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Friday, August 11, 2006

Will The PS3 Breed Less Quantity, More Quality

Keith Stuart over at the Guardian Gamesblog responds with to the "glut of the PS3 cancellations":

This isn't a catalogue of disastrous extinctions, it is natural selection. PS3 is monstrously expensive and not particularly straightforward to develop for, so it turns out publishers are going to have to be extremely careful about what they fund. In the PS2 days, it was financially viable, indeed worthwhile, to follow a big genre title with several mediocre wannabes - the budgets were manageable and a large audience was there to lap up the effluent. But on PS3 we're talking millions and millions of dollars for even the most wretched of GTA or Final Fantasy rip-offs. And at least for the first few months, the market won't be big enough to support them, because there won't be enough machines in circulation.

Could it be that in the PS3 universe there will be no hackneyed RPG-by-numbers, no soulless 'me too' urban racers, no witless gangsta adventures completely lacking the wit or verve of GTA but filled with crude racial stereotypes and idiotic glorifications of violent street 'culture'? Well, perhaps that's too much to ask. But at least the numbers will be kept down. Publishers may be faced with a difficult choice - create truly excellent genre titles or break off into new areas. In the crushingly expensive next generation, will it be necessary to mutate in order to survive?
-- PS3: natural selection in action?

I would tend to agree. I'm sure I'm coming off as a Sony apologist, but it just seems like most of the bashing is a pile-on mentality and not exactly in line with reality. Of course the PlayStation 3 will probably launch with a slightly anemic and probably not terribly diverse library -- so has virtually every console in the history of games. Keith also very accurately points out that the cancellations aren't generally Triple A titles from established studios or it's not like the studio isn't releasing other titles ... so assuming a developer is "abandoning the platform" because they've dropped one title but not the other seems a bit absurd. The current list of expected games looks rather typical.

Sorry people, I know playing Chicken Little is fun ... and certainly there's an edge of risk to the PlayStation 3 launch ... but if I have to read two more months of childish nitpicking and rumormonging - I might have to scream.

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1 comment:

jvm said...

For what it's worth, the strategy Sony was telling people about a few years ago was "make development so expensive that only big-name, AAA titles get made". I thought it was crazy to try that then. I still think it's crazy today. But, the upshot is, yes, that's what's Sony's doing.