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"Your 'reality', sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever."
— Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von M√ľnchhausen

The PS3's Death Spiral

One of the game design blogs I didn't put on my earlier list is the sporadically-updated but nonetheless interesting Blog of Booth, as in Jason Booth, formerly of Harmonix. His most recent post talks at length about the lack of good games for the PS3 despite its much-touted technological superiority over the XBox 360. He approaches it from the point of view of the game developer, and explains convincingly (to me, at least) why the PS3's games have not — and maybe will not ever — blow anyone away:

[Getting performance equivalent to the XBox 360] out of the PS3 requires a lot of work unique to the platform, and in many cases, even with all these tricks, you still won't see equivalent performance. Thus, many ps3 games have simplified shaders and run at lower native resolutions than the 360 versions. On top of this, there is shrinking incentive to do this work; the PS3 isn't selling.

This turns into what some might call a "death spiral": the PS3 is harder to develop for, which means that fewer developers are doing it, which means fewer games, which means a smaller audience, which means less money in developing for the PS3, which means fewer games, which means a smaller audience... you get the idea. Boy am I glad I decided to sit out the first round of console wars.

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The Red Bull Diary is the personal pulpit and intellectual dumping-ground for its author, an amateur game designer, professional programmer, political centrist and incurable skeptic. The Red Bull Diary is gaming, game design, politics, development, geek culture, and other such nonsense.