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Developers ditching PS3 in favor of Wii?

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from: http://onnintendo.com/Index.aspx?page=1 ... 06&month=6

One of our affiliates, Nintendo Wii Zone is reporting on a couple of rumors originating in the latest issue of EGM. The rumors have a high chance of being true. However, they are still just rumors.

First, it seems that third-party developers have had enough of Sony and its over-priced junk. Rumor has it that developers are quickly jumping off the PS3 ship and unto the Wii ship. High production costs and difficult development cycles are cited as the primary reasons. True or not, I do expect this to happen in the long run. The PS3 simply is not a viable platform to do business on.

Second, LucasArts apparently heard the demands of the many Wii fans. LucasArts is now deep underway in delivering an exclusive Star Wars game for the Wii. The game will apparently take advantage of the Wii controller’s motion sensors, the rumble feature and the excellent “Depth of Sound” feature. The controller will essentially act as a Lightsaber!

If its true, cant say I'm suprised. discuss.

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(pseruter if any of you know him) has said several times that the ps3 is more difficult to develop for

"As for PS3 having a "much more powerful processor" (Corlan said that, I think, not you, create), that is incorrect. The Xbox 360 has three PowerPCs, the PS3 has only one. The difference comes in the "SPEs" (special processing elements) that they attached to the PowerPC in the PS3. These special processing elements have a very limited set of things that they can do very fast. It's basically like a hybrid CPU/GPU, it's designed to do the same operation over and over for different sets of data.

Basically, the "theoretical" performance of the PS3 is higher, but in reality, it will never come even close to achieving its full theoretical performance. It will be impossible to keep all the SPEs at full processing capacity all the time -- it's hard enough to do it on the Xbox 360.

Here's something else to remember -- the Xbox 360 is nowhere near its full potential yet. Madden 06, for example, can run on a single processor at the same speed as it runs now. As people move up the learning curve, graphics will get better and better, just as they did for PS2/Xbox over the years. The PS3's learning curve is steeper, and isn't able to borrow from existing knowledge. I mean, if you've worked on the Xbox, moving to the Xbox 360 is very simple, but the PS3 is very, very different from the PS2."

"I mean, this is not coming from a "fanboy" of either system, but I know a lot about the systems and what they can do, especially the Xbox 360, and I think that the Xbox 360's potential is so much easier to unlock than the PS3's that it is better. There's so many neat things that the Xbox 360 does that developers aren't even using yet -- for example, it ships with voice-recognition software built in.

The PS3 is also very restrictive in terms of memory, which is a killer for today's games. I mean, let me put it this way -- Madden fit pretty much exactly into 32 MB on Xbox, 24 MB on PS2, etc. When EA ported it to Xbox 360 (I worked on that), it fit pretty much exactly into 512 MB. Any game development cycle has a big ol' chunk of time devoted to "memory finding" -- cutting stuff so that you can fit into your memory budget. PS3 has 256 MB of regular RAM and 256 MB of VRAM, and the kernel takes up 60 MB of the RAM. That means some textures have to be cut, or some models have to be reduced. "

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I know Sony are doing a lot of shooting themselves in the foot with, well, pretty much every decision they have made. But I don't see how this is the case purely because the Wii is so far apart from the PS3 in terms of actual use. With it's gimmick remote, motion senstivie joypads, etc. Most games "ported" from the PS3 to it aren't going to fit without a lot of tweaking, surely? It'd be much more probable for them to switch to the Xbox 360 (except maybe the Japanese developers).

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It's simple business. Right now the Wii's development costs are relatively cheap, and being a launch title gaurantees that you're going to get a lot of free PR, good shelf space, and a lot of units sold simply because it's a launch. That high return on low investment. PS3 is running high return on high investment for launch titles, so the smaller companies won't like that risk in the short term. Long term, the PS3's dev costs will go way down, so the smaller developers and publisehrs will get back on board.

Good for Nintendo in the short term, neutral in the long run. The important part is that Nintendo's last two home console launches (N64 and GC) have been disappointing because of lack of titles, especially from third parties. So this seems to be a good sign that they have learned their lesson.

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I am kinda surprised by this. I am no expert, but according to Gamespot:

Sony has announced that the PS3 will use Open GL/ES, a specialized API closely related to Open GL, and programmers will be able to access the Cell's SPEs using C or C++ tools, instead of having to program on the assembly level as they did with the PS2.

I thought this would make things easier for the programmers, as OpenGL and C++ are common tools. I did hear though that the development costs for the Wii are a fraction of that for the Xbox360 and PS3.

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