Microsoft Xbox Stifles PS3 Gaming Through Developer Restrictions

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The inferior Microsoft Xbox is being protected by unfair restrictions that are placed upon publishers, “dumbing down” game content and hedging competition, says Sony Computer Entertainment America’s (SCEA) Rob Dyer.

 


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Sony and Microsoft pummel one another
Last week Eurogamer obtained a copy of Microsoft’s Content Submission and Release Policy, which deals with game content and Microsoft’s publishing practices. Now, SCEA Senior Vice President of Publisher Relations, Rob Dyer, had some strong words to say about Microsoft’s practices.

The document stated: “titles for Xbox 360 must ship at least simultaneously with other video game platform, and must have at least feature and content parity on-disc with the other video game platform versions in all regions where the title is available.”

In lay man terms, Xbox games have to be released at the same time as PlayStation and Wii games are and must have the same gaming content.
 
“If these conditions are not met, Microsoft reserves the right to not allow the content to be released on Xbox 360,” warned the document.

This would be fine if the PlayStation 3 was bound by the HD DVD technology used in the Xbox 360, which has a rough 9GB capacity. But the PS3 uses Blu-ray technology, which can handle almost 3 times that amount.

In an interview with IndustryGamers, Dyer claims Sony has known about these policies for some time and believes they’re a shoddy way of hedging the PS3’s superior disk technology.  

 

“I think what [Xbox Europe boss] Chris and the other representatives at Microsoft are doing is protecting an inferior technology.”  


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MGS4 Would take up 3 HD DVD Xbox Discs, or 1 PS3 Blu Ray Disc
In limiting gaming capacity to a ‘pedestrian’ 9GB, gaming developers have to compromise their game’s vision to accommodate Xbox’s technology, ultimately dumbing it down. Games like Metal Gear Solid 4, which is widely recognised as one of the best games ever produced for a console, takes up 25GB of disc space, deeming it unfit for Xbox’s hardware.

“I think they want to dumb it down and keep it as pedestrian as possible so that if you want to do anything for Blu-ray or you have extra content above 9 gigs or you want to do anything of that nature, you’d better sure as heck remember that Microsoft can’t handle that,” Dyer said.

Dyer was also unimpressed with the “litany” of regulations Xbox exercised when it came to publishing a game on Xbox Live, with Microsoft dictating exclusivity periods and IP ownership.

He believed Xbox’s stifling of creativity is the wrong move, with him arguing the Sony’s PlayStation platform is heading in the opposite direction, encouraging indie gamers with the company’s self-established Pub Fund.

“We want to welcome the indies and we’ve seen that become a very big part of our business because indies are recognising that we aren’t demanding a pound of flesh in order for them to get a game published on our network.”

Although Dyer thinks it is beneficial to help indie gamers, he believes Microsoft has extended their demands to “B and A level publishers.”

 

“So potentially any time we’ve gone out and negotiated exclusive content of things that we’ve announced at things like DPS or E3, publishers are getting the living crap kicked out of them by Microsoft because they are doing something for the consumer that is better on our platform than it might be perceived on theirs.”

“So from a creativity standpoint and what we are doing to try to make it better for the consumer, our view is Microsoft’s doing everything they can to eliminate that because they have an inferior technology.”

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