PS4: No gimps please.
There's no question that the PS4 is more powerful than the Xbox One. The only thing we don't know about the PS4 (when it comes to specs) is how many GB of RAM it uses for games. I think it's 6GB? Let me know in the comments. But that's not the point of this blog. What's the point of it? To talk about what the PS4's 50% power advantage will actually throughout this generation.
Obviously, 1st party games are going to be the best showcase of the PS4's power from all studios. As it is, we already have infamous: Second Son and The Order: 1886, which have some of the most stunning visuals I've seen so far for next gen (obviously the Division looks just as good). infamous Second Son especially surprised me due to the fact that it's an open world game. Along with amazing graphical output, we're also gonna see a lot more expansive games from Sony's first party studios. So no worries there.
The problem here is 3rd party publishers, not even developers. Why? Because of this:
"if the PS4 version shipped with an obviously superior resolution and framerate; better to “castrate” the PS4 version and release near-identical games to avoid ruffling any feathers."
That's the problem. If the PS4 version of the game is obviously better, then tension would grow between the publisher and MS. So to please them, they'll try to gimp the PS4 version as much as possible to make the two versions nearly identical.
I have a VERY big problem with that. The XBO is essentially holding the PS4 back. In 2-3 years, PS4 will show a more clear difference, but probably not to the full extent.
The funny thing is, it's ok for the Wii U versions of games look worse and have a smaller mode selection than current gen consoles and it's fine for the PC version to look miles better, with better frame rate, textures and if you've got the specs for it, running at 4K, but when it comes between the PS4 and XBO versions, they have to be identical. Why? Because M$ have deep pockets. And you know what pisses me off even more? That it was fine for the 360 to have better multiplats for a while. Obviously it was because it was easier to develop for, but the PS4 is more powerful and easier to develop for than the XBO, there is no reason that the PS4 should have better multiplats. But again, because MS has a lotta money, it probably won't be the case.
There is a way that we can make it happen though. Whether it be through forums or twitter, we need to make sure devs and publishers understand that we don't want gimped versions of our games on PS4 because of the XBO. This will be reinforced if the PS4 has a significantly higher install base (which it most likely will). But either way, we need to make sure. I'm not a graphics whore, but I'm not gonna pay $60 for a gimped game, one of the many reasons people aren't excited about the Wii U.
As for Japanese developers, this isn't too much of a problem, seeing as most are just making 3rd party exclusives for the PS4. But regarding ones like SE who are making next gen multiplats, I'm not 100% sure of. I'll use KH3 and FF15 as examples.
KH3 and FF15 are being developed on a level that both the PS4 and XBO are not capable of and then being directly ported down to both consoles. I'm guessing that Nomura's trying to maximize each console to see which one can replicate the original version the best, which will obviously be PS4. On top of that, I pretty sure SE knows that both games aren't gonna sell well on the XBO, especially in Japan. I estimate: 4 copies of the XBO versions. So they won't have much of a problem with that. But even then, I am still a bit pissed that they're coming to the XBO. Why? Because they'll just take even longer to come out. I've waited for Final Fantasy XV for years (KH3 is not a game I've been waiting for that long since DDD came out last year, but still) and I'm not really happy that it's gonna take even longer because of the XBO. But after KH3 and FF15... eh that's for another blog.
The point is, I'm not gonna just sit back and let the XBO hold back the PS4. And don't forget, we're not just talking about graphics and frame rate, we're talking about scale, AI, collision detection, physics all of that stuff. Obviously, the difference won't be amazing visible at launch regardless.
So really guys, let's just make all these publishers to show off the PS4's true power and to not gimp the PS4 versions of these multiplats (Yes, yes, I know Dathreats beat me to it, but I was working on and off for this blog)