To round off a busy Gamescom week, Xbox boss and Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer took to Twitter on Friday night to share some love for PlayStation studio Naughty Dog ahead of the release of The Last Of Us Part 1 for PS5.
Specifically, he wanted to praise the accessibility options that are being implemented in the game, which include traversal audio cues, an "Enhanced Listen Mode", cinematic descriptions and much more. Here's a look:
In response, Naughty Dog shared a message of thanks, calling accessibility an "industry-wide effort":
"We're thrilled by the advances our talented developers across multiple disciplines achieved in accessibility, and it's an industry-wide effort to keep searching for ways to make games more and more accessible. Thank you so much!!"
Of course, Phil Spencer has long been an advocate for making accessibility a big focus for Xbox and indeed the industry at large, so it's great to see him sharing the praise with the talented team at Naughty Dog.
Will you be picking up The Last Of Us Part 1 this week? Don't worry, you can tell us...!!
Already got it preloaded. It's one of my favourite games ever and it's great that ND are introducing these options for more gamers to enjoy the game.
This has become boring Phill, how about releasing A current gen only game from the two dozen studios owned by you that's worthy of praise ?
Despite all the questions around this upcoming game (and how pointless it is in my view). The way Sony have approached accessibility in their games lately is the one good thing they absolutely deserve praise for
Totally agree, he’s obviously got time on his hands.
@Eslam Why does it have to be 'next gen' only to be a great game worthy of Praise? This game here isn't a 'Next gen' game - its a 10yr old PS3 game that at best is given an updated visual presentation - but underneath, its still the same Story, same plot beats, same basic game-play loop etc that it was on PS3.
Games like Ghost of Tsushima was in development for a LONG time - It came out 6yrs after Infamous 2nd Son, Guerilla Games took nearly 5yrs to make Horizon Zero Dawn, and another 5yrs to make a sequel - all 'great' games and worthy of praise yet none were 'next gen' (PS5) only games.
All of those took longer than MS has had with the vast majority of their Studios. They only announced the first 'new' acquisitions (Ninja Theory, Undead Labs, Initiative, Playground games and Compulsion) at E3 2018 - just over 4yrs ago. None have had 5yrs+ to build games from scratch with MS's 'budget' and Polish them to at least 'Sony's' standards yet. Zenimax only joined 18mnths ago.
State of Decay 2 released 5yrs after State of Decay - so Undead Labs haven't yet had the same time they had to make a AA sequel, let alone a AAA sequel. Most studio's also were working on existing Projects - like Psychonauts 2, Outer Worlds, Wastelands 3, Deathloop, Ghostwire: Tokyo etc when acquired so had to finish those of first too.
MS has games in development from all their Studios and if you want AAA 'polished' games that get the 'praise' Sony got, then you also need to give them time too. All of Sony's games are 'delayed' and only release when ready, so give MS the same opportunity.
On top of that, If you look at the games MS released in 2021, then they were all critically acclaimed games and rightfully were praised too. FH5 was IGN's game of the year and it has 'next gen' features too. Psychonauts 2 was an award winning release as was MSFS - a truly 'next gen' exclusive on Xbox and nothing Sony has released comes close to the scale, ambition and scope of MSFS.
Not belittling/criticising Sony here, but you have LOTS of games coming on Xbox vs just God of War, Wolverine and Spider-Man 2 - and whatever 'old' games they want to 'remaster' for cash grabs. Yes those 3 will probably be 'great', critical darlings and boost Sony's first Party line-up. But I have Avowed, Redfall, Perfect Dark, Starfield, Fable, State of Decay 3, Outer Worlds 2, Hellblade 2, Forza Motorsport etc etc to look forward to by comparison and its not like MS wasn't the highest rated Publisher on Metacritic in 2021 to indicate that the 'quality' is there...
@BAMozzy 😂😂😂 You totally belittled their games with that back handed compliment. "Whatever old games they want to remaster for cash crabs". Yeah man that was cold. I hear ya though.
Boring. Please enough with the praise and bum kissing. It’s not bad to do but he goes too far with all this nonsense.
@Rafie Well maybe that was a bit cold and obvious but I was initially referring to the fact that they are 'not' criticised when they show off the same games 'year after year after year', end up delaying games from their 'initial' release windows, take 5yrs+ between releases from most Studios etc yet somehow in '18mnths-4yrs', MS's studio's should be churning out games of 'similar' standard/quality from scratch having either 'just' released something (We Happy Few by Compulsion for example) or were working on Games that they have released.
Just because Deathloop, Ghostwire, Outer Worlds, Psychonauts 2, Wastelands 3 etc were not 'exclusive' to MS consoles, some not yet even released on these, they were still made by and released by Microsoft owned Studio's. 8 Studio's joined in 2018 and all but 2 have released anything - the Initiative and Compulsion. Undead Labs released State of Decay 2, Ninja Theory - Bleeding Edge, Double Fine - Psychonauts 2, Oblivion - Outer Worlds and Grounded (Game Preview), inXile - Wastelands 3, Playground games - Forza Horizon 4 and 5. Its taken Turn 10 over 5yrs to build Forza Motorsport - last one released in 2017.
As for the Zenimax group, they only joined in March 21, just after Machinegames (Wolfenstein) and id Software (Doom Eternal) had released - in fact Doom still had DLC in development and Machinegames had announced their next project (Indiana Jones) so I doubted they'd have something new and 'big' to reveal yet.
Point is, none of the Studio's acquired have really had the time to develop a AAA game from scratch to the quality/standard we 'expect' these days and in a comparable time to their closest competitor - Sony. MS has a LOT of games in development and their last released games were also critically acclaimed too.
If they were 'rushing' games out to 'bulk' out their releases instead of delaying to ensure that they are 'ready' to release, I would be much more annoyed and disappointed....
@BAMozzy So your giving Xbox credit for games that were in development long before Xbox purchased the publishers vs studios that playstation actually built up?
@Doublecell I'm giving Xbox credit where it is Due!! Those Studio's still had to finish those games off whilst be employed and paid by Microsoft. They may not have had the idea or paid for the 'bulk' of development (in some cases) but they certainly paid for the final stages and even delayed games to ensure those games were 'ready' to release.
They could of just pushed out Deathloop and Ghostwire when they were scheduled to release, just to get them out so those studio's could start working on MS projects and also get that Playstation deal out of the way sooner - but no, they paid those studio's to spend more time on these.
Psychonauts 2 was a much bigger/better game thanks to MS money - being acquired enabled them to have a 'bigger' budget to create more levels, be more creative, take more time to ensure it was polished and ready to release. Outer Worlds - certainly the DLC was paid for by MS but much of that game wasn't - admittedly, but they still were paying Obsidian to finish off and release those games.
Arguably, the 'most' important part of a Games development is that final 6months/year, the time when all the pieces come together to form a cohesive 'game' and the polish and release is 'critical' to its success - and in that regard, MS deserves credit.
What studio's has Sony Built up? They bought Naughty Dog, Sucker Punch, Insomnia, Guerilla Games etc. They have had many more 'years' of building up those studios over time/releases - much like say Turn 10, the Coalition. Insomniac only became a Sony Studio in 2019 after releasing Spider-Man the year before so you can't say Sony built up Insomniac and deserve 'credit' by your own definition...
The reason those games released to critical acclaim was because of Microsofts support in the critical time of the Games development cycle. It was their support that enabled the Devs to have sufficient time and funds to make the game they envisioned, free from financial constraints - which enabled them to take as much time as was necessary to ensure it was also 'ready' to release instead of pushing them to release whatever state the games in as soon as possible - especially if it benefits MS most - poor state of Deathloop/Ghostwire on PS, and a 'year' to polish and perfect for the Xbox release which would have been much sooner which also would get them on to their next Project sooner for MS exclusively...
So give MS credit where it is due - even if they can't take credit for the idea or creation of these titles, they can take some credit for the release 'state' which contributes to their 'critical' score. A broken mess of a game isn't going to be as fun to play and score as highly.
@BAMozzy sony had been working with Insomniac for years dating all the way back to spyro and later on they collaborated on a little game you may have heard of called Ratchet and clank. And this is all before they ever bought them last time I checked the publishers funding goes into that so yes I would assume that they help them get to where they are today same with naughty dog. Sony took a chance on young up and coming developers while also keeping a tight relationship with third party companies such as square soft in the midst of trying to compete with a giant in Nintendo. You know what they didn't do ? They didn't buy up sega or capcom and ride on the coattails of major games that were already far into development to make themselves look like geniuses. Since 2017 xbox has brought 8 studios and only 2 of them have games that actually came out, double fine with Psychonauts 2 and playground with forza which is practically a copy and paste evey year. You have every right to be hyped for what you perceive xbox to be doing, but to try and put sony down who for all intent and purposes did it in more impressive fashion by creating their own ips is complete nonsense.
@BAMozzy Flight Sim isn’t an Xbox game, it’s a PC game.
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