Dev tools key to Xbox 720 / PS4 success – Microsoft’s advantage?

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Today there is still a difference of opinion when you ask people which of today’s games consoles is the best on the market, recently id Software’s technical director, John Carmack, revealed that in his opinion the Xbox 360 is the best console ever made, followed by the PlayStation 3.

What’s interesting about Carmack’s opinion is the fact that rather than talking about graphical power, gameplay and online aspects he instead thinks that the Xbox 360 dev tools are what makes it superior to the PS3. What does this mean? Well if development tools are good devs should be able to create great games easily, if not the bottom line is that games will take much longer to develop and perhaps result in a lower-quality final product – which is not what consumers want to see.

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This is not the first time we have heard that Microsoft’s dev tools for Xbox 360 are superior to Sony’s dev tools for PS3, but with the Xbox 720 and PS4 seemingly in sight we think that poor development tools could result in serious problems for next-generation games, especially launch titles as it puts a lot of pressure on game developers who have never used these tools before.

Despite praising the 360 Carmack has stated that things aren’t perfect, both Sony and Microsoft do not allow you to plug in a keyboard and tweak things which can be a pain when developing titles. Here is his exact quote “It pains me a lot that Microsoft and Sony completely disallow the ability to plug in a keyboard and tweak with things. It’s even a pain for us in development that in our full retail builds we can’t bring down and play with debug tools”.

Many experts think that in terms of the software side of things Sony has to improve, people love to hate Microsoft but in terms of live services and dev tools you have to admit that the Xbox 360 has set a benchmark for other consoles to follow, does this mean that the Xbox 720 has a slight advantage over the next-gen PlayStation? We would love to hear what you have to say on the matter.

If you would like to find out more about John Cormack’s opinions on the current-gen consoles check out RipTen and CVG.

  • Kevindodds

    i think that microsoft should have kept the hd dvd but only as a games only medium and nothing else… however i do understand that sony blu ray would always be a more popular disc.. 

    • JBDragon

      HD DVD is dead! It could never have been used for games, period!!! Like with Blu-Ray, it would have split the 360′s to those that have it and those that don’t. That just never works with consoles. Again there’s really nothing wrong with DVD. I’d you need more then one disc, so what. You can also install the game to the HDD.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SNAKQJPEIL4PQSBO5CA57PLZBE Alfonso

        HD-DVD was announced way before the 360 was revealed, so Microsoft would have implemented it on their console, instead they made an add-on and stabbed Toshiba in the back by announcing they were rooting for Digital Downloads

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SNAKQJPEIL4PQSBO5CA57PLZBE Alfonso

        HD-DVD was announced way before the 360 was revealed, so Microsoft would have implemented it on their console, instead they made an add-on and stabbed Toshiba in the back by announcing they were rooting for Digital Downloads

  • Anonymous

    Interesting article – might have benefited from mentioning the approach Sony took to the Vita (and that it was very much in response to the difficulty devs had with the PS3), and that devs were finding the Vita _very_ easy to develop for.  Doesn’t mean that they’ll do the same for the PS4 (which may well not be as close as we all think), but I think they’re a lot more in tune with what devs are looking now for than they were with the PS1, 2 or 3.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting article – might have benefited from mentioning the approach Sony took to the Vita (and that it was very much in response to the difficulty devs had with the PS3), and that devs were finding the Vita _very_ easy to develop for.  Doesn’t mean that they’ll do the same for the PS4 (which may well not be as close as we all think), but I think they’re a lot more in tune with what devs are looking now for than they were with the PS1, 2 or 3.

  • John

    Dev tools might be superior (we’ve known this for ages), because the box is essentially a PC! So every gaming dev worth his salt will have no probs developing! Why do you think we’ve seen so many PC Games crossing over to console, and so many pathetic brainless devs complaining about the PS3. Its not about the dev tools, it it was, we would not have seen any great games on the PS3 which is not the case. This comes down to ONE thing – developers! The PS3 is the superior console, thats not even up for discussion, its all down to the devs to learn instead of being lazy and just sticking to what they know. But Sony should step up and release better dev tools to make it easier (even though those developers are pathetic). But in the end, I dont care too much. The best games that come out on the PS3 are exclusives, and sony devs are best on their console so thats that!

    • beLIEve

      PS3 has better hardware (can’t wait for PSVita) but Xbox 360 has better software. Xbox Live is better than PSN, everyone knows that (even PS3 owners, in the bottom of their heart). A lot of multiplatform titles perform better on the Xbox 360 (crysis 2, CoD,…), but over all both consoles are great. Console wars is for stupid fanboys: the war is between the companies, not the people who own the consoles. Game exclusives are also for jealous fanboys (the more people play the game the better, let’s not be petty). If all titles were multiplatform gamers would benefit enormously playing any game they want, choosing a console for better reasons than exclusives. I read that there’s a rumor about next gen console being a Microsoft – Sony joint console (Microsoft software in Sony hardware would be really good), but just a rumor.

    • beLIEve

      PS3 has better hardware (can’t wait for PSVita) but Xbox 360 has better software. Xbox Live is better than PSN, everyone knows that (even PS3 owners, in the bottom of their heart). A lot of multiplatform titles perform better on the Xbox 360 (crysis 2, CoD,…), but over all both consoles are great. Console wars is for stupid fanboys: the war is between the companies, not the people who own the consoles. Game exclusives are also for jealous fanboys (the more people play the game the better, let’s not be petty). If all titles were multiplatform gamers would benefit enormously playing any game they want, choosing a console for better reasons than exclusives. I read that there’s a rumor about next gen console being a Microsoft – Sony joint console (Microsoft software in Sony hardware would be really good), but just a rumor.

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