The gaming world has been in a state of shock, surprise, and hype since Microsoft showed off a demo of Crackdown 3 at their Gamescom panel last week. In light of Crackdown 3‘s impressive Gamescom demonstration, many Xbox One owners are now suggesting that third-party developers ditch parity in their multiplatform games, so as to take full advantage of the Xbox One’s Cloud computing technology.
The demo itself, which you can read more about here, shows off impressive use of Microsoft’s long-touted Cloud compute capabilities, and marked a turnaround for gamers everywhere as Microsoft was able to finally show their vision of games utilising ‘the Cloud’ in an unprecedented fashion. It also showed those skeptical of the tech that it is indeed possible.
In the week since, many Xbox One gamers have taken the stance that more third-party games would benefit from utilising this technology – offloading all the NPCs in Assassin’s Creed or Deus Ex could create a more robust in-game city; Call of Duty multiplayer could have some destructible environments, and so on.
The possibilities for application on a game-by-game basis are staggering.
It’s to this end that some Xbox One owners are pushing for ‘no parity’ in third-party multiplatform games, often citing the PlayStation 4 as potentially ‘holding back the future of gaming’ when it comes to the possibilities of Cloud compute.
The irony lies in the fact that, not too long ago, PlayStation 4 owners were the ones pushing for no parity, seeing as many Xbox One games of the time weren’t hitting the fabled 1080p/60fps benchmark. Now that the tables have turned, it only seems fair that developers should try to use each console’s strengths when developing their games, which potentially includes the many uses of Microsoft’s Cloud structure.
The only problem with going a ‘no parity’ approach – which is great in theory – is that multiplatform developers will essentially have to make two entirely separate games when developing for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One; one with Cloud computing capabilities, and one without. To what end they may use the Cloud in such a situation is up for speculation, but if it’s as game-changing as Crackdown 3‘s destruction then there’s no telling what kind of developmental hurdles they will have to jump through.
And while this is the point of ‘no parity’, it may also, arguably, make one version ‘better’ than the other.
Case in point: would you rather play Crackdown 3 wtih destruction, or without?
Personally, I believe that ‘no parity’ should become a thing, as it ensures developers squeeze the most they can out of each console and its respective strengths, and it’ll help push the industry forward as a whole.
At the same time, we need to be careful that this doesn’t completely deny a portion of gamers from what could potentially be an entirely different experience. A case by case basis may be the best route to go.
We’re still a ways off from any of this happening, as Crackdown 3‘s own capabilities were just revealed, but it will be very interesting to see how Microsoft’s approach to Cloud computing is adopted – in both exclusive and multiplatform games – in the years to come.