Console game development involves creating video games for personal computers (PCs) or video game consoles. Developing games for consoles is an expensive process, and only a few companies are able to afford it.
Those who can afford it create console games that can be played on the target console. A console is a stand-alone device that is connected to a TV. A game console is a particular type of computer used for gaming.
Microsoft Xbox, Nintendo Wii, and Sony PlayStation are typical examples of game consoles. In this article, I will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of console game development and how it works.
Without wasting your time, Let’s get started:
How Does Console Game Development Work
Console game development is a challenging and time-consuming process. Developing games for personal computers (PCs) is widely accepted as the most efficient method of game creation.
However, according to the 2015 report by International Data Corp., more than 80% of video game development is on consoles rather than PCs. While PC development is still highly regarded, it has become easier and more viable to create games for consoles with the advancement in technology.
A console is a video game platform manufactured by a company for home use. Most modern consoles are built around Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh, and Android operating systems.
Consoles provide a quicker development cycle than PC development since they are developed and marketed by a single entity.
Additionally, developers can focus on the game’s core gameplay rather than the various elements required to create a functional gaming platform. This allows for faster completion times and higher standards of quality.
How To Develop Console Game (Beginner’s Guide)
The first thing a console game development company does is create the console itself. Setting up the hardware for the console is expensive and time-consuming, but necessary for creating quality games.
Next, the developer creates the base code for the games. Games created for consoles are generally more complex than those created for PCs because of the limited space on the cartridges used to store game data.
After creating the base code, the developer adds features specific to his games, such as interactive cutscenes or in-game music.
The developer then tests and updates his code until it is perfect before releasing it to the public. Once the base code is finished, the developer submits it to the copyright holders of his favorite IPs and licenses it to third parties.
If a developer finds a bug in his code, he typically has to wait until a patch is released by the copyright holder before fixing it.
Once all this work is done, game developers must find companies that can afford to produce games for their consoles. Many developers choose not to develop for certain consoles because of how few clients there are- none at all for some consoles. Also, each company targets only one console with its games, limiting competition even further.
Consoles are expensive pieces not only do they require pricey hardware components but also they cost an arm and a leg when it comes to monthly costs.
Essentially, only big companies with huge budgets can afford to develop consoles; otherwise, there wouldn’t be nearly as many great console games as there are.
Advantages of Console Game Development
Most console games are developed in tandem with existing hardware and software platforms. This allows for better compatibility between different game platforms and software applications.
Software companies use this opportunity to create new features for their applications that will directly impact how players perform in games.
The developers can also add new features to their applications that will directly impact how players perform in games.
This allows both application developers and players to benefit from cooperative research between game creators and software companies.
Another major advantage console games have over PC games is in-house expertise. Most developers with years of experience working exclusively on console games- compared to PC games, which require far less expertise.
This allows for greater sales since new game releases will have better quality compared to smaller indie projects.
Consoles are also much more readily available throughout the world, which makes them much easier to market locally. This leads to much lower marketing costs and much better sales for local console releases.
Disadvantages of Console Game Development
However, consoles face several disadvantages compared to PC games:
Developers must build in more expertise when creating console games compared to PC games. For example, if an unqualified person tried to create a working gaming platform, it would not work well and likely cause major delays in gameplay production.
Console games are also much more prone to hacking since they utilize easily accessible hardware and software platforms.
Therefore, there is much greater urgency when releasing console games when considering security concerns against PC games which have far greater security features built-in by default.
Unlike PC game creation, console game development is much less competitive due to its single-developer model.
There are only a few independent video game studios creating console games compared to many small studio creations for the PC market.
This limits competition since only a few brands can successfully promote their titles without running into competition from existing studios already in business with major brands such as Nintendo or Sony Entertainment PlayStation (PS4).
For example, consider that there are approximately 572 active studios currently creating video games for Nintendo’s NES platform (the Game Boy) compared with approximately 1,100 active studios currently creating video games for Sony’s PS4 platform (the PlayStation 4).
Because of the advantages console development has over PC development, many developers have shifted toward developing console titles over the years- despite higher costs and difficult competition from PC titles.
Despite these disadvantages, some argue that console gaming is still superior due to its accessibility and lower running costs.
However, if each game development company shifts back toward releasing PC titles as they did in the past, this market segment will become even more competitive as new studio creations attempt to sway this already diverse market segment toward their own unique styles of gameplay development or plotline construction, or both.