Some have whined about a lack of innovation in big-budget titles this generation (although much creativity can still be found, especially in the downloadable realm), but perhaps there's a reason…

Zoe Mode studio boss Paul Mottram spoke to Strategy Informer about the current development and publishing trends, and how the lack of a console front-runner throws a wrench into the works. Said Mottram:

"It used to be that ten years ago, it was PS2… So you'd just do PS2 and then maybe some others… But now we're finding that everyone is not knowing what platform is going to succeed – we did our first 3DS title – we got Crush onto that, but we had to delay the release of that because of the success of the platform."

Basically, he says it's hard because none of the platforms are dominant right now. The Wii "is on the wane," for example, and the PS3 and Xbox 360 continue to duke it out on the retail front. Multiplatform projects are commonplace these days, but we've also noticed that when a developer wants to make a statement – i.e., wants to fulfill a certain vision – that studio focuses on one platform.

At any rate, it's just another factor in this complicated business.

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BikerSaint
BikerSaint
9 years ago

Sticky note to Zoe!

If you want the best, you buy the best.

Yes, it's just that simple!

Qubex
Qubex
9 years ago

I think the days of a "dominant" console are over. The advent and introduction of evolutionary platform architectures rather than revolutionary are changing the landscape.

There is no doubt that Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony will produce competent hardware. There may be a platform that has a slight edge under certain conditions, BUT, today, and in the future, it will be all about the SOFTWARE – the games that entice players to any one given platform. HD is HD, 1080p is 1080p and 60FPS is 60FPS… all 3 platforms will do this in the next generation release…

What is important now is the supportive SOFTWARE ECOSYSTEM that supports that platform's interactive environment and the multimedia services it will support.

What will be a game changer then…. 3D, not so much, but it will help. Well, in light of Sony's dabbling in a commercial consumer VR headset product, maybe that is the next "revolution" everyone is waiting for…

Full immersion in a sense… that is probably the next paradigm shift and the one that will raise the experience and technical bars again. It is when this leap is made that one company may once again become the dominant platform…

I guess we all hope it will be Sony…

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

My ideal environment: Microsoft dies due to massive cash hemorrhaging in the hardware replacement, advertising, and worthless Kinect investment arenas and Sega returns to the market.

Sega Dreamcast 2 launches in a nice middle ground that caters to unique interactive titles, hardcore mulitplats and great Sega exclusives like Valkyria 4, Yakuza 5, Skies of Arcadia 2 etc, Ninento has the casuals with Wii U, and Sony has the hardcore locked down with its AAA exclusives and equal quality multiplats.

Claire C
Claire C
9 years ago

Lol @ Dreamcast 2 =)

Sega's console days are way over.

I just hope Sony's next console is so much better and more appealing than Microsoft's that it's really easy for me to buy the PS4 and not be tempted at all by the Xbox 720. I'm %100 buying a PS4, but I don't want there to be any desire to own a new Xbox.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

a guy can dream(cast) can't he?

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

The ideal solution to me would be for MS to give it up and go back to being a Windows based monopoly, but I doubt that will happen. I think Sega does better with software, So they should not return to hardware. But, they would do well to focus exclusively on Nintendo and Sony since a large proportion of their output is very Japan-centric and those are the pre-eminent platforms there. Nintendo would – IMHO – do better to refocus on their software innovation, but they won't. I would like to see Sony investing more in multi-platform game publishers and developers. Taking significant positions but not majority ownership. For example Level 5, I don't see the problem with Sony part owning a software house that also writes for Nintendo. Sony gains double benefit, they profit from Nintendo, and they are in a position to expect better patronage from such publisher/developers in future.

I think that the future of the industry isn't so much in consolidation as it is in collaboration. Sony taking part shares in companies that develop for other platforms does not harm their own platform, nor would such a move harm Nintendo. But it would help support the industry against the destructive predation of Microsoft. I won't write a long Microsoft focused post, but I will point out that Microsoft has spent 10 years trying to find a way to dominate the living room in the same way they dominated PCs for the last 25 years. Microsoft doesn't care about the software ecosystem of developers already in the market. If it serves their goals of domination, they will happily destroy that market because they know they can cross subsidize their own efforts while the others crumble. This is precisely how they operated for 25+ years in PCs and Windows. So I do think that Nintendo and Sony would benefit from collaboration to protect the ecosystem of the video game market – and that includes innovation.

drortego
drortego
9 years ago

@Claire, Honestly I don't care how great the specs for the new xbox are. After buying 3 360's and my best friend bought 4, which by the way all of them broke. I am still running off my original 20gb fat ps3 day one purchase; it has been upgraded to 320gb since. but that baby is still running strong. I refuse to give my money to microsoft anymore. Sony and Apple are the ones that get my business.

The Doom
The Doom
9 years ago

@TheHighlander
You know the Xbox has been helping the PS3 pretty much this whole gen and verse visa. The PS3 wouldn't have gotten things like trophies, custom soundtracks (for some games), an OS-based store, premium avatars, and stuff without the xbox and the xbox wouldn't have had it's UI resigned (it functions somewhat like the XMB), less game size restrictions for developers (it used to be 200 MB at max until PSN games started showing up), larger HDDs, a redesigned xbox, and others without the PS3.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Doom, a lot of what you are talking about is infrastructure, and I have no idea what infrastructure Sony would have come up with on their own. So yes, there is some validity to what you're saying, in the same way that there is always validity in saying that competition is good for the consumer.

However, Microsoft are a completely different kind of competitor to any that have been seen in video games or consumer electronics. Microsoft's aim is nothing less than domination of the living room, to the same degree that dominance was achieved with PCs and business software. Their strategy to achieve that is sometimes called embrace, extend, extinguish. That means that at first they embrace the de facto standards and concepts of the target, then they grow those things adding features that are attractive to customers and over time they lock customers into those features. The final phase – extinguish – is when they snuff out the competition achieving market dominance by default. That strategy was not good for the software ecosystem in PC software. There are innumerable software developers that are no longer doing business or were bought up in consolidation efforts to survive Microsoft.

Whether you want to believe it or not, that is their strategy, their aim is to dominate the living room and video game market, and they are following their normal strategy to do it. Look at the proprietary nature of XBL and all the subscriber only features that lock you into their way of doing things. The lock-in is so strong that people buy multiple replacement Xbox360s despite the certain knowledge of design flaws.

Whatever their positive impact is, they have had (and will continue to have) substantial negative impacts as well.

OK, that was part of my Mircosoft rant, I'll hold onto the rest for now – except to say that if you doubt this, research their history and look at what their stated aims are with respect to gaming.

AcHiLLiA
AcHiLLiA
9 years ago

@ Highlander

"The ideal solution to me would be for MS to give it up and go back to being a Windows based monopoly"

I agree %100.

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
9 years ago

Yesterday, I sent an article to Ben that directed you to a domain site, and it showed that MS has registered 2 domain names with Sony's name attached to both of them.

Anyway, it didn't give any further info on why, but I really can't see MS trying to partner with Sony. Knowing Microsoft's lack of business ethnic's, I suspect that MS will try & use this as some kind of vs. Sony astroturfing site.

Here's the article…..

Microsoft Registers Microsoft-Sony.com

Microsoft has set the internet rumor mill on fire after registering two domain names with "Sony" in them….
(microsoft-sony.com and sony-microsoft.com).

The software giant has registered microsoft-sony.com and sony-microsoft.com. Both domains were registered to Microsoft through Corporation Service Company (CSC), a corporate identity protection firm.

A great deal of speculation focuses on a gaming partnership between the two firms but it’s likely that the move to register the domains was simply a typical domain protection process. The company has previously registered microsoftinsider.com to protect its brand.

http://hardocp.com/news/2011/07/15/microsoft_registers_microsoftsonycom/

AcHiLLiA
AcHiLLiA
9 years ago

@drortego

"After buying 3 360's and my best friend bought 4" LoL, what took u so long to make the move. M$'s 360 hardware is a joke.

AcHiLLiA
AcHiLLiA
9 years ago

@Claire C

The thing M$ will have to pay attention closely at the next xbox is hardware. Curse of the RROD's.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Biker, don't forget that Sony and MS work together in other areas such as the Sony PC line.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

More like the 360 is holding back innovation. Some of the tackiest games (Crack Down, Fable) and horrid performance comes in the form of 360 games and lazy developers translate that poor performance unto the PS3 because they can't be bothered to figure out how to use the hardware property.

Cesar_ser_4
Cesar_ser_4
9 years ago

I'd blame it on the devs for the lack of a pair of round things guys have hanging… and stick it to microsoft and actually making a multiplat game that takes full advantage of the PS3 and snugly fits on a 25gb BD.

godsman
godsman
9 years ago

It was Microsoft's fault that they paid so many developers so they can drive their way into the Japanese market, with their measly 1 million lifetime sales in Japan.

Excelsior1
Excelsior1
9 years ago

hell, i blame the consumers. they supported inferior ps3 multiplats this entire gen, it's not just been a handful of devolopers, either. it's been a great many of them over a long period of time. i still sweat out every multiplat title i am interested in to this very day becuase of how i've been burned in the past.

the reason i think there seems to be such a focus on the 360 is the way the na market has developed. unfortunately the 360 significantly outnumbers the ps3 here in na. most of these developers are based in the US. so developers focus on it. it even has an affect on the japanese gaming industry becuase of how badly they covet thre na market. it's just unfortunate that we get the shaft when it concerns multiplats. it is a shame but at this point i'd settle for the ps3 version of a multiplat game being just as good as its 360 counterpart.

maxpontiac
maxpontiac
9 years ago

My friend Jawknee here speaks the truth.

AcHiLLiA
AcHiLLiA
9 years ago

"lazy" that is the key word.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

I must admit I'm really interested in watching what happens with Nintendo in the future, I think the Wii U is so out there it will either do just as well as Wii or completely flop. I can't read the casual market as well as I can the hardcore so whatever happens should be fun to watch.

Ignitus
Ignitus
9 years ago

Agreed.

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
9 years ago

Sounds like a distinct possibility. The problem with the PS2 was that it basically caused a monopoly. It was the most successful piece of hardware, and so developers focussed on it, to the neglect of its competitors, which only served to make the PS2 ever more compelling in contrast. It forced a hardware revolution with the Wii, and Microsoft to get out the gate first.

This time around, the Wii is the standout, but not thanks to the quality granted to the core market. Moving the Wii U to try to capture that will probably not work out the way they want it to, as I seriously doubt its efficacy in drawing the core gamers away. And it will also sideline the casual gamers, by losing the motion focus. They'll see an identity crisis, and likely latch on to Kinect.

Losing focus here. There's a truth to the statement, but if anything, lack of a distinct leader should actually create innovation, as the hardware manufacturers seek to take bigger risks to get that market share that they so desperately crave, until it ultimately becomes a game on one-upsmanship.
Peace.

___________
___________
9 years ago

huh?
thats the biggest crock of sh*t i have ever heard!
the only thing stopping the innovation of the industry is publishers lack of taking risks, and developers laziness!

Beamboom
Beamboom
9 years ago

Yeah, why should a development for two consoles have any effect on the game concept? "This is so creative that we can only create it for one platform" -> Doesn't make sense at all… "Oh shit we have to port it to PC too? Well then we have to remove all visions for this project!"

Sounds like whining to me.


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/20/2011 4:57:25 AM

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
9 years ago

It's more about gauging the potential of success. First and second party studios have consistently proven that they are capable of the highest calibre games out there, and that a single focus does obviously have an effect on the overall quality of the game. Having to develop for multiple consoles comes at the expense of such a singular focus, and thus lowers not only the quality, but the potential for more out-there concepts to be implemented due to time or budgetary restraints. Does that make sense, or am I typing out my a*se?

Beamboom
Beamboom
9 years ago

Lawless,
I respect your opinion and understand your reasoning but I completely disagree, although I've heard similar claims before. I just don't see how half the potential market can create twice the quality games (to put it simple).

I see no logical relation between the creativity of a game concept and the number of platforms it's planned to be released for.
The planning is done before coding, it might not even be the same guys doing the conceptual design, creative artwork and the coding (usually it isn't).

We can easily find examples of good concepts and creative titles both amongst multiplat and exclusives, and we can just as easy find trash and copy-cats in both categories. I see no apparent difference.

To me the greatest titles so far this gen are all multiplats. Games like Dragon Age, Burnout Paradise, BioShock 1&2, Mass Effect 2, Crysis 2, Red Dead Redemption, Fallout 3, Skate 1-3… These are high quality games I would not want to be without. They *are* this gen to me.

The best exclusives I got are: Lbp 1&2, infamous, mgs4, kz2, wkc, uncharted 1&2. All good games but with one exception, Infamous, I'm not sure if I'd buy them again…!

I guess you also owned a ps2, Lawless? I'm starting to think that this praise of exclusives is something that is rooted in earlier generations, that the exclusives for the ps2 were a lot better than those days multiplats (for whatever reason).
For someone like me, who's first console is the ps3, this idolization of exclusives is really quite hard to understand!


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/20/2011 10:59:22 AM

___________
___________
9 years ago

thats the exact problem developers are scared to make different weird games because they know they will struggle to find a publisher.
publishers wont publish said games because there stuck in this mindset that we play nothing but COD wannabees and racing games!
that, creative differences like what happened with alpha protocol, lazy devs, or a list of all of the above.
i just wish the industry would go back to the good old days, go back to being about making a vision in your head come to life, to bring a dream and blossom it into a amazing reality.
and less about hmmmmmmm how can we make the most money?
ok, games dont pay for themselves but if you do go and make a amazingly new fresh game it will sell well.
look at LA Noire, been #1 in the UK charts since release!
publishers need to get out of the mindset that new unusual styled games just wont sell well, because its not true!
ok there will be some who wont buy it, but theres plenty people out there who are looking for and will buy anything thats different.
hell, i hate block puzzle games, but i still really want to get catherine just because it looks so quirky and weird.

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
9 years ago

There certainly are a lot of great multiplatform titles, but Phil Harrison sort of nailed when he mentioned Sony's goals at the Develop conference the other day: To be first or best. To find a developer willing to go out on a wing and create something new, or simply to put out the best software in any particular genre. Their success in doing that… has been limited, particularly this year, it seems to me.

Nevertheless, it sort of exemplifies the idea of a singular focus, and when you consider how many developers say that they have trouble with the PS3, it makes one think that it has to have an effect, especially when it comes to the deadlines.

Actually, no. I never did have a PS2. The reason that I enjoy exclusive games so much is because I enjoy the uniqueness that is on offer from there. There's no other modern game like Valkyria Chronicles, and until Dark Souls, Demon's Souls. No other console has games with so robust a UGC system as LBP. Few other games can touch the storytelling of Uncharted, though some come close. It is the unique properties that draw me to them, not some deep seated misconception that they are greatly superior.

And Anon is right, most publishers aren't willing to take a similar risk. L.A. Noire, despite my dissatisfaction with it, is a great game, and I bought it because it offers gameplay that you can't get elsewhere. The same goes for Catherine, which I would also love to get. John Carmack had a good idea the other day wen he said that developers have to make money, but creative liberties have to be taken as well.

Beamboom
Beamboom
9 years ago

But Lawless, that uniqueness can be found in *all* great titles, not just exclusives! That's what makes them great! I could say there's no other modern games like Skate, Paradise, Bioshock, etc – my entire list of greats are unique in their particular ways. The robust coop challenge system in Paradise, the unique atmosphere and audio work in Bioshock, the unique story and acting in Mass Effect, I could go on like that for all great titles!
The uniqueness is *not* something reserved for exclusives – the very claim is irrational!


Last edited by Beamboom on 7/21/2011 3:06:04 AM

79transam
79transam
9 years ago

I love how 80% of all discussions turn into MS or 360 bashing. Must say I agree with Beamboom and I will also add that I think multiplayer gaming is hurting innovation more then anything. FPS used to be 2-4 times longer then what they are now and have interesting story lines but now all Dev's have to do is throw together a 5hr crappy SP experience and focus on MP and the game will be a hit. The money these days is in summer blockbuster style games only so many "inception's" can be sucessful anymore.

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
9 years ago

I agree, blame it on the multiplayer! On the other hand… multiplayer is, in and of itself, an innovation, and is innovating in its own field, as developers try to create new experiences (FROM Software), cinematic experiences (Naughty Dog) and integrated experiences (Splash Damage). And SP innovation can be misguided, as FFXIII proved.

And 80% is overstating it a bit. No more than 50%. You can blame it all on World this time ūüėõ

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

I blame Canada.

Or Microsoft.

I forget…

maxpontiac
maxpontiac
9 years ago

Well 79transam, stop and think what this generation of gaming would be like if MS was using a Blu Ray.

Every game would be filled to the max with content.

Instead, we deal with once a Blu moon three DVD games to the PS3's one Blu Ray.

There is a major problem here, and that fault is squarely placed on MS.

Cesar_ser_4
Cesar_ser_4
9 years ago

@mr. Pontiac:

Nah it's not all mikes fault. It is also the developers and the consumers, but mainly the developers. Main reason being that they don't man up and actually make a game that fills up a single layer bluray disc.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

@Cesar_ser_4

Not quite true. Most games – even those on dual layer DVD – are compressed. Games on BluRay do not have to be compressed and a game that fills a dual layer DVD may well fill a BluRay single layer disc with no compression of the content.

Compression is how games that we are told are larger than a single DVD in size on BluRay, can be downloaded in just a few GB, it's because of the heavy compression in use.

Cesar_ser_4
Cesar_ser_4
9 years ago

@Highlander
But what good does it make to have the content on the bd side not compressed when it's not up to par with the 360 in therms of graphics and/or performance?


Last edited by Cesar_ser_4 on 7/20/2011 11:40:29 AM

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Who says it's not up to par with 360? Sorry, that sounds a little biased right there. The reason it's not compressed is that it doesn't have to be. Uncompressed textures, video data and audio data often has better quality when lossy compression is used – in particular for video. The processing overhead of decompressing compressed data isn't huge, but it's there, as is the memory required to do it. If your data on the BD isn't compressed, you don't have to waste cycles decompressing or bytes for buffering the compressed data and workspace for the decompression itself.

maxpontiac
maxpontiac
9 years ago

Cesar_ser_4 –

I assume that by "mike" you mean Microsoft. I do see the point you are making about the consumers be responsible, but in the end, it's still up to the powers that be to put the software on the best piece of technology out there. Consumers will do what consumers do, and that's purchase things. Right?

As far as your comment to Highlander goes, you will have to explain what is meant by "up to par" because I am not sure I understand you.

Cesar_ser_4
Cesar_ser_4
9 years ago

3rd party devs may have gotten better at developing for the PS3, but there is and will always be a difference, maybe not a noticeable one, but a difference nonetheless. Wether it be black levels, aliasing, framerate, whatever, the PS3 version will most of the time fall short because of developers not wanting to use the SPUs properly.

Hehehe lemme do a bit of wordplay if i can pull it off. Yes highlander you do waste bytes. Gigabytes, what with the game installs and all.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Wordplay!? Excellent….

Cesar_ser_4
Cesar_ser_4
9 years ago

Come on highlander, you know those are the wasted bytes you're talking about. I was just thinking this morning, when the PS3 first came out it was sony themselves and first party developers the ones that praised it because the hdd was standard. Nowadays however, first party games do not require that big an install.


Last edited by Cesar_ser_4 on 7/20/2011 7:00:36 PM

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Wasted bytes? Whatever. It's all swings and roundabouts.It's wasted in your opinion, but perhaps not the developer that used them.

BTW I was complimenting you on the wordplay, it's so rare these days that anyone bothers, I'm glad you did.

Mornelithe
Mornelithe
9 years ago

@ Lawless: I'm going to have to agree with Highlander here. Calling the use of lossless audio/video formats on the PS3 a waste of bytes, is…well, silly.

It's only a waste of you don't have the proper display/sound system to display it on. Otherwise, I can certainly see/hear the differences between lossless audio/video formats.

Fane1024
Fane1024
9 years ago

Conclusion: Blu-ray is advantageous, but not necessary.

Kain81
Kain81
9 years ago

Since the release of the 360 the Japanes Games Industry is a mess, they confused their fanbase, brought games exclusiv to 360…and started to westernize their Games, and we saw less IPs franchises this Gen from Japan, cause they choose to make more Multiplats, if they would choose to make it Ps3 exclusiv than they would have more people that work on other projects, think of Secret of Mana, Front Mission, most Japanes publishers are outsourcing their franchises now…
We are begging now for some Japanese games here, but we dont get it see Tales of Vesperia,it seems even Sony dont want to work on JRPGs like Rogues Galaxy, Wild Arms, Legend of Dragoon, Dark Cloud and so on…its a sad situation…

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

SCEA wouldn't even handle White Knight Chronicles 2. It's a sad state of affairs.

Kiryu
Kiryu
9 years ago

Sony is the only one keeping this industry alive.

Zorigo
Zorigo
9 years ago

As the Ps3 is the more superior hardware-wise, surely the devs would think, i could fulfil more vision on that than on the xbox.

and more devs on the ps3, would mean the ps3 would become more prominent, and become the dominant console.

AcHiLLiA
AcHiLLiA
9 years ago

All in all, It's Microsoft to blame in all this. M$ has money and they will compete with anybody and think they will try to steal the King's throne. M$ really gets annoying.


Last edited by AcHiLLiA on 7/20/2011 11:38:21 AM