Sony Should Freakin’ Fund Third Parties!December 23rd, 2009
The long awaited over-the-top action game Bayonetta is finally here and while it was rumoured that the PS3 version was suffering from some performance issues, it looks like it’s much worse than the usual differences we see in multi-platform titles. On IGN the 360 version scored a 9.5 while the PS3 got a much lower 8.2. They even made two separate video reviews for the game, something I’ve never seen them do before.
We’re a few years into the lifespan of current generation consoles and even if it’s getting better many developers are still struggling with the PS3’s awkward CELL architecture. Rabid Sony fanboys may cry that developers are just being lazy, but I’m sure they do their best with whatever resources they’ve got. Video game development comes with budgets and deadlines… heck that’s why all movie-tie-in games are two hours long and reek. Maybe Sony should have provided third parties with a lot more support, including financial support, to ensure that the games released on the system were all up to par.
I always questioned Sony’s decision to stick the CELL processor in a gaming console. That many multiplatform games suffer from performance issues is Sony’s own fault, and the ones who lose out are gamers who only own a PS3. How many years will we have to wait before programmers are all able to utilize the CELL without blowing their budget? So far only Sony’s first party studios have been able to show gamers what the PS3 is capable of, but the playing field is not fair. Sony’s internal studios like the famous Santa Monica Studio (God of War), Naughty Dog (Uncharted), Guerrilla Games (Killzone), Polyphony Digital (Gran Turismo) and Team ICO (The Last Guardian) not only got access to larger than life development budgets but also share knowledge, helping each other get the most out of the PS3’s hardware.
Third party developers are left to fend on their own, and the results are still seen in some multi-platform titles, even three years after the console’s release…. Some have chosen to use the PS3 as their lead platform, simply because it’s easier porting a game from the PS3 than porting to it, while others go the 360/PC route and don’t even release their games on the PS3. In the end the ones who get the short end of the stick are gamers who only own a PS3. Personally I am privileged enough to own a 360, a PS3 and a high-end gaming PC, so I can pick and choose the best version of each game, but few can afford this luxury.
If I was still in my teens, and had a PS3 as my only platform, I’d be happy for all the first party exclusives on the system, but instead of buying into Sony’s 2005 hype about TEH CELL, I’d be mad at Sony for using me to beta test the new architecture for several years. Sony should have provided better support to third parties on how to utilize the PS3’s hardware, instead of being snooty about it and fire off bizarre comments such as the CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, Kaz Hirai’s…
“We don’t provide the ‘easy to program for’ console that (developers) want, because ‘easy to program for’ means that anybody will be able to take advantage of pretty much what the hardware can do, so then the question is, what do you do for the rest of the nine-and-a-half years?”
So you make a console that’s difficult to develop for so that developers can improve their games more over time? It must be one of the dumbest arguments ever. I want my games to be the best they can be today, not in nine or however many years.