Industry: Does Console Development Stifle Innovation?

Electronic Arts, Dice, Xynga, id Software; they all appear to agree in one form or another. They would rather develop for the PC.

The problem: you can’t neglect a market as large as the console. Or can you?

Multiplatform is not easy to develop for. In many ways, developing for a console is comparatively similar to mechanic work on an old car with no new parts available. It’s difficult and the customer constantly demands that you evolve and innovate on top of stale hardware.

When a developer has to design a video game to work on PC and console; more development time is required. Time is money. Creativity is held back because the hardware can only do so much. Innovation in the PC arena (and gaming as whole) is held back by multiplatform development as developers can only push the hardware so far.

I think everyone will agree that gaming is more and more so “dumbed down” as a whole by console development. It has a lot to do with hardware limitations on a console, but console gamers enjoy a different style and auto-aim to them is victory. To a PC gamer it’s heresy. The overall style of gaming on the console is in-arguably designed as if the target market is a class of mildly autistic students with attention deficit disorder.

If a console is released in 2012 and six years later by 2018 a new console has not been released then developers have been literally locked in to holding back advancements and have had to push stale technology along for six years. That is a long time for innovation to stifle. If that developer stays away from console development for those years, they are able to really come up with some great new ideas. In those six years lots of new hardware is released and console developers only ever graze the surface of the full potential of that hardware.

Developers that are dedicated to PC gaming are generally involved in smaller teams these days and do not have the capital to really push the limits.

Ever notice that the underdog is almost always the one to innovate and come out with the great next thing?

So the question is: Are consoles stifling innovation when the limits are only lightly touched after a new generation of consoles are released?

PC hardware is constantly evolving and new hardware is available all the time. Consoles are locked in to the hardware they ship with. Innovation in PC gaming is a constant process and can evolves by the minute. Consoles involve at a rate of five to six years and along with it – the games.

Related Articles:
PCs Are 10x More Powerful Than Consoles

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