In a recent appearance on a Taiwanese gaming channel (as translated by IGN), outspoken Final Fantasy 16 producer Naoki Yoshida lamented fact that there are multiple platforms (PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, etc.). Given Yoshida's penchant for making headline-worthy comments, we think the Square Enix veteran is being a bit cheeky here, but it's still an interesting point.
"Game platforms… I probably shouldn’t say this, but I wish there was only one," Yoshida says, with a slight grin. "It would be better for both the developers and the players," he adds.
Now obviously, from a game development point of view, teams often have to get their project up and running across various hardware. Whether it's the PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, PC, or even mobile, more platforms means more testing, and more testing means more work.
Being committed to just a single platform means that development teams can, in theory at least, optimise a game to the best of their ability. PlayStation Studios are obviously a great example of this, typically taking full advantage of Sony's systems.
And that brings us back to Final Fantasy 16, which was developed solely for the PS5. Admittedly, its technical performance isn't perfect, but Square Enix has gone on record several times saying that the action RPG only exists in the form that it does because of the PS5. You'd expect the inevitable PC port to require a bit of work, then.
Anyway, we can understand Yoshida's point — although there's always something to be said for healthy competition. Would one big, unified gaming platform really push the industry forward in the same ways? The truth is that PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo wouldn't be where they are now without having to compete with one another — but we get that Yoshida's deliberately being a bit of an idealist here.
What do you make of Yoshida's comments? Give us an honest opinion in the comments section below.