I heard today that my name was mentioned over here and I wanted to give you a fuller version of my views than Twitter allows:
There was a publisher preview event on the PS4 this week –don’t ask, I can name who, if I thought that it would impact your end experience I would- and there was some issues around connectivity. This is probably not going to be a big deal for launch and my guess is that it is going to be solved by the launch.
The press are alluding to the fact that said publisher has emailed them basically saying “Don’t even admit that there was a preview event”.
I would like to breakout some other points though.
It is my belief that both consoles will have day one patches, I reckon both will be large, but not to the extent that they will take days to download.
Both consoles are world class; they really are fantastic machines –Admittedly I have only played with the Xbox One Retail, but I spent a long time on the PS4 dev kit. Do I think that the first few months will be a pain in the ass at times for both consoles? Sure! That’s tech for ya.
I think during the first quarter of 2014 both console houses will have teams working and on site 24X7. Well, small correction, I know Xbox already have that planned and I assume Sony will do the same, as it makes sense to have that redundancy in place.
However, this is a long game plan, PS and Xbox want to blow you away for the next ten years or so. They know that launching a new architecture in going to be tough, but I reckon they will both figure it out shortly.
1080P or 720?
Right now most outlets are capturing in 720. So you play the game at 1080P and capture at 720 to reduce the bandwidth needed for the upload/download. This is 100% up to the publisher and NOT the console guys.
The logic here is that more people will be inclined to upload smaller files, thus more eyeballs.
I have played a single game in 1080P. If a publisher decides to go that route, they just hate money and you as gamers should punish them for it by not buying their game. $60? As a gamer I say “NO THANKS DAD, I AM A 1080P THUG”.
Coverage and video:
I am 100% sure that Microsoft will get a ton more coverage than Sony. There is no conspiracy theory here, the simple truth is that Sony are providing one debug unit to one video outlet in North America (I don’t know about the rest of the world) and only a select few “wordy/written/text” based outlets.
And before the question is asked, I don’t actually know why Sony doesn’t want established video outlets to have access to video footage of their console before or after launch. It has never been done before.
In my mind this is a huge mistake and I seriously doubt that, that decision was made in SCEA, but rather at the HQ in Japan. The folks over there need to settle down and have a box of juice or something, because as someone that develops games, I want to get in front of as many eyeballs as possible.
I don’t know the reason behind this, but I do know that it is like giving Xbox a free advertisement on every 3rd party game review until Sony completes their inevitable…../Drum Roll 180.
The other reason behind this is that until Sony allows video capture with unrestricted HDCP, reviewers won’t actually be able to review third party games on the PS4 as they will want to do post production.
That said, Sony are not stupid, they have already said that they will remove the HDCP restrictions –to paraphrase “We get it, you want this and we will resolve this issue after launch”.
In the meantime, any blogger, youtuber or video reviewer will be able to slap an Elgato capture card on their Xbox One and do their reviews on the Xbox SKU.
Hence, free ad’s
I really, really hope Sony HQ comes to their senses on this, because this was just stupid on their part and I know a LOT of SCEA guys who are frustrated.
On the flip side with the Xbox you can capture from day one.
Actually you can capture on both devices on day one, but if you want to do post production i.e. voiceover or edits –as most journo’s need to do, hence the video element of the review- you have to use the Xbox.
I have seen a few stupid tweets saying that Sony, MSFT or both of them are issuing embargoes on 3rd party titles.
To be clear; neither Kaz nor Balmer can tell a publisher what to have for lunch, never mind tell them what they can do with their game. That is just stupid talk.
Long-Story short for developers:
I have two dogs in this race, I want both consoles to succeed because that means that I make more money and then I can make more games. I also don’t want a monopoly, both devs and gamers lose out on that score. Less games will be made.
That said, right now I am pro-Xbox from a developer perspective and I know a lot of my fellow devs feel the same way.
The reason for this is not because Steve Balmer makes my toes curl, it’s just a simple case of economics:
Developer costs using a smallish studio as an example:
Xbox One Dev Kits 10 X $500.00= $5,000.00
Sony PS4 Dev kits 10X $2,500.00= $25,000.00
So from day one that represents $20,000.00 more that I can put into the game, I know that might now sound like much, but for a small team that is HUGE.
It lowers the barrier of entry to make a game, it might work, it might not. It worked out well for Apple though.
In fairness, Sony has been great at lending developers dev kits and that is fantastic because that costs me zilch. HOWEVER, that doesn’t scale, they can’t give that to every dev in the world. They can’t give that to the kid in Iowa who is mashing the keys in his mom’s basement making a game that is going to blow us away.
Make no mistake about it, the features of both boxes will mean very little, it’s going to be all about the games that we can play.
/SuperClicheMode: Content is king.
Anyway, all of this talk about winning and losing is BS ultimately, Xbox will find their audience and Sony theirs.
At the end of the day you WANT both of them to succeed as that will force them to fight for your eyeballs. Everyone benefits from an all-out fight for your eyeballs.
The bottom-line here is that the stronger the ecosystem is the better the games will be, as more companies will invest their money to make games better.
99.999999% of devs want nothing more than to make you happy and make money in doing so.
Anyway, that’s my 2cents guys, I did proof this so bite me :D
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.