Decline of the bedroom coder, continued

This post started out as an email to Chris regarding his recent post, Decline of the bedroom coder. Apologies in advance for crude language:

The increase in complexity is certainly reducing the accessibility of games – the recent report of “teenagers playing less games than their parents” may back this up, but it’s probably mostly down to the amount of other distractions for them. YouTube, Google Video etc…

One thing that I realised recently, and I am annoyed at myself for not ‘getting’ it sooner, is that Nintendo is very clever, MS are fairly on the ball, but Sony are very … very dumb. Notice that even since the days of the SNES, all of N’s hardware were clearly below the technical levels that were possible at the times, but always above the invisible ‘this looks shit’ border?

Nintendo clearly appreciate that games are getting more expensive to produce and less accessible due to increasing technical demands – this is what the Revolution, and to a lesser extent the DS, seem to be all about. Lower specs than the rest, innovative controller to bring in new audiences, and a back catalog of classic games to recapture the jaded players.

Even MS has pretty much got it right, although I’m highly confused that they switched to PowerPC as Apple went Intel. The backwards compatibility list is somewhat underwhelming, but then the Xbox didn’t have any killer apps anyway.

And isn’t Geometry Wars the Xbox 360’s biggest seller, and what is it, a $15 Live title that was cooked up in someone’s spare time? That’s gotta have some people (mainly artists) crying and shitting their pants as their current AAA project slips. “What, we’ve been wasting how many years of our lives drawing gloss maps? We could have been billionaires already!”

Sony developers are certainly going to have fun trying to simultaneously exploit 7 CELL processors and whatever else crap the PS3 has installed, while Revolution coders will already be very familiar with their environment. Xbox 360 chaps will be happy with their DirectX.

Sony just don’t get it. Even the PSP is a shit to develop for, and from what I’ve heard, comparatively the DS is a breeze, just like the GBA.

But I’d love to get a game of my own on Xbox Live though. A man can dream… *sigh*

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Last modified: February 06 2020.