SPECIAL REPORT: Competition between Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo pushes industry forward, say devs

Developers unconvinced by ‘single games format’ notion

In an article published on Developmag.com today a number of leading UK developers have put paid to suggestions that the industry should move to a single-format platform.

Following on from comments made by EA’s Gerhard Florin and Silicon Knights’ Denis Dyack, amongst others, advocating such a future for the industry, reps from UK independent studios and technology firms have sounded off on the issue. And they aren’t convinced.

According to Frontier’s David Braben, "our industry would stagnate" if a single format was introduced.

He adds: "The reason development is hard is because the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 are pushing at the edge of technology. We are having to learn new techniques, and deal with vastly richer data sets to meet the expectations created by these machines.

Yes, it would be be easier if the two machines ran the same code. Yes, it would be easier if we didn’t need to get manufacturer approvals. But this is short sighted: it removes the incentive for Sony or Microsoft or Nintendo or whoever to spend the billions investing in another generation in the future."

The piece comes to the conclusion that it’s the very competition between formats which drives forward games development.

Comments NaturalMotion’s CEO Torsten Reil: "It’s hard to see how performance will continue to increase at the current pace without competing companies pushing the limits.

"And contrary to what some people think: we will require performance increases for some time to allow the medium to live up to its potential. Casual games are only part of what games can deliver."

The feature in full can be read here.

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