dear constant reader,
when I began writing this novel, it was originally intended as a reply on topic to this thread. It's evolved into what you will read in the following pages, over a long, sometimes grueling, sometimes joyful process. I'd like to thank my family, especially my kids, for being there to support me when dad couldn't play because he was working into the late hours of the night at his writing desk. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it
this whole console generation has been extremely frustrating though. I'm one of Those people who actually likes the "immature" "my console is better than yours" battles. I've loved it since I was a kid with my commodore 64, amiga, onto snes, and psx, and then around ps2 it became more about the games, since I loved my ps2, but I wasn't really too sure on the power issue.
Now, in this generation. From my understanding of hardware, and the looks of the exclusives, I strongly believe the ps3 is more powerful, but no companies take the time to use it properly. I also can't stand the way microsoft has completely created this ridiculous culture of xbots who in messageboards would actually defend the idea of paying monthly to be able to play games online. It's so ludicrously unnacceptable and ridiculous of a concept to me it makes me angry even as a non360 owner. That would be like one single car manufacturer, let's say Ford. You buy a ford, and to drive your car anywhere but backstreets you have to pay Ford a monthly fee.
I'm glad Sony didn't do that, though they still started with the playstation plus thing. That's tolerable to me however. It's like a subscription based coupon book, but it's borderline unacceptable. Also, I think if not for the 360, the DLC crazy would be as rampant. Microsoft constantly hounded companies trying to release free content, and turned many of them to the darkside. Epic games originally said in an interview long ago, that microsoft was "greedy" and wouldn't allow them to release a free map pack (for the first gears of war). Also, somewhat unrelated they said PC Gamers were their bread and butter, and that consoles was something they were doing, but they would never abandon their core market. about the map pack, Months later they said, (it's in quotes, because I'm trying my best to remember the wording, but it's not an actual quote) "we're happy with the way the deal we worked out for the map pack. Microsoft wants what we want: to make as much money as possible, if the other players can get it for free a few months down the line, everyone wins".
Umm...no they don't, you fractured your community, and anyone who can afford to will have to buy the mappack, or be stuck playing against the few who aren't playing the new maps. If you love your game, it's like you don't really own it temporarily since you have no opponents.
Also, Epic went on to say something along the lines of "consoles are proving more lucrative than pc's, we're focusing on them from here on out" yeah, well let's see. You make unreal tournament 3 for the pc, then completely ignore your community until no one plays the game anymore, since there wasn't anything new or spicy, or fixes to UI annoyances. So instead of people saying, wow, so many people play ut3, let me see what this is about, there is 0 buzz on the game and it dies far before it's time. A shame because it was a great game, and one of the most unique shooters in years. then start to release fixes and updates after it's too late. but epic's sellout of the pc, is a sidenote. btw, epic, valve seems to have no trouble making profit on the pc.
back to consoles. let's take an extreme example of this dlc craze. Capcom. I could go on and on and deconstruct how mvc3 was completely engineered to be incomplete for the sole purpose of DLC, but I'll try to keep it brief (though at this point in my post that's probably pointless). First, before the game's release, they had announced the first 2 downloadable characters. what? no no no, the idea isn't to completely f your consumers up the a. You Add On things to your already complete game, to extend the life of the game, or make it more interesting. You say, hey, on the msgboards a bunch of people have been screaming for Jill Valentine. Let's put that in. You don't create a bunch of characters and not put them in the game just so you can sell them later. Second example here's a sample of their 38 character roster(part 2 had 56) hulk, and she-hulk, wolverine and x23 (the girl with the wolverine claws). Zero, but not megaman. The list goes on. It's an exercise in careful omission and fluff to cover it up. But the most glaringly silly example of proof that capcom has gone absolutely scrooge mcduck slimy greedily insane, is "Shadow Mode" - "a series of downloadable packs which allows the player to fight against a team of AI opponents programmed after the techniques and preferences of Capcom's development staff and, according to Capcom, famous players from the fighting game scene". So now capcom is charging people for alternate AI to play against? it's the most ridiculous crap I've ever heard. All that garbage should've been in the game to make it a worthwhile value in the first place.
But really this whole post was originally going to be a kinda response to what deadeye wrote. I think the ps3 is more powerful, and has more potential with the Cell processor, but almost every company is taking the lazy/profit way of doing things, and just doing a direct port of every game. ignore the extra powers of the cell processor, ignore the extra space on the blu-ray. just release the exact same thing on both consoles, and make that money. I miss the days of the snes, or the psx when you could compare the two versions of the game, and argue about the merits and the graphics of each. Even worse, the pc has gotten dragged into this mess. I play a game like deadspace 2 on my top of the line graphics card, and it runs at like 300 fps. Some might say "lucky you" it runs fast, but that's missing the point. I want it to take advantage of the card, I want to have to turn a setting or 2 down to make it run 60 fps, not see crappy console textures and 3d models everywhere running really smoothly.
Since alot of this console generation has gotten accustomed to this profit mentality, alot of people might think I'm being naive, but there are still companies out there like Valve, and Dice that really care about making it the best it can be for each platform. And about giving gamers a good value. About just making a damn good game for once damnit, just for the sake of being awesome.
Dice is making BF3 take advantage of modern pc's and has made statements like "start saving your money for a pc upgrade if you're not up to date, because you'll want it when this comes out". They released a ppt presentation on how they're using the spu's on the ps3 to defer shading and lighting to, to free up the graphics card for even greater power.
Valve made a deal with sony to release steamworks on the ps3, because they believe being able to push out updates on a sometimes daily basis to fix bugs, or provide new content without needing approval is essential to a great gaming experience. Also when you buy portal 2 for ps3, you automatically own it for pc and mac as well, and your game saves to steamcloud, so you can continue where you left off on a different platform, and all three platforms can play against eachother. A friend told me microsoft realized how incredibly stupid they were for getting in the way of letting valve do this for their big brother service, but I haven't read that for myself. My point is, the greedy ahole business model works, but so does the awesome value model. why not go ahead and just try to make good games..
one last thing on valve's awesomeness. They have a thing called the potato sack, a collection of indie games on sale at the moment. and they have a deal where if enough steam users buy these games before portal 2's release date, they'll release it early. How awesome is that? Supporting the indie's, a good business deal for them as well, for their share of sales, and the whole thing is presented in a fun way: http://www.aperturescience.com/gladoshome/
in short, cmon you greedy f#$'s, stop being lazy and start making some great games already that take advantage of each platform's strengths