It’s interesting, I get a lot of interview questions sent to me from the media that ask when such and such game will be on the console. The answer is usually: never.
I like my consoles. My kids like them. But I’m a greedy capitalistic bastard who wants to make money. And for the large scope strategy games I design it means the PC.
If I was making an action game or a first person shooter, I’d likely make it for the console. The RPG we have in pre-production (very early pre-production) is targeting consoles as well as the PC. So I’m not some sort of PC zealot. I just don’t see how I can make the kind of strategy game that *I want to play* on the console without gimping it to the point that it would ruin the game and thus be a financial disaster.
Let’s consider the specs on my favorite console, the XBOX 360.
It is essentially a custom PC running a 3-core PowerPC from 5 years ago. It has 512MB of total RAM that it has to also share with the ATI designed graphics system.
Now, eventually there will be a new generation of consoles that will be much more powerful than this. But by that time, 64-bit PC games will start coming out that will be able to address many GIGS of RAM (virtual or real) resulting in games that can look lifelike AND have the kind of scope that PC strategy gamers tend to embrace (and from our vantage point more importantly – buy).
There are strategy games being made for the PC. Supreme Commander 2 is due out shortly and Chris Taylor is certainly a more experienced game designer than I am so maybe he’s figured out a way to make it work. But *I* can’t see how to make it work. Not for the kinds of strategy games I want to play.