Author Topic: The hadware power debate  (Read 2527 times)

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Offline tendoboy1984

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The hadware power debate
« on: August 05, 2015, 09:15:28 PM »
As we all know, developers have the mindset that the stronger the hardware in a console, the easier it is to port existing game engines to it, leading to better games. This is why the Wii U hasn't gotten much third party support over the years, because developers deem it underpowered compared to the competition.

However, in the handheld market, it seems the power struggle doesn't matter. 3DS succeeded despite being weaker than the Vita and therefore got more third party support. Why doesn't the hardware power situation apply to handhelds like it does with consoles?
« Last Edit: August 05, 2015, 09:21:07 PM by tendoboy1984 »
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Offline NWR_insanolord

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Re: "More power = more support and better games"
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2015, 09:24:12 PM »
1. Developers don't get to decide what games they make, that's largely up to publishers.

2. The lack of Wii U support is due to publishers not believing the amount of sales they'll get would justify the effort it would take to make the game. Hardware capability only enters the equation when it makes it harder, and thus more expensive, to port over existing things.

3. The 3DS gets better support than the Vita because both the 3DS hardware and games for that hardware sell better.


TL;DR: It's about money.
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Offline tendoboy1984

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Re: The hadware power debate
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2015, 09:27:42 PM »
But the 3DS is weaker than the Vita, just like how the Wii U is weaker than the PS4. Shouldn't the same situation apply to both platforms (underpowered hardware = less support)?
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Offline tendoboy1984

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Re: The hadware power debate
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2015, 09:29:29 PM »
PS3 was more complicated to develop for than Xbox 360, yet it got the same amount of third party support. Wii U may be underpowered, but developers could just make games tailored to the hardware like they do with 3DS. No one complains about the lack of multiplatform games on handhelds.
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Offline Nile Boogie Returns

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Re: The hadware power debate
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2015, 10:00:53 PM »
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Offline Lucario

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Re: The hadware power debate
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2015, 10:05:59 PM »
"hadware"
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Offline NWR_insanolord

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Re: The hadware power debate
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2015, 11:15:24 PM »
But the 3DS is weaker than the Vita, just like how the Wii U is weaker than the PS4. Shouldn't the same situation apply to both platforms (underpowered hardware = less support)?

Did you just not read my post? 3DS gets the most support because its games sell better than games on the Vita. Wii U gets awful third party support because the games don't sell. Hardware power isn't that major of a factor.
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Offline azeke

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Re: The hadware power debate
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2015, 11:25:17 PM »
As we all know, developers have the mindset that the stronger the hardware in a console, the easier it is to port existing game engines to it, leading to better games. This is why the Wii U hasn't gotten much third party support over the years, because developers deem it underpowered compared to the competition.
Wrong.

The main factor for publishers to make ports is NOT the hardware but install base.

PS2 was the the weakest of the three AND had the most complicated hardware to develop but it was the leading console and everything was on it.

Wii U got shafted a year in advance by many publishers before they even knew what it is and before they even knew how it will sell. When asked why games like Bioshock Infinite, GTA V, MGS V, Borderlands and Dark Souls are not coming on Wii U despite coming to lesser platforms they literally laughed in our faces.

20.03.2012 (8 (eight) months before Wii U launch):
Quote from: Kojima
The way the player interacts with [Wii U} is very different than any other device out there. So if I were to make a game for the Wii U, it would have to be a unique game

26.01.2012 (10 (ten) months before Wii U launch):
Quote from: Tomb Raider dev
Given that we’ve been working on the game quite a while before Wii U was announced I think it would not be right to try and port it across. If we started building a game for the Wii U we would build it very differently and we would build it with unique functionality

15.06.2012 (5 (five) months before Wii U launch):
Quote from: Take Two, Bioshock and GTA publisher
"We haven't announced anything," says Zelnick on the possibility of moving the company's mature titles onto the Wii U. "I'm skeptical."
Don't mistake that skepticism for a pessimistic attitude about the next generation of consoles, though. If anything, Zelnick is eager to kick off the next line of game systems, because he sees it as a chance for Take-Two to continue to advance its position in the industry.
"For a company like ours, it's a great opportunity," he says. "[New console launches] separate the winners from the losers -- and we fully expect to be one of the winners."

25.11.2012 (a two weeks into Wii U launch, so no sales info available)
Quote from: Borderlands dev
We get asked if there is going to be a Wii U version of Borderlands, and the reason why there’s not is because we couldn’t think of a natural, obvious, ‘OMG, I want that for what the Wii U brings to the table’ feature


Also, you already made this thread "Why don't handheld gamers care about specs?", with exactly the same wording too.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2015, 11:39:10 PM by azeke »
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Offline broodwars

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Re: The hadware power debate
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2015, 11:59:27 PM »
Indeed. What games the Vita gets these days are pretty much visual novels, obscure low-budget JRPGs, and PS3/PS4 ports because the porting process is easy and the Vita's audience has an insane software attach rate.

Developers don't make Wii U ports because they don't want to invest a considerable amount of time and money making special Wii U ports for an audience that, comparatively speaking, doesn't buy 3rd party games. Yes, there are exceptions like Skylanders, but for the most part Nintendo consoles are where non-Nintendo games go to die. Nintendo ports simply aren't worth the hassle, and 3rd party games sell so well elsewhere that they save money skipping Nintendo. Nintendo needs the 3rd Parties, but the 3rd Parties don't need Nintendo anymore. Hardware capability does play a role in deciding software platforms, but ease of porting more so and the Wii U is just too different and too weak for it to be worth the effort. Maybe NX will fare better, so long as it isn't once AGAIN too different to make porting worthwhile.
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Offline nickmitch

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Re: The hadware power debate
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2015, 01:15:10 AM »
Following azeke's post, one could surmise that corporate politics played a bigger role in the Wii U's lack of support than hardware power.  It seemed like companies didn't want to support the console because they either knew their software wouldn't sell next to Nintendo's (at least in a manner that justified porting) or that they hate Nintendo for whatever reason.  The talk of the hardware being weak is just another way for people to be down on the console and garner it bad press, further justifying their own decisions.
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Offline Enner

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Re: The hadware power debate
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2015, 04:54:17 AM »
... or that they hate Nintendo for whatever reason.  ...

Reading the book "Console Wars" by Blake Harris (which I am struggling to maintain interest in reading) and how Nintendo was so controlling with the Nintendo Entertainment System puts this sentiment in a new light. I'm beginning to wonder if the restrictive and monopolistic polices Nintendo had used to resurrect the home console market of North America has left a great wound in Nintendo's third-party relations that never truly healed.

One striking moment in the book is in the Electronic Arts chapter where founder Trip Hawkins is portrayed as being furious at the restrictive polices of Nintendo's and Sega's home consoles. This is in contrast to the freedom Electronic Arts has with making computer games. Given how many computer game developers and publishers have transitioned and now rule the software sales charts of home consoles, one wishes or imagines a Nintendo that catered to at least some of their whims.

Offline Ian Sane

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Re: The hadware power debate
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2015, 12:22:55 PM »
Think of it less as hardware power and more of hardware compatibility.  On consoles third parties like to make multiplatform releases while on handhelds they seem fine with making exclusives.  The 3DS has the bigger userbase so it gets the handheld exclusives over the PS Vita.  Console games are much more expensive to make so multiplatform support became the norm last gen.  Nintendo's consoles having weaker hardware makes them incompatible for easy porting so they are excluded.

Exclusives were very common, particularly with Japanese publishers, prior to last gen.  The industry changed as development costs increased so now the goal is to make ONE very expensive game and release it on almost everything.  Handheld games in comparison are cheap to make so it makes sense that the old way that focused on exclusives has remained.  Note also that multiplatform development is more of a Western thing and Western devs don't tend to support handhelds at all anyway.  Most of the notable 3DS games are Japanese.

Offline nickmitch

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Re: The hadware power debate
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2015, 12:26:57 PM »
... or that they hate Nintendo for whatever reason.  ...

Reading the book "Console Wars" by Blake Harris (which I am struggling to maintain interest in reading) and how Nintendo was so controlling with the Nintendo Entertainment System puts this sentiment in a new light. I'm beginning to wonder if the restrictive and monopolistic polices Nintendo had used to resurrect the home console market of North America has left a great wound in Nintendo's third-party relations that never truly healed.

One striking moment in the book is in the Electronic Arts chapter where founder Trip Hawkins is portrayed as being furious at the restrictive polices of Nintendo's and Sega's home consoles. This is in contrast to the freedom Electronic Arts has with making computer games. Given how many computer game developers and publishers have transitioned and now rule the software sales charts of home consoles, one wishes or imagines a Nintendo that catered to at least some of their whims.

That and the complaints by 3rd parties that Nintendo doesn't support them very well with development issues.

Nintendo being very controlling and having that work for them causing them to not change policies has been a weakness of theirs.

But the Wii era you could almost chalk up to horsepower (and other system choices).  3rd parties would've wanted to make Wii games, but the pissing contest of the time was graphics and online modes: two things the Wii did (piss) poorly.  So, one could make a game for the popular system, and feel reluctant to show it off next to their shinier games on the HD platforms.
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Offline MagicCow64

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Re: The hadware power debate
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2015, 03:15:53 PM »
Next gen hardware aside, Wii U should have gotten every third party last gen release up to the present (said releases are just now dying off). The Darksider guys made it sound pretty damn easy to port to, and even if the opportunity cost wasn't worth it for the publishers, this is where Nintendo should have stepped in to fund ports (not as bad as moneyhatting but not completely hands off either). I mean, it probably would've lost them some amount of money, but I think it would have been worth it to keep the ecosystem healthier. With robust 3rd party support for the first 2-3 years of the WiiU, it could've had a better chance to hit Gamecube numbers rather than Dreamcast numbers.