Console parity is something argued amongst gamers across various forums. It’s like Big Foot honestly. A lot of people believe in it, but there hasn’t been much hard evidence to back it up, so naysayers often dismiss it. Today we get some solid proof that it, in fact, does exist.
But let’s back it up for those not in the know. What is console parity? It’s when a studio decides to downgrade one version of a game to look on par with lowest common denominator (weakest consoles version. Example being the Xbox One this generation). Often this is done to please the Microsoft & Sony big wigs. But the sad reality is it holds gaming back.
Look at like this. Timmy plays Baseball. Timmy’s the best player on the team and deserves an MVP award, but instead, the entire team gets trophies because the parents don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings. It’s the same concept. Often PC versions of triple A games are gimped because Microsoft doesn’t want their fanbase to see how much better the experience is on PC. PS4 versions are often dumbed down to a certain degree as well because the Xbox One is the slow kid in the class.
So where am I going with this? One of the developers for The Division was bold enough to admit that this game was held back due to console parity. We could have gotten something closer to the E3 2013 trailer, but didn’t because the Xbox One is so weak. Youtuber Team Epiphany attended an event in NYC this past week where one of the developers revealed at the 13-minute mark of the video
“It is definitely a [factor], but one good thing about The Division is that we’ve always considered PC as a separate platform. I’ve worked on projects before where the PC version’s a port from a console, so it carries those limitations over, but we’ve always been in the mind that we’ll have a dedicated PC build, so it hasn’t really held it back too much.”
We do have to kind of keep it in check with consoles because it would kind of be unfair just to push it so far away from them.”
And ladies and gentlemen this is why you’re seeing studios behind popular titles such as the Xcom series, Dirt series, Star Citizen & LawBreakers (Cliffy B’s new game) starting to publish their games exclusively on PC. These studios don’t want to play the politics of the industry. They just want to create the best version of their vision. Console parity wasn’t a thing in previous eras. Often one version of a game looked better & you just dealt with it. I don’t know why this is now becoming a trend, but it’s holding gaming back.
Do you believe in console parity? Are you against it? Feel free to discuss it in the comments below. Also, check out my interview with The Division’s creative director below. I was actually at that same event Team Epiphany attended.