Did you know different consoles are different? You will hear these tautological statements and possibly more in this exciting episode of spot the difference.
There has been a recent kerfuffle about the PS3 version of FFXIII looking superior to the 360 version.
Before I go on my diatribe I’d like to take this time to ask people why on earth they bother with the Wii and the 360 as products. The Wii has pretty much no games for it, and the ones it does have carry an air of “Casual gameplay” strong enough that you have to hold your breath while switching the console on. The 360, on the other hand, needs you to hold your breath because otherwise it will break down. Granted, some people have 360s because their friends have 360s, but then you gotta pay the fairly hefty $90 odd every year for what is a glorified IM client.
I’m not a PS3 fanboy. I’ve heard them talk and they’re irritating. I am literally asking the question. I mean, if you see a bunch of strident heterosexuals walk into a gay bar every night you gotta ask yourself “what the hell is in that gay bar that is so appealing?”. Ironically I’m talking about the 360 here. The Wii is a write-off and we all know it (except Zelda, I guess?).
OK back to the multi-platform angry typing – First let’s define “multi-platform” as the 360 and the PS3, and optionally the PC. Any game that’s released for the Wii also is probably not worth playing. The reason is simple: Developing games for multiple platforms is really hard, and each platform is a challenge (except the PC. Man the PC is so awesome). While the PS3 and 360 are difficult for developers, overall the rough quality of the platforms is similar, so the same resources (art, sounds, etc) can be used for both platforms. The Wii is comparatively so underpowered that if you were to release the same game on the Wii, the PS3 / 360 versions would look terrible or someone would have to re-do all the art for the Wii. The significantly different control scheme also means the game would need to be re-designed to some extent.
You’d also have to keep in mind that Wii gamers probably fell on their heads as children. I kid. I love you non-gamer types. Ultimately, you’re all procreating so... you know... good for you...
So, despite the fact that both the 360 and PS3 (and PCs! But we all know PCs are awesome under all circumstances, so let’s not worry about them any more) have the ability to chew through the same resources, the ideologies behind them are as different as... well... as different as capitalism and communism. The short-form way of thinking about the differences are “lighting looks better on a PS3 but textures look better on a 360”. However, the real difference really comes down to the developers themselves. Often, American developers will think of, and develop for, the 360. This means that the power of the PS3 will often remain untapped, and the PS3 version will look slightly worse. A Japanese developer, however, will often think of, and develop for, the PS3, which means the power of the 360 will go untapped.
The differences are minor, but enough that certain parts which are glorious under one console (and this isn’t necessarily a graphics thing, but more of a moment in gaming thing) will be merely interesting in the other. Considering how hard it is to make a game, period, I think it’s quite an achievement to get a glorious moment on one console. I think people who have the other console should feel glad that they got to play the game at all, given the number of mediocre games and console exclusives.
At the end of the day, they call them consoles because you all have to console yourselves with the fact that a PC is the real home of gaming.