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Ken Levine feels PC and next-gen systems are “very much similar beasts”

Tuesday, 6th August 2013 21:34 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

BioShock Infinite maestro Ken Levine feels PC and next-gen systems are “very much similar beasts,” and when it comes to the upcoming boxes, it’s “more about the software,” and the services provided.

Speaking with Eurogamer, Levine said many companies are still trying to win the war of the living room, which he thinks is a moot point.

“People want to talk about owning the living room. I don’t think the living room matters that much any more,” he said. “It’s about wherever you want to game and having your experience. I’m not just saying playing an iPhone game, I’m saying having your game – your big, hardcore game – playing on whatever screen you wanted.”

Levine feels the future of video games is heading towards the ability to take all our games on the road, and that specific devices will become less important “part of the equation.”

“The technology’s there – it’s actually very, very cheap,” Levine said. “I’m just waiting for someone to do it, because letting gamers define their experience – how they play it, where they play it – that’s where it’s going. Gamer-driven experiences. That’s what excites me.”

Levine said his team is focused on developing the BioShock Infinite Burial at Sea DLC, and while there are people on his team at Irrational Games “working on our engine technology in general,” at present, the team doesn’t “have the bandwidth to think about” next-gen at the moment.

Burial at Sea – Episode One is out in the fall and Burial at Sea – Episode Two which is out in 2014.

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18 Comments

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  1. MCTJim

    Thats what it will boil down to..games and offerings!!

    #1 12 months ago
  2. monkeygourmet

    Except that PC’s will overtake these new consoles even quicker than they did with the 360 / PS3.

    At least the PC can move on a bit and stretch its wings now we are moving on a generation.

    #2 12 months ago
  3. Belmont

    “The technology’s there – it’s actually very, very cheap,”

    What is he possibly thinking about ?

    #3 12 months ago
  4. viralshag

    @2, are you sure you’re not deluding yourself a little bit there because you’ve just spent a ton of money on a PC? ;)

    I’ve been gaming on the PC for some time now after transitioning from the consoles and personally, there’s one or two genres on the PC that separates it from the consoles but even that’s changing. Unfortunately, despite always being the more powerful and open of platforms, I don’t think you get that many life changing experiences on the PC.

    #4 12 months ago
  5. monkeygourmet

    @4

    :D so true!

    A constant 1080p and 60fps across all titles would be nice though.

    Before Wii U specs were revealed, I was hoping for that. Then I was hoping for that on PS4 / Xbone. When it wasn’t guaranteed across the board, PC seemed the logical step.

    After I’ve found my feet, playing things like STALKER on multi monitor and OCCULUS RIFT down the line will be a big plus for me.

    #5 12 months ago
  6. OlderGamer

    Future consoles, I bet, are some sort of handhelds/tablets that hdmi mini to hdmi out to your TV and use blutooth controllers.

    #6 12 months ago
  7. monkeygourmet

    @6

    +1

    Me too.

    I also think the new AR glasses that MS have been rumoured making for the Xbone will turn out to be a competitor to Google Glass and will complement the Xbone.

    I think most companies would love people walking round with cameras attached to our heads.

    #7 12 months ago
  8. sebastien rivas

    @ 6

    It is possible already yes but not for handheld or iPad or anything of that sort to play 3D games on such massive screen that out TVs are.
    I would expect this kind of devce to come by 2018 at the earliest because of die shrink, optimization etc etc… but we are almost there.

    @ 4
    What 2 means is that PC is going to exceed console capabilities very quickly as we already know it but even I am pc user and gamer on, I truly don’t give a dam what is faster and what not. In that matter I prefer Consoles, at least I know I do not have run left and right for driver updates and/or run to store to keep gaming on ultra high.
    You don;t need more than ati 7990 to equal Xbox or Ps4, yet, what most PC users do not understand thoroughly is that those 2 consoles are optimised for games at OS level, it is not like Microsoft Windows or developpers would not need a PS4 dev kit in first place.
    Those little bits of optimisation help the console to stand up straight against PC and probably for awhile.
    So no matter your choice, it will not be a waste of money on either console and trust me PC user will always dry their wallet faster than console users just to keep up with the PC game arena.

    #8 12 months ago
  9. TheWulf

    Well… yes, of course they are.

    The only pitfall for a console user is that it’s not an open platform, so often they are denied technolgoies and modifications which are only made available to open platforms. That’s a shame. I don’t think that consoles will effectively become the same beast until a successful open console is released.

    Until then, there’ll always be that divide, but they’re getting closer and I’m very happy to see that that’s the case. I’m hoping some day we’ll have mods and tweaks on consoles, along with third party technologies, and the ability to play together without stratification. All a console is really is a PC that sits under a television, but one that’s locked down to limited use.

    Well, one day. Maybe the generation following the PS4 and XBox One will herald such. We can but hope.

    #9 12 months ago
  10. TheWulf

    @2

    That may be true, but most games are developed cross-platform anyway, so it doesn’t really make a whole lot of difference, does it? The interesting thing currently though is that you can get a PC that can rival the specs of an XBox One/PS4 for the price of those consoles. It’s hardware becoming cheaper that matters.

    It’ll be up to what the person wants. The choice at the moment, to me, is one divided between exclusive games and the benefits of an open platform. Do I want to trade in the ability to mod my games, to tweak them as I like, and to tinker with their innards in favour of getting a few platform exclusive games? No, not really. However, other people will prioritise differently.

    And it’s really the open platform itself that is the PC’s “killer app” for every generation. It’s the difference between stock Skyrim, and modded Skyrim. It’s the difference between stock New Vegas, and modded New Vegas.

    So it all comes down to what the person wants. If they want the exclusive titles more than they want the open platform, then the console is right for them. If they want the open platform over the exclusive titles, then the PC is right for them.

    #10 12 months ago
  11. TheWulf

    @4

    Mods. :P Mods are a game changer.

    Every Bethesda game ever is a broken mess, mods make them playable and even enjoyable. Neverwinter Nights was a dull game at release, it’ll be remembered for the mods. Shadowrun Returns had a pretty good campaign, but it’ll be remembered for the brilliant player-made campaigns that followed. Grand Theft Auto IV was fun, but it’ll probably be remembered more for the crazy things people did with mods (like that Iron Man mod).

    Look here: http://steamcommunity.com/workshop/

    You can see how many games are picking up modding, right there. Steam Workshop has exploded with popularity, and games are adding in the ability to be modded just to be listed there. And people are loving it, the resurgence of mods has been fantastic.

    Even Scribblenauts is better with mods.

    And then you even have mods doing things better than the games they’re based upon. I’ll be willing to put money down on TheDarkMod being better than the upcoming triple-A version of Thief. (I honestly would.)

    Torchlight I and II were expanded upon drastically with mods, the first even tripling in content (and really good content, too, especially the puzzly dungeon chunk ones) thanks to mods. Not to mention that they were both gifted with lots of fun, new classes and abilities, too.

    And I really could go on, but you get the point. So there you go.

    Considering all that, I think it’s utterly disingenuous and contrarian to discount mods.

    #11 12 months ago
  12. TheWulf

    On top of that, you have aesthetic mods. Look at Crysis as it was released, compared to what it’s become thanks to mods. It’d be funny really to compare the original release to that.

    PC games will continue to visually improve and be modded, even old games like the first Deus Ex still getting new licks of paint. Whereas console games will remain forever static and unchanging. Thief: Deadly Shadows is always going to look way better on the PC because of John P.’s textures, but it’s going to be the way it always looked in its console version.

    That’s the game changer. Like I said: For some people, that’s going to matter more than exclusive titles, for others it isn’t. But to discount it entirely with all the good work modders have done is completely disingenuous.

    The only reason I could see a PC gamer even not touting mods is if they simply weren’t smart enough to install them. And that’s not exactly hard. The mind boggles.

    #12 12 months ago
  13. TheWulf

    See, y’get me talking, it’s hard to stop.

    Let’s see what other boons there are of an open platform.

    * Free Games

    If you don’t believe this one is true, then check out Frogatto & Friends or Warsow.

    This is what happens when people don’t have to pay money to publish, due to the platform being open.

    * Emulation

    From the Apple II and the ZX Spectrum right up to the Playstation 2 and the Gamecube, just about any old system can be emulated.

    * Proper Backward Compatibility

    The PC’s backward compatibility runs back to the 1980s and beyond.

    * Broad Development

    If you can think of an application, it exists. From art, to entertainment, to productivity. The PC has it all — due to being an open platform, with no hidden expenses for developers.

    And that’s on top of the mods, the tweaking, and all of the entertainment options on top of it all.

    #13 12 months ago
  14. Stardog

    He must be talking about streaming. With streaming, games become platform independent. There will be no such thing as a “console game” or a “pc game”, just games.

    Consoles die when you get console-quality graphics on mobile.

    #14 12 months ago
  15. mxmassef

    When mobiles reach the point where their games are as good as ps4 end generation games that means that they are now pc. Who needs a pc anymore when you can do the same things with a tablet or a smart phone or a smart tv. Propably in about ten or fifteen years there will be nomore customizable pc ( they are just all in one models ) nor the consoles will either be the same. Consoles and pc are propably the same device inside a tv or monitor or a tablet. So in the end consoles will become pc and pc will become consoles.

    #15 12 months ago
  16. Vice

    Good. If they’re so similar, maybe we won’t have to wait for emulators for 10+years next time.

    #16 12 months ago
  17. backup

    Nope PS4 is more powerful than PC
    BF3 = 24
    BF4 = 64
    MAG = 256
    Also PC has no games except MMORTS crap

    #17 12 months ago
  18. m2stech

    With the above comments posted, I really like to get an IQ test from some of you guys, you know as a research :P

    #18 12 months ago