Here we go, another interesting but controversial blog post from Cajun Chicken. This is actually part of a small thing I was thinking about...how many people slowly moved away from the focus of the 360, once getting a PS3?
I know a lot of us 'Sony fanbois' appear to look like we don't know what we're talking about, the fact is a large percentage of us seem to and we are; lets say most 'appear' to be...converts.
It has become evidential that a lot of people have got a 360 but have moved away purely in disinterest due to the PS3, call this flamebait if you wish. But its something I've been thinking about quite strongly since joining N4G. Here's my story;
Now take this, in the summer of 2007 I virtually worked part-time at a famous theme park in the UK before starting the second year of Uni with the ambition to get BOTH (then) next-gen consoles. Due to the much better outlook (at the time) of the 360, I got my 360 about 4 weeks saving the rest of most of my wages in the next few weeks for my PS3. I got Forza2 bundled with it, which felt like a bad Dreamcast game which I traded for Crackdown and bought a copy of Earth Defence Force 2017 there and then at the store, (a game that edged me to get 360, which I thought was going to be big and still to this day, is very underrated on the system) then I got the usual suspects a few weeks afterwards; Dead Rising, Gears and Prey for the bargain price of £60.
The first game I tried was EDF2017 which I totally got hooked on, which still, to me, is one of the finest, pure fun games on the 360 which appears to only be condemned because it isn't published by MS or doesn't 'look like a true 360 game'. I found I didn't really like Gears style until halfway through the game, when in the town where you have to blow up the oil to light up and reach different checkpoints. I was annoyed to find the rest of the game a little bit...well, meh, I've played better from Epic. I personally had much more fun with Jazz Jackrabbit 2 and especially the sim mode of UT2K4. I'm not 'wooed' by chainsaws on a gun and gore. I couldn't care less about the fate of Marcus.
Dead Rising was excellent to play. I dived into DR thinking it was going to be the left overs of the Resident Evil series and it wasn't. It's completely unrelated and keeps itself seperated from RE canon and I find that amazing. Prey was good also. Very interesting concept and game design. Good to see the Doom3 engine still stood the test of time.
Overall, I enjoyed Crackdown the most due to its simple concept done perfectly with the defining leaps off skyscrapers to find your way around and doing crazy things like driving up walls and throwing cars.
Then it hit me. Most the 360's good games were third party, they may of only had 'only for Xbox 360' stamped on them, but hey. At the time of development, what other console could of they run on, Dead Rising on PS2 at the same time of the dev of the 360 version?...uh...no. Would devs bother with a console that wasn't offically released at the time of starting development? (PS3). I got my PS2 mostly for first party Sony published exclusives and here was the 360 about 3 years into the lifecycle with a tiny amount of highly aclaimed first party MS published exclusives, even less than the XBOX had in those few years and no signs of classics like Munches Oddysee, Halo or Crimson Skies.
It seemed like developers were focusing on the hardware that the 360 presented the devs those many years years ago to make and test those games, because world wide, except for PC, nothing else could run them.
It was to my conclusion that the 360's 'killer apps' weren't actually AT ALL published by MS! And once the third parties moved away from the 360 as primary development, what would be left?
Next the PS3 was bought bundled with Resistance and Motorstorm. It was at this time I discovered Insomniac (same devs as R&C and early Spyro's) made Resistance too. First of all, I loved the weapons, next...well, it didn't have the best textures in the world, I'm sure we can agree. But I liked Resistance a lot for being a good fun FPS with original weapons and a great split screen co-op mode.
Motorstorm was pretty cool. But it was only singleplayer and my pet hate was how stupidly long it took the PS3 to load the vehicles on the preview screen. I really quite enjoyed Motorstorm as it reminded me of Burnout, Demolition Derby and Road Rash blended into one.
These however were dark days for the PS3 due to virtually nothing else being out, bad ports and PSN being basic.
After playing those games, THEN I went back into playing games and completing the games on my 360. I suddenly noticed something, I couldn't hear the drive or the fan on the PS3, but I certainly could on the 360. This was a large sound difference, then there was the powerblock (which I hadn't seen one that large for anything since the Amiga) everything was very awkward.
The PS3 then got Lair and Haze which most people ignored because they knew they could of been better on the system.
Then Warhawk arrived. Everything changed. The PSN exploded into life with activity and great, original PSN DL'able games and I was back on my PS3 again due to the free online and crazy excellent game that Warhawk was utilising the Six-Axis. Ratchet and Clank: Future followed (best retail platform game this gen) and Uncharted arrived (Naughty Dog, wasn't going to fail to impress) which proved itself in gameplay, narrative, character, artisitic design and animation. Which totally made me focus on the potential of the PS3 and its devs, much like the PS2 did.
Then looking at most the titles on the 360 after that, most of them run with the Unreal Engine 3 like Gears did, I wondered if it was trying to hide anything by purely having UE3 in nearly every good looking graphically intense game that bested most of the PS3's games.
"Is the 360 trying to hide something?" I started to think.
But I couldn't be proved right, due to the opinion that 'the PS3 was hard to develop for' which mainly involved Valve slinging mud because they couldn't be bothered to put resources into a new unfamilliar architecture. Of course its going to be HARD to develop for! Its unfamilliar and uncomfortable territory! Thats what a programmers and developers job involves!
Boom. Devs started learning how to make PS3 games ports equal to any other system and its very rare that the PS3 these days gets bad ports, but however, the HDD installs were still very big back then, now installs have shrunk and the PS3's HDD can be replaced for cheap. Uncharted especially proved itself by running Naughty Dog's trademark in-game, no loading screens, streaming technology since Crash 2.
The PS3's firmwares increasingly got better, more functional and more handy features on the XMB, LBP (Ammmaazzzzing!) and Home came out. (I missed MGS4, not my cup of tea) PSN got far better.
Previously the XBOX impressed me over the PS2 years with its power and its great MS published titles and both could co-exist in harmony in my room and it just seemed to be at this time that the PS3 had just a little bit more juice or people that knew how to squeeze the juice from the machine properly due to willing to experiment on new architecture or only having that architecture as the only stuff they work with.
The 360 started to look like a second relaunch of the XBOX but without the great MS published game library expecting the users to pay for more parts when out of the box. But actually built much...differently, just with stronger technology and just started to fail to impress me any longer with most of its impressive looking library being UE3 based games which could be used exactly the same on the PS3. Essentially, I became dissapointed with the steps the 360 made compared to the XBOX.
Wipeout HD came out. Oh, my god.
"This is living"
That was it, here was a DL'able game that topped anything on any system in visuals and also it had a custom soundtrack patch which the game actually interracted with the music.
Then there was the case of MS nearly getting rid of every first party dev from under their shoulder, expecting to reform long running developing teams being absorbed into different teams. Even though Sony has managed to keep aquirred companies like Psygnoisis (Studio Liverpool, Wipeout) and Millenium Interractive (Studio Cambridge, Medievil) still open for many years without breaking them one bit, even when struggling.
Well, guess what, sorry to dampen your spirits people, but that question I asked myself appears to be slowly happening;
"Once the third parties move away from the 360 as primary development, what would be left?"
The 360 IS slowly losing its third party publshed armory except for the first party due to publishers wanting money from the 360 and the PS3 crowd and nobody with a 360 seems to care, the 360 is due to become a multi-plat system unless it has something up its sleeve. Having a large first party team really does pay off.
So thats it. I'm not selling the 360 or moving way from it completely, and it isn't even Killzone 2 that convinced me. It was purely 2007 and onwards and a case of 'spot the difference' throughout 2007 and 2008 on both consoles. The PS3 just seems to be getting better and better and the 360 appears to be stuck in a groove it can't move away from with the exclusives looking less and less due to the movement of most third party published games and franchises originally on 360 going to multiplat, now that the problems with the PS3 have more or less been ironed out. I haven't even had the RROD (knock on wood) but a lot of people around me has. One of my friends who never even believed in the RROD just had it to happen to him and has been left in a difficult position due to the fact he picked up the 360 more or less shortly after the UK launch...
I'm still waiting for what MS have up their sleeves for games, but I haven't got my hopes up. Because I really don't think there's much coming. I'll continue using the system for second-hand games and good XBLA titles like The Maw.
But from this year, the multiplats get bought for the PS3 and the 360 isn't going to be turned on for a very long time for a new title...unless, SOMETHING happens and I fear that a lot of everyday, average, Joe Public 360 owners (such as my friends, who got them over xmas) are going to be dissapointed and I predict XBL is shortly going to be equalled by PSN in either firmwares, patches, updates or future games on the PS3.
So, how many of us moved primary focus from 360 to PS3 throughout these last few years? Does anyone else feel the same way? I didn't get one 360 exclusive title last year and got all my multiplats for the 360, I haven't bounced mainly to the 360 for about a year now.
Speak up (sensible) people.