11 8 / 2012

Why do I care about consoles, but not their specs

Tech Analysis: How Powerful is Tegra 3? by Eurogamer was provoking enough for me to write some stuff on games and consoles today.

Tech:

Yep, it’s common to get cool games from cool platforms. But it’s not always about numbers in specs. Actually it has nothing to do with them, IMHO.

  1. Games are not about graphics, but picture.

    FEZ, Pokemon, Dragon Quest (on DS) all look great. Do they need super-pro-ultra hardware? No! They need developers to create them. Yes, there are games with high demands, but why nobody cares that they work on pretty old consoles (and both ps3 and xbox are old already) but everyone still have to care about videocards on pc?

  2. Consoles are not about specs, but about comfort and easiness for user to understand and play.

    Do you know what processor is used in your blu-ray player? Or washing machine? Probably no. And as users we don’t even have to care, since we interact with device itself, not his internals. While everything is fast, comfortable and nice looking (as mentioned above) I don’t care how they do it. I want comfortable gamepad, good picture (as in above) and the most important - good game.

  3. Consoles are not so much about hardware, but software.

    Do I need extremely advanced cool videoconsole without games? Nope. Actually, I don’t see the difference between 30fps and 60fps. Why? Cuz I’m concentrated on the game, not some weird numbers. I want to get good games with easiness and play them with comfort. And I don’t care where it comes from while those demands are fulfilled: it could be ps3, xbox, pc, toaster - the main point that I don’t want and should not care about all those preparations as disks, accounts, passwords, security checks etc while I just want play game.

Developers Developers Developers

Yep, no creators - no games. But why nobody talks about how good their consoles are for developers, giving some numbers instead of that? There were only two exceptions I can easily remember: Xbox and OUYA. And Microsoft got a lot of indie games thanks to their claims of how it is easy to develop for them.

  1. Comfort.

    Why nobody talks about support from platform owners to developers? Or advances of dev-kits and availability of frameworks? Freaking weird :/ AFAIK now PC is the best for simple and fast development of the game, same for distribution and sales. Apple put a lot into developers and got a ton of apps (great included). But what about next-get consoles? I don’t know.

  2. Price.

    I don’t really believe that OUYA’s ‘almost zero price for dev-kit’ is important. Developers’ time could be way more expensive than dev-kits. I remember price-of-development comparisons from the last console generation shift. Why is it becoming more and more expensive and takes ages? Why don’t platform owners try to make it cheaper to make a good game? Yes, there are some movements from MS, but is it enough?

  3. Profit

    The most important (great products apart) thing for professional - get paid. It’s about developers works (promotion, game quality, hype etc), but at the same time platform should provide the most essential part - store (or any other way for ppl to send money to developer). And as for now most of the stores are crappy (xbox marketplace was good, but they ruined it with all those new updates, imho) - or ppl cannot find your game or you have to wait a lot for some promotion from platform owner. While it’s like that - nobody wins.


Again. OUYA, Tegra, whatsoever.

As user, I want to get game:

  • With comfortable gamepad/input interface
  • On platform I own/could easily buy
  • Having good picture (2d, 2.5d, 3d - I don’t care)
  • That is easy (both in price and store-accessibility) to get
  • With next-good-game (sequel or not I don’t care) release in less than 1 year from same developers

And I want it to be a common practice for games be made and delivered like that.