publishing was made big by apple and steam and now Sony has jumped in as well as MS but because of parity clauses that MS has with developers that sign on they can only release their finished product once they have both version ready to ship...

    Small developers like Klei Entertainment the makers behind games like Don:t Starve have to make their game first for one system at a time the revenuer from the first version of the game helps pay for the next version and so on...

    Don't Starve came to PC then Mac, then Chrome ands PS4 and now finally PS Vita. They are not on MS systems because they would not have been able to make that game. Not being able to afford it... Sure a published would have picked that game up but that would be loosing everything that really matters.

    The Rights to their IP.

    Don;t Starve is one of the best games I have ever played.... and I am glad that MS the company is missing out on this game... due to THIER Policies.

    It is this reason why I will not be buying a Xbox one. I have had both Xboxs before. I liked them very much specially the first Xbox. the 360 was a very poor design. Between that and their policies I can no longer a a consumer support them the gamer in me wants to play those exclusives they have but the consumer in me knows a really bad deal when I see one... not only as a gamer but as a consumer...
     
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  6. Lifewish

    Lifewish 중재자 Staff Member

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    The FAT MAN makes a lot of sense. This kind of situation really hurts developers who are looking to turn a quick profit but instead have to hold off for months just so they can finish the game on both platforms. Diablo III is a great example, so is the original FFXIII, which I truly believe was ready for PS3 but was held back so long to get it ready for the 360.
     
  7. FAT MAN GO BOOM

    FAT MAN GO BOOM PSLS Level: Bronze

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    IT is sad that MS feels they need to make these kind of policies, Sadder yet there are Developers and Publishers that agree to them and that is really the only way it gets power...

    It is worked into the contracts if they do not wish to hold to it then they can not produce that game for that system.

    Which I think in turn hurts gamers more.

    I also think this will be coming to an end specially as smaller developers are now self publishing more and more...
    They are just skipping the Xbox system.

    Self publishing I think is a wonderful idea. Yes there will be a lot of games that are not up to scratch but gamers will be exposed to more new innovation in these types of games over large budget games.
     
  8. stolenxnametag

    stolenxnametag PSLS Level: Kraken PSLS Ambassador

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    So is it possible that we keep hearing nothing about Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III because Square Enix has decided on going the multiplatform route? Gross.
     
  9. FAT MAN GO BOOM

    FAT MAN GO BOOM PSLS Level: Bronze

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    You know what I miss.. Just Square...

    I had always thought that Square Soft and Enix hooking up would be a match made in heaven, Bounded by the gaming gods; to forever WOW us wee gamers.

    Dragon Warrior meets Final Fantasy only to give birth to the greatest RPG ever made...

    Final Dragon Warrior Fantasy.
    (Dragon Warrior =Dragon Quest)

    I wished for this game.... Hell I waited for this game.... only Square Enix is surely not that gaming mega RPG master of our time... That I thought it would be...

    In fact I think this merger was for the worst...

    I am just saying this... I enjoyed more Square soft games then I have Square Enix. does anyone else feel like this???
     
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  10. stolenxnametag

    stolenxnametag PSLS Level: Kraken PSLS Ambassador

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