Xbox One Development Director: Gamer And Developer Needs Are At Odds With Each Other

By William Usher 2014-01-23 11:33:50 discussion comments
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Apparently what developers want to do and what gamers want developers to do are at complete odds with each other. Oh boy, someone better tell Dean “Rocket” Hall, the Sony developmental architects and the talented crew at Chucklefish, that they've been doing it all wrong.

According to Microsoft's own development director for the Xbox One, Boyd Multerer, he had some confusing words to share about the state of Microsoft's latest console, with Game Revolution highlighting the most important parts of a recent Xbox news entry...
"[Developers] want to know exactly how much RAM they can use, and exactly how much CPU, and exactly how the graphics are going to work, and that should never change,"

“The needs of the gamer and the needs of the game developers are at direct odds, so how do you serve both at the same time? That’s the real reason why we did two separate operating systems. One is more static, aimed letting game developers ability to deliver the best games, and one is aimed at the gamer to give them an evolving, changing, updating console that will be able to support the next big social network that hasn’t even been invented yet.”


What Multerer is talking about are hardcore, Glorious PC Master Race members; enlightened beings constantly striving for bigger and better, scalable experiences.

The average console gamer just wants a properly optimized game that offers new-generation gameplay experiences.

I think Boyd has his demographics mixed up.

So far, Sony has been receiving nothing but a lot of praise (and a bit of heartache) over the actual design of the PlayStation 4 and its hardware capabilities. They've consistently hit 1080p at 60 frames per second for the games where it counts, and generally speaking, the graphics and gameplay have been decent enough where gamers are highly anxious about the second and third-generation games set to release for the console. In other words, Sony hit the ground running and both gamers and developers are liking what they have to play with.

Boyd's comments seem strictly related to the Xbox One, and not in actual relation to game developers in general. The console is more expensive than its direct competitors and it ties in price to the low-tier Steam Machines while offering lesser performance in the benchmarks.

As mentioned at the top of the article, developers running games in low-scale performance bubbles still seem to be finding quite the success, especially in the indie sector. Scalable hardware hasn't stopped Starbound and Rust from becoming top-sellers with gamers who have low or high-end machines. Both those games aren't pushing big, high-end graphical requirements; they're all about fun.

Also, Boyd's comments seem to only reflect developers working with fixed ideas. Cloud Imperium Games is actually doing the opposite of what Multerer has mentioned, scaling Star Citizen to become bigger, better and badder with each new milestone. So no, it's not true that the ecosystem for devs and gamers favors a fixed ideology in game design and game expectations.

However, the comments seem to relate more-so toward the fact that the Xbox One has undergone a lot of criticism for its multiple operating systems and the fact that they take up 3GB of the system's total 8GB of DDR3 RAM.
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