UPDATED: God of War Creator - Single Gaming Platform Please

Why one hardware platform would be GOOD for competition

Posted by Staff
UPDATED: God of War Creator - Single Gaming Platform Please
Scroll to the bottom for the update, where Jaffe clarifies his position.

David Jaffe, the creator of God of War, has waded into the argument on whether a single hardware platform is a good idea. He, for one, thinks it is.

His main argument is against what he sees as the primary point thrown around in favour of multiple platforms – that having just one would stifle vital competition. “One game publisher would be bad. One giant game developer would be bad. I get how those things would hurt gamers. But why would one unified hardware platform?” he says on his blog.

The thrust of his argument goes as follows:

“Sure you miss out on some features that may otherwise be available if another console was there to compete... And for those few features you lose, don’t you make up for it in so many other ways? Massive content choice, being the main one. And what about better quality products because the makers of the software/television shows/dvds don’t have to spend one instant struggling to make the same content for 2-3 different systems and instead can focus on making grate content right out of the gate? And you get MORE competition on the software side- which is, to me, where it counts- because there is MORE competition to be the best on a single system instead of content creators splintering and never ever worrying about competing with 2 out of the 3 groups.”

Assuming we accept Jaffe's argument, there's still the little matter of who would produce the single hardware platform. One company? A group of companies? “Or is it like television sets where you have multiple consoles that run the same software but with their own unique features?” Jaffe asks.

His response goes like so: “A lot of people will say: well, the game companies would never agree to this or that or the other. And to me, that is part of the problem our business has overall. Competition is great. But I think the leaders of the biggest groups should come together from time to time- like the big Mafia families do in the movies- and make some decisions together for the overall health of the business.”

Well, it's a nice thought. But can you really see Reggie Fils Aime over cocoa at a mountain retreat, with Robbie Bach and Kaz Hirai all hanging out?

It seems more likely that if we get a single games platform, it will be the result of one company creaming the rest. Let us know your thoughts in the Forum.

[b]Update: Jaffe has clarified his position in an update on his blog. He writes: "I am arguing for a single standard not a single console."

He goes on to say, "And just because the 'big 3' would never stand for it, as some of you say, I wonder what the big 3 would do if EA, Capcom, Valve, Ubi, Blizzard, Activision,etc. formed a consortium and made a console/standard of their own and agreed to only publish on that standard."

He also writes (in the third-person, for some reason): "Jaffe is not 'arguing for' or 'proposing' anything." Well, the above part of the update featured the words "I am arguing", so we're not too sure about that one. We take his point, however - he is not advocating a single standard, he is just raising arguments in its favour.[/b]

Source: Jaffe's Game Design


SuperSaiyan4 11 Jan 2008 15:39
Oh look its c**t face Davy Giraffe when he talks its always nonsense followed by s**t that makes no sense.

While we are at it lets all have one car company and one food company and one of everything.

People like him should be punched in the face.
majin dboy 11 Jan 2008 15:58
SuperSaiyan4 will u please just shut the f**k up, your comments are never funny or insightful they are just obnoxious and rude.

when i read the opening line of ur comment , i hadnt checked the "posted by" part, and i didnt have to. You obviously have some personality defect, get it sorted and stop being the irratating wee bitch u are.

thanks kid.
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config 11 Jan 2008 16:01
Man, talk about short sighted.

At the outset I'm sure Jaffe et al. would be happy. However, after a few years of stagnation and apathy from a platform owner unmotivated by competition, they'd jump for joy at the announcement of the new, more powerful platform that fixes all the problem they had with the old one. And then, they'd be back here complaining about multi platforms.

Besides, I didn't realise one could fit a PS3, 360, Wii or gaming PC in one's pocket.
irritant 11 Jan 2008 17:03
Guess what:
Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo also all think there should be one gaming platform. Theirs. Oddly, though, their ideas about what what the public want that platform to do is different. And they all want to control the quality and standards of the software that is released for that system themselves. So we have 3 different systems.

If people want a single gaming platform, the publishers should all get together and decide which one is best for their games and just publish on it. That'll kill the other ones off. Problem there is that no one system is the best for all types of games. So if we are to keep the nice variety of games we have, we need to keep the variety of systems. Hey ho.
Jim 11 Jan 2008 20:07
Of course developers and publishers want a single platform as it's beneficial to them 1 ring to rule them all and I don't have to convert this code to work on that machine etc....

but say if that one platform was Nintendo, well Nintendo have a really crappy online policy and tend not to give gamers what they want(so along would come a competitor which offers something better) say if that platform was Microsoft with their great xbox live serivce if they were the ones, they could charge however much they wanted for content and live play becuase of no competition.

same with Sony and their ripp off Europe approach imagine if they had no competition, £1000 for a ps3 thanks, and japan can get it for $50

it will never happen folks, developers can dream all they want and EA can even release their own hardware with the tons of exclusives, but they don't own Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo or future platform manufacturers.
David Jaffe 12 Jan 2008 01:39
SuperSaiyan4 wrote:
Oh look its c**t face Davy Giraffe when he talks its always nonsense followed by s**t that makes no sense.

While we are at it lets all have one car company and one food company and one of everything.

People like him should be punched in the face.

This is great, coming from the idiot I hear every single person who reads SPOnG wants to punch. And I can see why. What an abusive, unfunny, unintelligent retarded response. Anyone who would like to help defend me when this stillbirth shows up to punch me in the face, please stand ready. Anyone who just wants to help me pre-empt this strike and just punch the fool now, please go ahead.

Sir/madam "SuperSaiyan4", you are a dunce and a tit.
Svend Joscelyne 12 Jan 2008 11:37
"I am arguing for a single standard not a single console."
For the sake of argument, wouldn't the 'standard' be a console in this instance? Otherwise I'm not sure what David's alluding to here - a gaming medium? DVD's been the standard in that area for a good while (not including PS3 in this current generation of course), and when an HD medium's been decided no doubt that will be the commanding standard as well.

In any case, I can see where he's coming from - that the video game industry can 'evolve' into what the home video industry has at the moment (ignoring the current HD-DVD/BR format wars for a second). One platform, all releases working on said platform, and software ultimately wins out. It's clear to understand this argument, given David's recent independent studio status. More sales, more recognition. Video games are known for the games more than the consoles themselves.

But as others have said, you can only really do that with a clear winner out of competition, because no hardware company's going to roll over for another. It doesn't happen in any industry - going back to the home video market again, VHS and Betamax; HD-DVD and Blu-Ray are the equivalents of your Saturns and PS1s; your XBOXes, PS2s and Gamecubes.

TL;DR version: Good argument, probably won't happen.
deleted 12 Jan 2008 17:33
it would be so incredibly difficult to do this,

Firstly, the hardware would have to be agreed by someone and we all know that each company would want their bit in it, Intel vs AMD, ATI vs Nvidia, Bluray vs HD-DVD that would take a lifetime to decide.

Secondly there would have to be a standard amongst manufactors to stick to so Sonys version of the machine could be no better or worse than say if Samsung wanted to build one, the only difference that it could possibly have would be asthetics all ports hardware, accessories would have to conform to standards set,

Because of this no real competition would be formed each brand would be the same as each others and to compete they would have to sell it for as little profit as possible in order to get peeps to buy their version and with no incentive for the company making it, not many companies would bother, also who decides when its viable to go for next gen systems,

and Lastly, the system wouldnt be affordable, at he start reducing its selling factor, Microsft, Sony and Nintendo(not this gen) subsidise there prices at first to get that nice £***.99 figure when in fact they are losing money on each console sold, so why would any company do that when there is no competition, its a case of buy it at the price it is or get nothing sure they would sell as cheap as they could but imgaine the PS3 unsubsidised at launch, £550 - £600?

for someone in the gaming industry his views are warped, it would kill the industry, the Movie and Music industry is different the reason is that Music and Movies Technology just requires something to Display or Allow you to hear, because the games are interactive and technology behind this is moving so fast all the time that new generation of tech is needed every 5-7 years, look we have had, Cinema, VHS, DVD and HD/Digital for Film and Radio, Vinyl, Cassette and CD/Digital for Music in the last 50 years, video games have had a new technology every 5 or so years in less time.

simply it wont work.
realvictory 12 Jan 2008 18:42
I think that all the problems between current console manufacturers can be sorted out, assuming that they do agree - which is part of what you mean, when you say "a single platform".

The problem, I think, is that it would create a lack of competition; when you say "sooner or later, another company will release a better one," this is basically how it works at the moment, and it has benefits and drawbacks. The main problem with it is it makes it more difficult for developers to create multiplatform releases. The main advantage is competition. Competition, I think, is the most valuable aspect of this industry, and is what got it where it is today. Having hardware manufacturers competing keeps the industry moving forward - the lack of standardisation means that hardware manufacturers are constantly trying to outdo each other, at the same time as trying to catch up with each other, in various ways.

Difficulty getting used to a platform, or converting between them, I don't see as a problem overall - I think this is actually valuable, and true for a reason. A single game across platforms is a bad thing. What developers a lot of the time don't remember is that each console is specific, with its own strengths and weaknesses, and for a reason.

The art of making a computer game, and the reason why it's an art, is because the developer is working with a specific set of tools, and within the boundaries defined by those tools, realising a vision as accurately as their skills allow them to do. This is true whatever the platform, whether there is one or many. But this is the developer's job. And probably, complaints about/difficulties created by the tools will happen whatever the circumstances are, because of the way the limits are trying to be pushed.
The Absinthe Review Network 12 Jan 2008 19:58
You make a good point regarding the competition realvictory. Imagine having a single console and being forced to shell out $700 with no price drop in sight. Sounds absurd, but with millions of gamers around the world already addicted people would have no choice if they wanted to play games...

...either that or it would spark a retro gaming revolution.

Also, I should note that Mr. God of war not only sounds naive in saying this in the first place, but his "clarification" is downright laughable, only making himself look more foolish if you ask me...
PreciousRoi 14 Jan 2008 06:04
Sorry Dave, I'd love to help you out here, but I have a hard and fast rule...

Never, Ever, hit someone with your bare hand unless your feet are nailed to the floor of an empty room. Either use someone elses hand ("Dude, did you hear what that guy said about your mom?"), or use a tool, its what them thumbs are for. Besides, Daddy needs those phlanges intact to make the big money, and skulls are hard. Also, hitting someone in the face is a rookie mistake...go for the throat. Then knock them down and kick them in the face, or wherever, they're on the ground having trouble breathing, go freestyle on his bitch ass. 'Course I lean to Crocs or sandals, boots would work better here, but you strike me as someone who could carry off boots... But yeah, SS4 is a douche.
config 14 Jan 2008 11:29
'course, this (standard format) has all been tried before.

Anyone remember 3DO - the console, not the publisher of Army Men games (amongst other)?

Trip Hawkins and pals gave this a shot back in '93, producing a world class standard console spec and licensing it out to manufacturers.

It was the blue-eyed boy of the console future, beating the pants off the leading consoles of the time; SEGA's Megadrive/Genesis and Nintendo's SNES/Super Famicom.

It failed because, amongst other things*, better hardware soon came along from competing manufacturers. The most important people in the games industry (the consumer) compared 3DO to Saturn and PlayStation.

In response 3DO got busy working on its second generation machine (so much for a standard, eh?), but by then the PlayStation owned the market and PS2 was on the way. The 3DO M2 was canned in the 11th hour.

*the games were, generally, s**t
tyrion 14 Jan 2008 13:19
config wrote:
Anyone remember 3DO - the console, not the publisher of Army Men games (amongst other)?

Or the equally impressive MSX home computer of C64-era fame? I know it's not a console, but it was strongly aimed at gaming. If I remember correctly it actually got some traction in the Far East, but it made nary a dent in the West.
Tim Smith 14 Jan 2008 14:44
David Jaffe wrote:
This is great, coming from the idiot I hear every single person who reads SPOnG wants to punch. And I can see why. What an abusive, unfunny, unintelligent retarded response. Anyone who would like to help defend me when this stillbirth shows up to punch me in the face, please stand ready. Anyone who just wants to help me pre-empt this strike and just punch the fool now, please go ahead.

Hello there, 'David Jaffe',

I prefer to think of SS as something like a linguistic experiment. Most of the time we put up with his verbal ejaculations as a reminder of that fact that - while it is supposed to convey meaning - language can also do totally the opposite. However, on some occasions his words can form into some strange, twisted sense - much in the same way Brion Gysin's (and William S Burroughs') cut-ups could.

My opinion is that a descent into actual physical violence - or even a ban - would just lend way too much credence to the whole affair.

Cheers - and, yes, that was a Brion Gysin reference - pretentious, moi?


config 14 Jan 2008 16:49
Yes, MSX did pretty well in Japan.

Hell, it's the spiritual home of Solid Snake, so perhaps that should be "very well"?
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