June 12, 2009 // 9:00 pm
- We've all heard the excuse before; "The PS3 is too difficult to develop for." One thing Sony's Playstation 3 is well-known for is its powerful hardware, which boasts (among other things) a Blu-ray disc format and a Cell Microprocessor as its CPU.
For those of you that don't know what all that means, all you need to know is that it is very, very powerful.
But while that's all well and good, there's also a downside to it. The PS3 is complex - more complex than every other console currently on the market.
To quote: Some developing companies have had problems developing games for the PS3, and have even gone so far as to not develop for it altogether. In the past, game consoles have had the same problems with game development (the Sega Saturn comes to mind), but is this really the same case with the PS3? No, it's not.
The first thing that we need to take a look at is the multiplatform games. In the past, some games that have been released on multiple platforms haven't always been as good on PS3. Prime examples of this are Madden NFL 08, F.E.A.R, and the infamous Orange Box
, which all suffered from similar issues with framerate, load times, and glitches.
Now look at other games, like Grid, Bioshock, ES:IV Oblivion, Call of Duty 4, Resident Evil 5, Midnight Club: Los Angeles and Devil May Cry 4. Not only are those games identical on the 360 and PS3, but in some ways (especially with Oblvion), the PS3 version is actually better!
A perfect example of a great port is Grand Theft Auto IV. Not only does it run just as good on the PS3, but it even utilizes the Sixaxis motion controls (they work quite well, too).
Now what I want to know is why it was so impossible to make the PS3 versions of Orange Box, Madden 08 and F.E.A.R equal to the 360 and PC versions? If Rockstar, Codemasters and Bethseda can release quality ports on the PS3, why can't other developers do it?
I know that some games have been delayed on the PS3, but that's fine as long as the extra development time is well spent. Would you rather wait a few months for a good game, or get the weakest version of the game at the same time as everybody else?
Of course, it's not all about the multiplatform games. Everybody knows that the most important part of any game system is the exclusive games. They show you what one console has that another doesn't, and can ultimately decide what console you buy. Killzone 2, MotorStorm and Metal Gear Solid 4 are perfect examples of PS3 development done right.
All of those games are beautiful (better than anything you'll find on 360), well-designed games that run exceptionally on PS3. And any game company could make games of that quality on PS3 if they just put the time and effort into it. The problem isn't that the PS3 is too complicated, it's that game developers are simply not trying.
Game development doesn't remain the same forever. Hardware advances over time and so do consoles. The PS3 hardware might seem ridiculous and overly complex now, but in a few years it will become the standard.
In a way, it's the future, and more developers should be trying to optimize the system's huge potential rather than condemning it. So if a game company doesn't want to make their video games for PS3, that's their decision. But to use the hardware as an excuse for not making games or making inferior ports simply isn't a valid option anymore.