Monday, 10 September 2012 22:08

Pete Hines from Bethesda dislikes the idea of having to deal with new consoles

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The Bethesda vice president of PR and marketing has been very busy these days. Besides dealing with complaining from PS3 users about the lack of Dawnguard on their platform, he also gave his opinion regarding today’s consoles.  “I don’t think the current generation of consoles are holding us back. There is still plenty that we are able to do visually, technically and from a story-telling standpoint. And there’s this huge built-in audience now.” According to him there are two main problems, and probably no one can argue with him on these.

The first problem is when developers get ready for a new console to be launched. Every publisher wants to get its game to their customers as soon as they can and that is usually right around the same date as the console launches. Usually problems start to appear because of something that happened not so long ago. Developers get their dev kits to develop the game for the console and make sure it will be well optimized, without bugs and of course playable, but from the stage they get dev kits to the final stage of releasing console a lot of changes are done to the device, and it can cause serious incompatibility, leaving developers with bad product.
The Second one is from the consumers’ side, let's think about it. If you get a console today, whether it is a PS3, Xbox 360 or Wii, you will buy a guitar or drums or a mic for Guitar Hero/Rock Band, maybe additional gamepads, Wii nunchuks and other controllers. After you have spent so much extra money on these items you just don’t feel like giving it up just because a new console came has hit the market. Sometimes you run into the problem that publishers will release a game just for the new console and not for both. This is the same problem you find on older smartphones, for example when the new iPhone 5 comes out, the 3GS model will be removed from the stores, even if  it is still a decent device, and soon after you will see games/apps only usable on the iPhone 4 and up.

Even though developers may not fancy this idea about new consoles coming up soon, they really can’t do much about it. If you pop up a new console with even slightly better specs than the previous model and give it a nice presentation people will buy it. Maybe the rumors about the possibility that Valve will be making a console will even speed things up with new model arrivals. One thing is certain, new models will sell, and also new games will sell. This is especially true from big game studio such is Bethesda, if they don’t like to do all of the work developing new games it's their problem, but we believe that they won’t mind publishing another bestselling title like Fallout or Skyrim.

[Ed – the console has another issue, the only time developers are able to truly update their games is when a new console with improved specifications ships. The hardware for an Xbox 360, PS3 etc. is going to change very little over the course of its market life. You might see minor upgrades in RAM storage etc, but you will not see updates to the processor or GPU until the next generation ships. It makes developing most console games less expensive, but is also what holds many consoles back when it comes to competition against the PC. A game developed for the PC can be updated dramatically to include support for new GPUs, faster CPUs and even extra graphics and other functionality patches. You just do not get that with the console and many companies are starting to find that out the hard way they are also concerned about the integration of the PC, the console and the tablet into one ecosystem… But that is for another article…]

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Read 3036 times Last modified on Monday, 10 September 2012 22:16

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