Crystal Dynamics Explains Spider-Man PS4 Exclusivity By Saying A Bunch Of... Words, I Guess?

from the web-of-words dept

We had just been talking about the upcoming Marvel's Avengers multi-platform game and its very strange plan to make Spider-Man a PlayStation exclusive character. In that post, I mentioned that I don't think these sorts of exclusive deals, be they for games or characters, make any real sense. Others quoted in the post have actually argued that exclusive characters specifically hurt everyone, including owners of the exclusive platform, since this can only serve to limit the subject of exclusion within the game. But when it came to why this specific deal had been struck, we were left with mere speculation. Was it to build on some kind of PlayStation loyalty? Was it to try to drive more PlayStation purchases? Was it some kind of Sony licensing thing?

Well, we have now gotten from the head of the publishing studio an...I don't know... answer? That seems to be what was attempted, at least, but I'll let you all see for yourselves, if you can make out what the actual fuck is going on here. The co-leader of Crystal Dynamics gave an interview to ComicBook and touched on the subject.

So the beauty of Spider-Man, and what Spider-Man represents as a character, and as a world is...again, it comes back to the relationship with PlayStation and Marvel. We happened to be...once you can execute and deliver, when it comes down to choices of where and what Spider-Man can be, that’s a relationship question that PlayStation absolutely has the rights to, that as you guys know, with Sony’s ownership there, and Marvel with Sony saying, ‘Hey, this is something we can do. This is something we can do on this platform.’

If anything was deserving of a Jonathan Swan meme, this must surely be it. I have read the above paragraph no less than ten times and I have no idea what the hell it is saying. There seems to be some nod to Sony's publishing rights for video games and Spider-Man, but, as we've said previously, those rights don't seem to actually exist. Then there's some talk about how special Spider-Man is, alongside "Hey, this is something we can do."

...okay. It doesn't get any better as it goes on.

And so, what we do as creators is say, ‘This is an opportunity that we can make something unique, and fun, and awesome that we all...you just talked about Black Widow, and to be able to have that experience. So we love the idea of being able to bring this character to the PlayStation players.

Blink, blink. But why exclusively? Why wouldn't you love to bring that character to Xbox owners? PC gamers? Nothing in this dump truck of words strung together seems to have anything to do with the exclusivity deal this man's studio struck with Sony. What the hell?

But I really do think people will look at this and say, ‘Yeah, okay, we get that, we can understand the business behind that’, but in general, we’re making this game for everybody.

They sure as shit don't. The response to this deal has been nearly universally negative. Which makes all the sense in the world. Owners of other platforms don't get to play the character. PlayStation owners might be glad they do, but does anyone really think they're also cheering on owners of other systems not getting to play Spider-Man? Why in the world would they even care?

Whatever else, the studio should try harder to explain its decisions rather than simply trot out an ill-prepared studio head to weave a tangled web of words.

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Filed Under: exclusivity, marvel's avengers, playstation, spider man
Companies: crystal dynamics, marvel, sony


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 6 Aug 2020 @ 6:01pm

    Maybe nex time try silence

    That 'explanation' reads as someone who had literally not given the matter any thought before that moment and was scrambling on the spot for an excuse, or someone who knew the explanation(money), didn't want to potentially piss off someone above him whether Sony or Marvel and decided that 'incredibly vague non-answer' was the way to go.

    What it doesn't sound like is a good explanation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      ryuugami, 6 Aug 2020 @ 10:20pm

      Re: Maybe nex time try silence

      That 'explanation' reads as

      Donald Trump. Let's not sugarcoat this. It reads as Donald Trump.

      someone who had literally not given the matter any thought before that moment

      Well.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Aug 2020 @ 12:23am

      Re: Maybe nex time try silence

      "What it doesn't sound like is a good explanation."

      Well, to be fair that's not entirely his fault. Here, try spinning "Well, Sony insists on holding the big attention grabber hostage in their personal domain in the hope of forcing everyone to buy Playstation" in a way which doesn't reek of suck and fail?

      This isn't the first, second or third time Sony has let their control obsession overrule common sense - or the markets - Anyone remember that digital camera they built once upon a time which was top notch, except for the fact that it would only accept Sony-built SD cards?

      The first Sony-Ericsson Xperia - the one and only android phone which was unable to sync properly with any email client except Sony's own?

      And of course the PS3 which Sony rebuilt to take away the promised functionalities with a quick firmware update, after people had actually purchased it?

      Now here's a game which has exclusive content only available if you own a Sony PS. Color me unsurprised. For PC gamers there'll be plenty of incentive for cracking the game and re-add the missing character, but xbox users will end up screwed in that regard.

      IP is almost invariably toxic but Sony has always gone that extra mile to add just another sprinkling of pure turd to that repugnant soup...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        bhull242 (profile), 7 Aug 2020 @ 5:46am

        Re: Re: Maybe nex time try silence

        Come to think of it, Sony is really the only platform-owner that I’m aware of currently requiring a number of third-party games to be exclusive to their platform(s). Sure, Xbox One and Switch may have some exclusive third-party titles (I haven’t checked if they have, but it wouldn’t surprise me), but for the most part, Microsoft and Nintendo seem to rely on other methods (console features like portability or power, prices, first-party titles, etc.) to convince people to buy their consoles.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          bhull242 (profile), 7 Aug 2020 @ 5:52am

          Re: Re: Re: Maybe nex time try silence

          Plus, Sony really dragged their feet on cross-platform support.

          That said, while I’m not surprised at Sony making consumer-hostile decisions aimed at exclusivity and closed content, nor am I going to waste my time complaining about titles being made platform-exclusive purely because of deals made with platform holders, making a third-party character (one who isn’t even originally from a video game) platform exclusive is a new low.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            nasch (profile), 10 Aug 2020 @ 8:46am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Maybe nex time try silence

            Destiny would regularly feature weapons exclusive to Playstation. Not sure if they continued that with Destiny 2. Arguably not as bad as a character, but along the same lines.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 8 Aug 2020 @ 12:43am

          Re: Re: Re: Maybe nex time try silence

          " Sure, Xbox One and Switch may have some exclusive third-party titles (I haven’t checked if they have, but it wouldn’t surprise me)"

          Microsoft actually concentrated on buying up developers ready for this gen, so a lot of the "exclusives" (yes, people always whine that they're also on PC, but they're console exclusives) are technically first party. There are some third party exclusives that have been announced, but the wording seems to suggest these are limited time exclusives, so they will be on other platforms eventually.

          "Microsoft and Nintendo seem to rely on other methods (console features like portability or power, prices, first-party titles, etc.) to convince people to buy their consoles."

          Nintendo almost entirely rely on first party titles, as they famously lag behind on everything from the raw power of the consoles to their god awful online capabilities. The gimmicky design of the consoles comes a close second, though this can be very much hit (Wii, Switch) or miss (Wii U).

          Microsoft, on the other hand, are promoting the power of their console, but after taking such a beating from the disastrous XBox One launch have managed to build a very good consumer-friendly set of services, ranging from backward compatibility to Game Pass. In fact, Game Pass is one of the thing they're pushing for next gen as it means that anyone paying a subscription gets immediate access to all MS published games on launch day.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    crade (profile), 6 Aug 2020 @ 8:14pm

    Artificial exclusivity is the only remaining defining feature of consoles. There is nothing else that separates them from other consoles and PCs, and it is their only remaining selling point. Yes they are cheaper than PCs, but only because they are subsidized by that artificially exclusivity.. blocking the games from playing on other consoles and pcs whose hardware is indistinguishable but for the exclusivity. I would agree that I don't think it "makes sense" but only because consoles don't make any sense. How does it make sense to sell consoles at a loss in order to sell games but intentionally block people from buying and playing the games on other machines? Only because they are middlemen.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Aug 2020 @ 12:30am

      Re:

      "There is nothing else that separates them from other consoles and PCs"

      Well, there are a few things - on PC there's usually higher resolution, often the option of modding your game without requiring the platform owners to jump through hoops, etc.
      Thanks to user-built mods Skyrim, Fallout 4 and even Oblivion are still being played by a thriving PC gamer community today with, in some cases, almost completely rebuilt variations of the original game.

      The console only really has two things going for it. Marginally less expensive, due to, as you say, a lot of subsidy, and the consistency of the installed games. The controlled environment has a lot going for it in e-sports.

      "How does it make sense to sell consoles at a loss in order to sell games but intentionally block people from buying and playing the games on other machines? Only because they are middlemen."

      In essence the one and only use most of "intellectual property" ever has - a legal framework of protectionism which enables an industry of middlemen to control a disproportionate market share.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        bhull242 (profile), 7 Aug 2020 @ 6:15am

        Re: Re:

        on PC there's usually higher resolution

        I agree with most of what you said (though I believe modding for some titles like Skyrim is allowed on XBox One), but I do believe there should be some clarification here. On PC, there is usually the option for higher resolution. Different PCs perform differently, so there’s generally more customizability for PC games.

        Basically, a lot of the differences between PC and consoles come down to the fact that consoles generally only have one or two builds with different RAM, graphics cards, hard drives, etc. that affect performance and what the platform is capable of and only accept one or two (maybe three if there’s backwards compatibility) different media for storing games, while PCs have a lot of options for different performances and specs. The PCs themselves are more varied and customizable, so so are the games’ options on PC.

        What consoles offer is simplicity in getting the games, starting the games, and knowing whether your machine supports a given (version of a given) game. You generally don’t have to worry about hardware requirements with consoles like you do with PCs. That customizability and openness of PCs is a double-edged sword, after all. Sure, PC games may have higher max graphics and performance than console games, but console games are generally more guaranteed to work on your machine and simpler to set-up and research.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 10 Aug 2020 @ 3:44am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "I believe modding for some titles like Skyrim is allowed on XBox One"

          Titles such as Fallout 4 and Skyrim allow a selection of mods - though it's very limited both because the console itself severely bottlenecks the type of mods which can be implemented and because the mods need to be loaded through the console OEM servers.

          "You generally don’t have to worry about hardware requirements with consoles like you do with PCs."

          Far more of a problem back in the day, honestly. Today it's hard to find a PC which doesn't, to pretty good extent, support gaming well.

          "...but console games are generally more guaranteed to work on your machine and simpler to set-up and research."

          Also not so much any more...which is, I believe, why console makers keep looking for competitive edges to retain their market shares with.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 10 Aug 2020 @ 4:16am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Today it's hard to find a PC which doesn't, to pretty good extent, support gaming well."

            Well.. yes and no. You don't get situations like Crysis very often any more, where the demands of the game outstrip the hardware capabilities of most PCs, but you will tend to have to regularly update the PC if you want to get the best performance, run at the best resolutions, etc. That's a decision for the purchaser, but if you don't do that then you lose one of the main advantages of PC games. With a console, you know that anything that comes out for that console will run in a particular way for the entire lifetime of the console with no upgrades required.

            "Also not so much any more..."

            If you mean that games are as simple to run on a PC as they are on a console, I'd still say you're wrong generally. Just the rubbish about needing to have certain launchers installed immediately makes it more of a hassle than just putting a disc in the drive or clicking on a downloaded game.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 12:27am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "You don't get situations like Crysis very often any more, where the demands of the game outstrip the hardware capabilities of most PCs, but you will tend to have to regularly update the PC if you want to get the best performance..."

              Depends...I mean, if we take a few big older games like Oblivion, Skyrim or Fallout 4 you'll be able to run the game at console resolution and AA with a five-ten year old rig. Some mods exist which retool those games to 2k-4k resolution and vastly extended graphics - which of course only exist for PC. I've personally tried this with Oblivion where the PS3 GOTY version looks grainy and uninspiring while the modded PC version that console couldn't support, on a rig from the same era looks like a full-color 2k movie. YMMV, but the trend so far is that even older PC's tend to solidly outperform consoles. Of course, that requires more tinkering than just tossing a disc into the drive which brings us to your next point;

              "If you mean that games are as simple to run on a PC as they are on a console, I'd still say you're wrong generally. Just the rubbish about needing to have certain launchers installed immediately makes it more of a hassle than just putting a disc in the drive or clicking on a downloaded game."

              That's far more accurate in general. By the time the convenience of installing a PC game is at console levels that PC will be a console. Let's not even discuss optimizing the game settings to where you hit the compromise of what your CPU and GPU will take at decent FPS without stuttering.

              The perception of the PC gamer being an "elitist" tinkering nerd as compared to the console gamer who values convenience more than flexibility is very, very old. It's basically the ancient "user vs engineer" debate which makes the early examples those of an old roman aedile arguing about the details of which type of plumbing to use with a long-suffering engineer.

              We aren't going to see that debate resolved in our lifetimes so I'll just cave on your point there.

              Consoles and PC games cater to a completely different set of people with different values. Stereotypically the PC crowd looks at the console crowd and sees people willing to overpay a greedy OEM which then controls their habits. The Console crowd in turn looks at the PC crowd and sees a group of people willing to waste more time tinkering with the game than they actually spend playing it.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 12:44am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "YMMV, but the trend so far is that even older PC's tend to solidly outperform consoles."

                This is true, to a point. If you buy a decent PC, any console that's available at the time will likely not be as good. But, you'll have paid much more for the PC.

                "Let's not even discuss optimizing the game settings to where you hit the compromise of what your CPU and GPU will take at decent FPS without stuttering.

                The perception of the PC gamer being an "elitist" tinkering nerd as compared to the console gamer who values convenience more than flexibility is very, very old."

                Erm, I see your point, but you do realise that you just described a tinkering nerd just before denying that's true, right?

                "Consoles and PC games cater to a completely different set of people with different values."

                This is really the only point worth making. I spend my working life on my computer, and if I decide to do some gaming to relax at the end of a day then I'd much rather be sat on my sofa than at the same desk, run a game instantly with no messing around, and I'm quite happy to be looking at 1080p until there's something I decide to upgrade my TV to 4K for. If you want to look at something shiny you paid significantly more time and money to obtain, that's your choice.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        crade (profile), 7 Aug 2020 @ 6:15am

        Re: Re:

        You are talking about things that separate "console games" from "pc games". I'm saying fake exclusivity is what creates this distinction. The only reason you think there are "console games" and "pc games" is that "console games" have drm to make pretend they can only run on consoles (that this version of the game at least is exclusive to those consoles) and consoles have drm to pretend the console can exclusively run games specially made for that console.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 8 Aug 2020 @ 12:47am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Erm, no. While there are less differences between the consoles and PC than there used to be, the main reason you can't run a console game on another console is because they have different hardware and operating systems. That's got nothing to do with DRM any more than the fact you can't just run a game made for Windows on a MAc is DRM.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2020 @ 3:10am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            That's not quite true, as a pro game developer, I can tell you that most games made nowadays are made with a cross platform game engine, the well known ones beiong Unreal Engine and Unity. All the big developers have their own similar systems. So, to build the game foir another system can be as easy as just pressing a few buttons, but generally is bit more involved, but not massively so.

            And hey, aren't there even decent emulators for Windows on Mac and Linux nowadays?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 10 Aug 2020 @ 3:32am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Well, I'll have to trust you on the game engine part, but it's definitely misleading to refer to it as DRM no matter what. I grant that cross-platform development is easier than it's ever been, but the developer still have to agree to create and support builds for the other OSes, will still have to put in development time to support the multiplayer functions, achievements/trophies and so on. Not necessarily a massive outlay compared to what it would have been 10/20 years ago, but it's something that the business would have to agree to support and market.

              As for running Windows programs on another OS, that is still rather complex. WINE definitely exists and can be used to run some games, while other more specific emulation packages such as ScummVM also exist. But, the results can vary wildly and most people interested in running games on a non-Windows system will likely just dual boot.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 10 Aug 2020 @ 3:46am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "...but it's definitely misleading to refer to it as DRM no matter what."

                In itself, yes.

                Console makers do add DRM even after that, though, most notably Sony. Not sure whether MS even cares.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 10 Aug 2020 @ 4:20am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Yes, DRM will be added, but that's a different thing to what was being referred to in the comment I originally responded to. I think Microsoft cares, but since they do everything cross-platform with PC at minimum and their business model is as much selling services as it is the games themselves, they likely don't care quite as much as the other major manufacturers. Piracy is less of a problem when Game Pass subscribers get new releases guaranteed first day of release for a low monthly cost.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • icon
                    crade (profile), 10 Aug 2020 @ 6:16am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    The hardware xbox and playstation use is just regular x86 hardware. If you hack through the locks that prevent you from running your choice of software on them they would run linux or windows with the same amount of little tweaks as any other new PC.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • icon
                      crade (profile), 10 Aug 2020 @ 6:31am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      And likewise the OSes that run on them would just run on other pcs too if they weren't locked from doing so. It's possible that there might be some driver issues here and there but nothing significant

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • icon
                        PaulT (profile), 10 Aug 2020 @ 7:20am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        "And likewise the OSes that run on them would just run on other pcs too if they weren't locked from doing so."

                        They're only "locked" because they're written with very specific architecture in mind and any slight difference will have to be dealt with by rewriting or patching a part of the OS, which is going to require hacking and/or access to source code. All so you can run a console OS on non-console architecture, which is likely to be more expensive that the original console hardware. Whichever way you want to spin it, they're not general purpose computing devices so don't have a general purpose OS.

                        "It's possible that there might be some driver issues here and there but nothing significant"

                        Yes, but there's no will to write them, it seems.

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                        • icon
                          crade (profile), 10 Aug 2020 @ 4:21pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          They are specifically and intentionally locked from running other Operating systems. You are prevented from building and installing your own O.S. on them. Sony allowed this for while with the PS3, but they locked it back down when people started using it to do cool stuff

                          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                          • icon
                            PaulT (profile), 10 Aug 2020 @ 11:19pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            "They are specifically and intentionally locked from running other Operating systems"

                            They are not designed to run any other operating system. That's a different thing to what you're implying. You can play Doom on a fridge with a screen if you do a dodgy hack, that doesn't mean the fridge manufacturer is being unfair by not making that process easy for you.

                            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                            • icon
                              crade (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 6:32am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              I'm not implying I'm saying directly. they are generic PC hardware that would run other operating systems just fine but are intentionally locked from doing so (whether you call it drm or not), and those locks are what defines them as consoles instead of PCs. When they took the locks off the PS3 for a bit, for all intents and purposes it wasn't a console anymore, it was a general purpose machine and people put them in racks and started running server farms off them (which sony didn't like because they sold the ps3 cheap in the hopes of making money off the gatekeeper fees on the games)

                              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                              • icon
                                PaulT (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 7:24am

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                "they are generic PC hardware"

                                They're not, though. They're custom hardware that happens to use standard CPU and GPU architecture like that found in current PCs. There's a number of differences. For example, the APU is a custom chip designed by Sony and AMD specifically for the PS4. AMD did sell a cut down version of this for the PC market, but it's not the same chip

                                https://www.pcworld.com/article/2029748/amd-plans-to-sell-an-apu-based-on-modified-playstation- 4-hardware.html

                                If you're going to claim this is just standard PC hardware, you have to dig deeper than looking at the CPU type.

                                "(whether you call it drm or not)"

                                DRM has a specific meaning, which is not what you keep referring to. If you referred to it as what it actually is, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

                                "people put them in racks and started running server farms off them"

                                Yes, they did that using Sony's own OtherOS feature. I'm not sure why you think that involves "taking locks off". It's disappointing that they removed the feature, but as you say it was losing them money and since the alternative would have been to sell the console above cost, their choice was obvious (Nintendo is the only console manufacturer to actually sell their hardware above cost, which is why they typically lag behind in terms of specs).

                                Also, it's funny that you are going back that far in your "generic PC hardware" claim, since the PS3 was famously difficult to develop for because it didn't have standard PC hardware. The Cell processor was notoriously difficult to code for.

                                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                                • icon
                                  crade (profile), 4 Sep 2020 @ 8:56am

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                  Digital rights management (DRM) tools or technological protection measures (TPM)[1] are a set of access control technologies for restricting the use of proprietary hardware and copyrighted works

                                  So yeah that's what I'm talking about. The intentionally restrict the use of their proprietary hardware. It does not just happen by accident because the hardware is so vastly different than PC hardware that no one is willing to spend the effort to make drivers as you are trying to say. Yes some parts are made special for them but not so different as to be a big deal at all. The work required to make drivers for the slightly different hardware is nothing compared to trying to bypass the locks in place to keep you from accessing the hardware. Every time anyone manages to bypass the locks sony and microsoft plug the hole they found. It's not some accident because the hardware is too specialized at all.

                                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                              • icon
                                bhull242 (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 1:21pm

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                That they don’t specifically allow users to easily change the OS isn’t a lock. That the PS3 allowed it was highly unusual and required specific software to do.

                                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • icon
                      PaulT (profile), 10 Aug 2020 @ 7:16am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "The hardware xbox and playstation use is just regular x86 hardware"

                      Much more standardised than they used to be in terms of chipset, but it's hardly off the shelf PC components thrown together in a box either. The issue with a "hackintosh" running MacOS correctly isn't simply Apple putting artificial locks in place, there are fundamental differences even though newer Macs have been running on x86/x64 chipsets.

                      "If you hack through the locks that prevent you from running your choice of software on them"

                      ...and invalidate your warranty and the ability to access online services, for the very good reason that the only reason anyone would normally wish to do that would be to cheat or pirate. Which doesn't require DRM, but is a very good thing for them to do for fairly obvious reasons.

                      Going in the other direction, again, the question is why you'd want to do such a thing. A quick glance around at forums where people have been asking questions, the first response always seems to be "why the hell would you want to do that"? The barrier doesn't seem to be so much any form of DRM, but that running a. console OS on a PC is such a weird thing to do unless you are actually pirating that nobody's bothered to do it.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • icon
                        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 12:52am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        "A quick glance around at forums where people have been asking questions, the first response always seems to be "why the hell would you want to do that"? The barrier doesn't seem to be so much any form of DRM, but that running a. console OS on a PC is such a weird thing to do unless you are actually pirating that nobody's bothered to do it."

                        Not quite true.

                        PC tinkerers want to run console OS emulators simply because they're mountain climbers standing in front of Himalaya. Some gamers want to run their console games on the PC because that's the only way they can use a cheat engine to make their characters way more h4xx0r than they ought to be.

                        Hell, some people want to run the game on their high-end PC rig because they feel, with possible justification, that the game in question is pushing the consoles technical envelope just a bit too much.

                        Yeah, it's a weird thing to do, but there are more weird people doing weird things for no real reason around than most people think. I've stopped assigning "reasonable cause" to PC gamers ever since I read a thread about a guy spending hundreds of hours trying to port DOOM to any device with enough processing power to run it.

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                        • icon
                          PaulT (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 1:40am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          "Yeah, it's a weird thing to do"

                          Well, that's my point. crade is trying to say that there's some nefarious activity stopping him from doing that, but in reality it's simply a specialised device not designed to run a generalised operating system, while the OS is not designed to run on anything other than the hardware it's designed for. The fact that modern consoles share chipsets with PCs does not change this, and console manufacturers aren't bound to support something that not only would most people not consider doing, but would invalidate warranty anyway.

                          "I've stopped assigning "reasonable cause" to PC gamers ever since I read a thread about a guy spending hundreds of hours trying to port DOOM to any device with enough processing power to run it."

                          Yes, but at least that's a silly little project meant to test skill, you don't see that guy complaining that the manufacturer of whatever device he chose to use didn't make it easy for him.

                          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • icon
                    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 12:42am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    "Yes, DRM will be added, but that's a different thing to what was being referred to in the comment I originally responded to."

                    I simply added my comment for completion.

                    "I think Microsoft cares, but since they do everything cross-platform with PC at minimum and their business model is as much selling services as it is the games themselves, they likely don't care quite as much as the other major manufacturers."

                    Microsoft is one of those very rare birds in industry apparently capable of re-evaluating failed strategy. They used to be heavy-handed exploiters using any trick in the book to retain and expand their monopoly - from describing Open Source as a "cancer" in senate hearings to shady monopolization maneuvers such as enforced bundling of software with their OS. And anti-pirates so avid they had plans to track down and personally sue anyone caught using a non-registered copy of windows.

                    So today, to me at least, and many others growing up under the MS-DOS/early windows era, todays microsoft looks as if Pope Francis had taken to standing at St Peters square handing out condoms and safe sex education pamphlets. The inherent suspicion of what they're up to is hard to just discard.

                    The turning point came, I think, when they decided they'd rather people pirate their product than use an open source version, and started focusing on user convenience, which leads to;

                    "Piracy is less of a problem when Game Pass subscribers get new releases guaranteed first day of release for a low monthly cost."

                    And we only had to parrot the winning recipe at them for twenty years until they woke up. Heh.

                    The only part they still retain from the bad old days is the way their major updates still screw significant portions of the user base. Almost sentimental.

                    Sony represents the other end of the scale. I doubt they'll ever learn, and every now and then they run something like in the OP almost as if they're afraid that not being petty evil regularly will make people forget what they're all about...

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        bhull242 (profile), 7 Aug 2020 @ 6:23am

        Re: Re:

        on PC there's usually higher resolution

        I agree with most of what you said (though I believe modding for some titles like Skyrim is allowed on XBox One), but I do believe there should be some clarification here. On PC, there is usually the option for higher resolution. Different PCs perform differently, so there’s generally more customizability for PC games.

        Basically, a lot of the differences between PC and consoles come down to the fact that consoles generally only have one or two builds with different RAM, graphics cards, hard drives, etc. that affect performance and what the platform is capable of and only accept one or two (maybe three if there’s backwards compatibility) different media for storing games, while PCs have a lot of options for different performances and specs. The PCs themselves are more varied and customizable, so so are the games’ options on PC.

        What consoles offer is simplicity in getting the games, starting the games, and knowing whether your machine supports a given (version of a given) game. You generally don’t have to worry about hardware requirements with consoles like you do with PCs. That customizability and openness of PCs is a double-edged sword, after all. Sure, PC games may have higher max graphics and performance than console games, but console games are generally more guaranteed to work on your machine and simpler to set-up and research.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Koby (profile), 7 Aug 2020 @ 7:20am

        Re: Re:

        Well, there are a few things - on PC there's usually higher resolution, often the option of modding your game without requiring the platform owners to jump through hoops, etc.

        On a similar note, PC users have been modding costumes for Street Fighter 5. Sure, if you are playing multiplayer then the person on the other end of the connection can't see your costume mod, but that doesn't matter. You can make your fighter appear the way that you want, and a number of high quality costumes have emerged to allow fighters to appear as everything from Marvel comics superheroes, to anime characters, to villains from completely unrelated video games. All without waiting for the developers, and without them charging tons of money for a single costume.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 8 Aug 2020 @ 1:35am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "All without waiting for the developers, and without them charging tons of money for a single costume."

          ...until the mods get taken down for copyright infringement anyway.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 10 Aug 2020 @ 8:51am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You can make your fighter appear the way that you want, and a number of high quality costumes have emerged to allow fighters to appear as everything from Marvel comics superheroes, to anime characters, to villains from completely unrelated video games.

          Something tells me you omitted a large category of "costumes"...

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 7 Aug 2020 @ 9:37am

      Re:

      Artificial exclusivity is the only remaining defining feature of consoles.

      I mean, I can think of at least a couple other differences between the PS4 and the Switch besides that.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        crade (profile), 7 Aug 2020 @ 11:53am

        Re: Re:

        Yeah for this purpose I guess I only consider xbox and PS3 consoles :) The switch is just a hanger on from an extinct era when consoles were legitimately specialized

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          bhull242 (profile), 11 Aug 2020 @ 1:16pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          As I recall, the PS3 was notoriously difficult to code for for several reasons, namely that its hardware was substantially different from PCs or XBox 360s or the Wii. It also had one important hardware difference from PCs in that it used Blu-Ray instead of DVDs for physical media, which can store more data.

          There are also some substantial differences between the Wii U and either the XBox One or the PS4.

          See, the thing is that when there’s only like three consoles per generation, and only a few of the ones from the past two generations were using more standardized chipsets, saying that most consoles aren’t “genuinely specialized” (ignoring the fact that the OS, ports, chips outside the CPU and GPU, and specialized controllers are all also part of what makes consoles specialized) isn’t all that accurate. Some were, some weren’t.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mononymous Tim (profile), 6 Aug 2020 @ 8:27pm

    So basically...

    We got a ton of money and blah de blah de blah.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 6 Aug 2020 @ 8:41pm

    They aren’t rewarding PlayStation owners with Spider-Man. They’re punishing everyone else by locking him out of their copies. And we all know Sony paid a shitload of money for the exclusionary deal; at this point, someone official saying as much would be a better (and more honest) explanation than the word salad we got.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 7 Aug 2020 @ 12:26am

      Re:

      Sounds like the same kind of language anti-net-neutrality ISPs and their PR lackeys used to try to convince is that their scam of deliberately slowing down everyone but the sites that pay the ransom was supposed to benefit the consumer somehow.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Aug 2020 @ 12:46am

      Re:

      "...at this point, someone official saying as much would be a better (and more honest) explanation than the word salad we got."

      Sony hasn't gone in for truthful officials since they caught flak over their CEO saying that "Nothing good has come from the internet" bit.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2020 @ 9:46pm

    Why in the world would they even care?

    I don't know about you, but "Fuck you, got mine" is often reason enough to leave a comment.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ryuugami, 6 Aug 2020 @ 10:06pm

    We had just been talking about the upcoming Marvel's Avengers multi-platform game

    Are you sure we had? I don't remember seeing the article, and the link 404's.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    PaulT (profile), 6 Aug 2020 @ 10:20pm

    "its very strange plan to make Spider-Man a PlayStation exclusive character"

    It's not particularly strange. Sony have the rights to the character in a number of different venues, and the PS4 Spiderman game was a system seller. Of course they're going to retain exclusivity as a condition of licensing. It's not even that unusual to make cross-platform games with exclusive characters - the first one that comes to mind is Soul Calibur 2, whose bonus character changed between Heihachi, Link or Spawn depending on the platform.

    What's strange is the idiotic PR speak where they try to spin this into a positive for non-PS owners. No, it's not, and you being honest and saying "Sony paid us a lot of money to keep the character as a PS exclusive" or "Sony wouldn't let us use him unless we made it PS exclusive" will get you a lot more good will than the bullshit babbling you're attempting there. Just admit you sold out and make a vague promise to make up for it if you get another deal that benefits owners of other platforms.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 7 Aug 2020 @ 3:53am

      Sony have the rights to the character in a number of different venues

      Marvel (i.e., Disney) owns the complete rights to Spider-Man in all but one aspect. Sony owns that one aspect: the film rights. It could only stop Marvel and Capcom from including Spider-Man on the roster of another Marvel vs. Capcom by paying them a yacht-load of that “everyone else gets incomplete content” money.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 7 Aug 2020 @ 5:44am

        Re:

        Well, everything I've read seems to be inconclusive, there seems to be a lot of "probably", "presumably" and "as far as we know" when it's discussed. Now that Sony have a couple of successful incarnations in both live action and animated formats and Peter Parker is established in the MCU, I'd imagine they also have some clout, at least to be able to say something like "give us the exclusive this time for the game else we can cause problems with your next MCU projects". Which, given that this is now Disney we're talking about and movie merchandising is a very important thing to them, this might be a persuasive tactic.

        Maybe I'm wrong, but I think they do have some clout here even if they can't refuse the licence directly. Then, of course, there's the option of simply paying more money, which at the point where Spiderman was a PS4 system seller and they're about to gear up for the PS5 vs XBox Series X battle, they could also just do that.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 10 Aug 2020 @ 8:54am

      Re:

      you being honest and saying "Sony paid us a lot of money to keep the character as a PS exclusive" or "Sony wouldn't let us use him unless we made it PS exclusive" will get you a lot more good will

      With the public, yes, but they're spending their money anyway. He wants to preserve good will with Sony.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2020 @ 1:11am

    Jim Sterling actually did a video on this where he says it's kinda dickish to make Spider-Man exclusive to Playstation because it's siloing away content and by definition, are selling both Xbox and PC owners an incomplete version of the game for the same price plus it's Spider-Man, the most recognizable hero in Marvel.

    I share his opinion on this. It's not so much Crystal Dynamics or Square Enix as much as it is Sony being a controlling douchebag LIKE THEY ALWAYS ARE.

    Still sucks for everyone else who doesn't own a PS console.

    Here's his video on the subject: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45dbUjjU3Fw

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bobvious, 7 Aug 2020 @ 1:11am

    This can best be described

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), 7 Aug 2020 @ 1:34am

    Impressive

    Wow! Usually to see an utter shambles of incoherence like that, I have to turn on a governmental coronavirus briefing!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2020 @ 2:21am

    When I first read this statement the other day.....

    ....I got a sentence or so in and literally could not hear it in anything but Donald Trump's voice.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2020 @ 3:12am

    Sony is evil at it's root, I haven't purchased anything sony since the root-kit cd crap they pulled.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_BMG_copy_protection_rootkit_scandal

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2020 @ 4:22am

      Re:

      Then there was the removal of promised features on the PS3 via a firmware update which I think was the removal of being able to play PS2 games on the system.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2020 @ 5:07am

        Re: Re:

        I believe this was the ability to load another OS onto the PS3.
        People were using this option to load Linux onto their PS3.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Aug 2020 @ 6:34am

        Re: Re:

        "Then there was the removal of promised features on the PS3 via a firmware update which I think was the removal of being able to play PS2 games on the system."

        It might have done that as well but the real clincher was the removal of "OtherOS" which would have allowed people to install, say, linux server software on the console. Quite a number of people and organizations had bought dozens of consoles to build themselves server farms on the cheap. And then Sony removed the functionality which was openly advertised on the box.

        And let's not forget the followup - when someone cracked sony's console to re-enable those functions, published the steps on doing so, and got sued by Sony because, unbelievably, restoring what Sony had removed also provided direct developer access to everything on the sony network, including private consumer data.

        ...and then Sony did nothing about that glaring security flaw, for months, choosing to instead go after the whistleblowing cracker, right up until some other gang of crackers lifted everything Sony had in their network using the security flaw that guy had informed everyone (including, of course, Sony) about months before.

        Sony is just that very weird mix of brilliant engineers under the thumb of the most malicious caricatures of leadership and marketing possible.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Aug 2020 @ 3:14am

      Re:

      They've been evil a lot longer than that - I haven't bought anything of theirs since the walkman days - they tried to charge me more for some replacement headphones that would've cost more than replacing the walkman!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Bloof (profile), 7 Aug 2020 @ 5:13am

    They know it's Sony, we know it's Sony, but they don't want to say as much so not to anger Sony.

    Sony are the company that tried to wall off a third of the multi platform Ghostbusters game as playstation exclusive content because they control the IP, it's just what they do.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2020 @ 7:36am

    Has anyone ever seen this guy and Trump in the same room together?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2020 @ 11:47am

    There's plenty of games where there's a Microsoft exclusive character , or costume,
    Or a Sony exclusive character.
    People buy a Sony or an Xbox console.
    One character in one game will not make any difference.
    Maybe Sony has got smarter, it no longer ask users to buy special memory cards to use its products.
    If you want to play halo buy a pc or an Xbox.
    Each console has a few exclusive games.
    Microsoft has made lots of mistakes,
    Xbox 100 dollars more than ps4 because of kinect
    that no one wanted.
    Sony makes the spiderman films and it probably paid
    marvel alot to use spiderman exclusively in the game
    The need to get new pr reps that statement is pointless and vague and meaningless.
    It's funny the leading console goes back between Xbox to Sony every 5 years depending and it always
    Seems to be the cheapest console that sells more.
    Most gamers don't read up on specs before the buy a console.
    And the market is shifting to many people just buying
    games as a digital download.
    And many games being free to play online.
    Both company's have done stupid things not good
    for consumers but they both have good consoles
    So we, ll see what happens in the next generation of consoles

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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