Gaijin Entertainment confirmed that it will be releasing its free-to-play aerial combat MMOG War Thunder on PS4 in time for launch earlier this week, with “easier socialising tools” plus support for video sharing and streaming on the platform. The game is currently in open beta on PC, and will be playable across platforms.
We asked War Thunder developers Anton Yudintsev and Kiril Yudsintsev why they chose to bring the game to PS4, and if they had considered bringing the game to Xbox One this week at Gamescom.
Anton Yudintsev: Well the main thing is you need a lot of people in the game for online gaming to make your game successful. And Sony allows us to make cross-platform games for PS4 and they allow us to make simultaneous updates. We have a digital agreement; we can make simultaneous updates on PC and PS4. That means there will be a lot of players playing from day one. They will be on PC but [playing] with PS4 players. This is one thing. The second is that PS4 is so powerful, and the architecture is similar to PC, so it’s much easier to maintain simultaneous updates.
Did you assess Xbox One as a potential platform?
AY: Microsoft… they have yet to decide how they’re doing online free-to-play and self-published games. They’re pretty far from that, even with their latest initiative.
Does any of the things they’ve been saying in the last few months about self-publishing and patching and so on, does any of that change your attitude towards Xbox One?
AY: They need to stop talking and start basically doing something. Because right now you need to certify your servers with Microsoft, you need to make… it’s not yet clear if there will be updates. If you can’t make updates without Microsoft [approval] they ruin the idea of online gaming, basically. They’ve said there’ll be some kind of opportunity [for that] but haven’t yet said quite exactly how it’ll be working.
Kiril Yudsintsev: No cross-platform.
AY: No cross-platform is allowed on Xbox. Cross-platform multiplayer. So the Xbox One ecosystem will be small at the beginning of the cycle. I hope some day Microsoft will be there.
So it’s about policy, not power.
AY: No it’s not about power.
KY: We are scalable. We are running on a toaster [laughs].
AY: Well, obviously PlayStation 4 is more powerful than Xbox One.
How much more powerful?
AY: It depends what you’re doing. GPU, like 40 per cent more powerful. DDR5 is basically 50 per cent more powerful than DDR3, but the memory write [performance] is bigger on Xbox One so it depends on what you’re doing.
How is that going to translate to on-screen results for the kinds of games you want to make? So to optimise War Thunder on both consoles you could hypothetically make a better, prettier version on PS4?
KY: Probably yes. But again, that’s not a very big deal.
AY: Well, for an online game the difference between Xbox One and PS4 is not that big a deal. PS4 is more powerful, basically, but the main reason is not about power.