The Middle Ground Approach: PC, PS4, XB1

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by Shortbread, Sep 13, 2014.

  1. Shortbread

    Shortbread Island Hopper
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    Since Bungie has succeeded in parity... should all 3rd party developers strive for a more balance / middle ground approach between PS4/XB1? It seems EA is starting to adopt this approach, which Bungie has succeeded at. Does this make for better gaming or better PR?

    FYI: I'm starting to see this trend affect PC gaming as well. Minus the higher IQ settings and draw... PC/Console ports are scarily similar in every other aspect (by developer choice?).
     
  2. ThePissartist

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    I imagine owners of the more powerful machines are going to vote for non-parity and those with the weaker machines are more likely to vote for parity. Just the way it goes.

    I don't think any developer should ever only play to the lowest common denominator, then make them match. I didn't like it last-gen (not that I remember many instances of it) and I don't like it now (where we already have many more instances).
     
    #2 ThePissartist, Sep 13, 2014
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  3. fbomber

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    Why would a Xbox One owner vote for the PS4 version to look worse than it could? I really don´t get it.
     
  4. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    It's two interpretations of the same situation. For fanboys who think they have the more powerful console, parity is a sign that the devs aren't using their machine fully - they don't want parity. For fanboys who are told their machine is less powerful, parity is a sign that the devs are tapping the machine's full potential and it can keep up with the other machine that they keep being told is more powerful - they do want parity. For devs, they get slagged off whichever way they go by either side.
     
  5. Shortbread

    Shortbread Island Hopper
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    Please, let's not drag this topic down into the versus debate...

    I'm looking for opinions on; is it a good business decision "PR wise" and "sales/revenue wise" on having a middle ground approach across hardware? Or is it a disservice towards gamers wanting the best for their particular platform of choice?

    Edit: This is not towards you Shifty... you chimed in before I posted.
     
  6. ThePissartist

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    @fbomber

    Are you an Xbox owner and would you say that Destiny is evidence of the Xbox One being as powerful as the PS4?
     
  7. ThePissartist

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    Exactly this.
     
  8. Shifty Geezer

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    I'd say both. Well, if Joker's to be believed. ;) Parity means less work for the devs and less grumbling from the internet. Creating a better version on more powerful machines might increase sales on those platforms a tad, but could have an equally limited negative response for the lesser version where players feel they're missing out. This is only for core gamers who read the Web. For Joe Gamer, they don't know there are any differences and don't care, so supporting them (with the lowest common denominator) makes most business sense.

    If you can market the advantage as the biggest, baddest experience on the console, there's some reason to invest in stretching a machine, but otherwise what's the justification? Spending money for nothing, seems to me.
     
  9. function

    function None functional
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    I'm thinking of getting an Xbox One for Halo. Yes, even after Halo 4. It doesn't bother me that PS4 games might look a little better. What bothers me is if constant tearing, poor frame rates and crummy texture filtering impact my experiences, and that's regardless of what the other guy is getting.

    From a business POV it probably does matter though. Developers have to give the feckless masses something extra on the faster platform but protect themselves against cries of "shit port" from the feckless anti-masses.

    A middle ground seems like a good idea. Overall very similar experiences , but with a couple of extra processor intensive tweaks like " PAA" (Powerful Anti Aliasing), that dickwavers can't put a percentage on.

    I think developers may already be thinking politically as Shortbread sensibly suggests. And they're going to need to - the Xbone closing some of the gap to PS4 has created butthurt entitled PS4 fanboys and at the same time resolution hungry entitled Boners.

    Largely insignificant, but real, but unquantifiable differences, talk of "maxing out" the "different hardware", mention " compute " on the PS4, say something about "optimal esram use" and throw in some talk of "low level optimisation". Give everyone a bit of what they want and sit back and have fanboys wonder off looking for someone else to lynch.
     
  10. Jay

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    From my perspective (obviously), there's 3 different forms of parity:
    1. Technical parity - Absolute parity
    2. Observational parity - It takes DF to find any difference
    3. Personal parity - It has to be pointed out to you, or its close enough that you just don't care. This is very subjective though.

    Regarding Destiney, people wasn't sure and some thought PS4 was better. So if there was any differences that would fall under parity type 2. As it turns out it's type 1 (frame pacing aside).
    If it was type 2 though, I doubt there would have been as much discussions, even though people basically couldn't actually tell.

    People are using launch and early games as an indicator of power difference between consoles and what to expect. Always a bad idea considering, sdk, tools, etc.

    I stopped following a lot of this stuff during the middle of the last generation. So I don't know when views changed, but mine has stayed the same.
    1st party push the hardware to the limit.
    Exclusives push the hardware.
    Multi-platforms try to make the best game possible on all platforms given the following limits - resources, money, time etc, which also may mean having to spend more time on one platform for many different reasons (power, tools/sdk, hardware complexity) within the limits specified.

    This generation I expect that multi-platform games to be a combination of type 2, and type 1, then and at worse 3, with only a few being a lot worse on one platform compared to the other, I believe we may already be over that period. I think resolution differences could fall between type 2 and 3 dependant on art style etc.
    If you buy the more powerful hardware, your buying it so that there is less chance that multi-platforms perform worse and hopefully at worse it performs as type 2.

    In Destiny's case, Bungie had done the best they could (given what I said about multi-platform games) and the result was 900p on XB1, but MS helped them get it to 1080p, without MS it wouldn't have happened. Maybe MS needs a fancy name for the team like Sony's ICE team.
    Wouldn't surprise me if they start going for type 2, just to satisfy all sides :lol:
    Maybe Bunge put the frame pacing bug in on purpose so some can still say one is a winner, :twisted:
     
  11. Shifty Geezer

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    Yes, I agree. From the developers' POV, there's little to be gained from bending over backwards to make the PS4 version (or whatever the better console is) much better. But if there are easy wins like cranking a few effects up and adding an extra bit of post, just as quality settings in the engine, then go for it. Minimal effort to provide a 'better' experience, but the game is pretty much the same. Maybe a little extra frame droppage on the lesser box - we had loads of that this gen, so it'd be odd to see devs suddenly start to pursue solid 30/60 fps without letting things slide, especially as the generation ages.
     
  12. Jay

    Jay
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    I can see why people think that, but it's not always that simple.
    Those quick wins, would have more than likely already been done.
    Near the end of the project, the time would be spent on trying to quash as many bugs as possible in order of importance. How many games have been launched bug free?
    IF you get all of those done, then your thinking of any cleaning up that can be done, and making a start on DLC etc

    What happens if you turn up some of those dials, and it causes the framerate to have bigger drops? It then makes that console look worse than the 'less' powerful one. So basically you have to redo ALL the tests again, etc etc etc
     
  13. liolio

    liolio Aquoiboniste
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    Plenty of reasons... the primary one being ego.

    Anyway may the PS4 SoC had some advance power saving scheme as on late Intel platform and going for not a middle ground but a lower common denominator, it could make sense for users:
    Lower heat
    Lower noise
    Possibly higher reliability
    More head room in the most demanding scene /more stable frame rate

    As neither system benefit from advance power saving scheme... I see no benefit at all.
    I mean one has his set of criteria when buying a console, once you chose you assume your choice instead of acting like a retarded kid.
    Now I don't think that lots of xbox owners wants the PS4 rendition of any game to look worse than it could. It is more of a nasty side effect of so called social media which tend to highlight the biggest prick and pull the worse out of anybody. Imo corporations in lot of case should refrain from even having an account... Now I know how corporations work how marketing pricks and others full of them-selves higher ops think... so ... :lol:
     
  14. Silent_Buddha

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    That makes the most sense. Minimal effort but can give the title a cleaner look that translates into better IQ even if all the assets, resolution, and framerate are basically the same.

    And if there was a PC version planned from the start, then it's even easier as you can just scale some of the effects. Better motion blur (bleh), better AO, better shadows, better filtering, better DOF (bleh), etc. Just scale some of the effects while everything else remains virtually identical. Assuming, of course, a decent PC version/port with more graphics options other than just Bad - Better - Good - Best that doesn't tell you what is being adjusted. Hate the titles that only do that.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  15. mrcorbo

    mrcorbo Foo Fighter
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    I wonder if it's actually true that developers would spend significantly more time optimizing for the PS4 than they already do if the XBOne didn't exist. What's the incentive? As of now, the PS4 version sets the expectation for the XBOne version. This adds pressure to the developers to at least have the XBOne version approximate the PS4 version since you can directly compare the two. If there is no point of comparison that obviously shows that their game can look better, why would they put forth the additional effort given the time and money pressures that they are under?
     
  16. Jay

    Jay
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    In F1 the team wants both drivers to do as well as possible and don't usually care too much which one is first or second as they are competing against other teams and drivers.
    The drivers engineers wants to make their driver beat the team mate but will not hamper the other, in fact they actually will share all data.
    The fans of the drivers compare drivers against drivers in same team as easiest way to know how your favourite driver is performing.
    Substitute team with publisher
    Each Race with a game
    Engineers with developers of game on platform
    Driver with platform
    Fans well their fans

    Even if they never had another platform to push them they would still be competing against other games.
    Although having both platforms performing well helps to push each one as you said, more so than one bringing the other one down.
    Not seen a car related analogy for a while
     
    #16 Jay, Sep 14, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2014
  17. fbomber

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    I own both consoles and I know the difference in power between them. I don´t like the idea of one version being gimped, so if both versions are equal, it´s because developers chose that way. It´s even worse if developers do that because of the "ego" of the other machine´s owners: nobody forced them to buy that particular console, and they did it knowing what they were getting (it´s really easy to inform themselves by goggleing).

    For me, as a gamer, it´s clear: Microsoft made the wrong decisions for its console, and it should pay the price for doing so (instead of making a more powerful console, wasting time with kinect). That way, if games are better at the other platform, the same mistake will not be repeated next gen.

    If developers don´t put to good use Sony´s decisions, next time there will not be incentive for Sony or MS investing in console´s power, so, for gamers in general, it would not be good, as the console´s cycles appear to get longer.
     
  18. Scott_Arm

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    There should also be some consideration given to artists and level designers who spend a ton of time adjusting everything to make it look a very specific way. If you have 2+ platforms with significantly different output, that person has to do their job twice. That's another reason why it's probably easier to adjust resolution to scale performance, or other features like anti-aliasing or using different ambient occlusion modes etc. They are varying quality, but they do not drastically alter the overall look of the game.
     
  19. steveOrino

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    First party will always be the standard for console differentiation.

    I would like for developers to always push the envelope but if they have to design around the lowest common denominator then its usually an economic decision.

    In the bone and ps4's case, resolution and framerate will probably continue to be the only difference between cross platform software.. +/- a few effects once in a while.
     
  20. mrcorbo

    mrcorbo Foo Fighter
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    Like most car analogies, this one doesn't really fit.

    Comparing the quality of the graphical experience between two different games is no where near as straightforward as comparing the performance of two cars on a racetrack. This is why graphical comparisons between games typically end up being either subjective or in trying to be objective, focus on a handful of measurables (resolution, framerate, etc.) and treat them as if they were definitive indicators of graphical quality.
     
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