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Discussion Nintendo EPD or PlayStation Studios, who's the best first party group?

Which of these platform holder's first party game development groups is your favorite

  • PS Studios

    Votes: 6 2.8%
  • EPD

    Votes: 186 88.2%
  • Both

    Votes: 13 6.2%
  • Niether

    Votes: 6 2.8%

  • Total voters
    211

VolcanicDynamo

1-Up Boy
Pronouns
He/Him
If we were asking this question a generation or two ago, it'd be a much harder decision. I'd s choose Nintendo, but not without acknowledging the competitive range and depth of Sony's line up. But nowadays the big AAA Sony games don't really grab me. They're not must-plays for me. But the in-house Nintendo stuff, most of those I gotta play.
don't forget that epd has only existed since 2015
To be fair, if we're going by renamed/reorganized logic, then PlayStation Studios has only existed since 2020. And in that circumstance, it's still no competition. I'll take Breath of the Wild, Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 3, and a lot of the Switch exclusives over what Sony has done over the past two years.
 

terrornaught

Cappy
Pronouns
He
I hate open world games, linear set piece games and realistic driving games, so Nintendo for me. The only Sony game I’ve liked is The last of Us which I would probably score a 7.5 out of ten. I’ve not played the AstroBot games though but they look fantastic.
 

terrornaught

Cappy
Pronouns
He
I hate open world games, linear set piece games and realistic driving games, so Nintendo for me. The only Sony game I’ve liked is The last of Us which I would probably score a 7.5 out of ten. I’ve not played the AstroBot games though but they look fantastic.
Edit. And Gravity rush was pretty cool.
 
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Pokemaniac

Caught: 905
Founder
Sony has never exactly been great at managing their first party output, but it's gotten worse than usual lately with some heavy homogenizing and just the most pointless remake ever.
 
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WestEgg

King of the Krocs
Administrator
Pronouns
he/him
If this is the developers themselves, without the IP attached, this is a more even question, though I have never really been drawn into the general vibe of Sony’s first party output.

If the IP’s are attached? Sony would trade it all for Mario and Zelda in a heartbeat.
 
0

Zeal543

Bob-omb
Sony's first party output has gone downhill while nintendo's has been a general improvement since the wii, easy choice.
 
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We’re on a Nintendo site, so this isn’t exactly fair, but I do genuinely believe Nintendo is better. There’s more variety, and I run into far more issues with Sony’s stuff. Bugs, crashes, and general inconsistencies.
 
Pronouns
Any
Regardless, EPD still serves the same purpose as PS Studios. To create and oversee game development operations at Nintendo, be it internal projects, or co-pros with external companies.

Fair enough. But I mean, c'mon. You know this is basically a Nintendo forum. Look at how desolate the Ragnarok OT is.
 

Shiba

Shriekbat
Pronouns
Male
Asking this on a Nintendo forum isn’t really fair tbh.

I’ll go against the grain and say Sony. In general I play more stuff from Nintendo as they obviously produce more titles in any given year and they also interest me quite a bit but a lot of it is filler to me. When Sony makes something that really good then that strikes a deeper cord for me like Returnal and Ragnarok recently.
 
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Tron1

Like Like
Founder
This is so subjective. No way to get a clear answer. It’s up to a gamers personal preference.
 

Hocot8

Bob-omb
Pronouns
He/Him
It's such a hard comparison lol. Sony games, for the most part, really put a focus on the cinematics of a video game. But a lot of those games have somewhat clunkier gameplay like TLou2. Although Insomniac carries gameplay on Playstation systems over anything else.

On the flip side, Nintendo studios put gameplay first and that's been the model since forever. So really it is so subjective. For gameplay reasons I would pick Nintendo. For cinematic gaming, it's Sony and that's not close. TLou2 made me experience emotions that I've never experienced in a game, which is why it's one of my favorite games ever. It plays like a more refined version of Tlou and that was clunky.

In the end I'd take Breath of The Wild and Super Mario Odyssey over GoW and Tlou2.
 

Pavolink

Moblin
Pronouns
He/Him
EPD.

I’m going to say something more controversial: I prefer Nintendo fantasy basic childish stories than Sony mature stories.
 

MondoMega

Puffball Enthusiast
Pronouns
They/She
Sony hasn't made a good game since Vib Ribbon, easy win for da big N.

So true. Maybe if Sony made less God of War (bad) and more Vib Ribbon (good) they'd stand a chance.

vibri-vib-ribbon.gif
 
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MagiCarbo

Octorok
I haven't seen much, if anything, out of PlayStation Studios post-reorganization that tickles my fancy.
I think this a fair point. We know Sony has a ton of first party projects in development for PS5. It's quite obvious they're pumping a ton of money into PS Studios. The problem is... We haven't really seen most of that money yet. I can understand the frustration among PlayStation fans since Sony has been talking big promises, but aren't really backing it up, especially when they reveal PC ports or remasters of PS4 games that you can already play on PS5 instead of new, original titles. I think this will change in the future though, when more of these big projects start getting revealed, so I'm cautiously optimistic.

For what it's worth, Nintendo's secrecy regarding game development can actually be a good thing. EPD is often quite tight lipped on what games are in development (be it internal or external), and its not uncommon for Nintendo to straight up reveal a AAA release that's only three or four months away, as was the case with Metroid Dread or Fire Emblem Engage, so there's generally less frustration regarding what Nintendo has in production as they don't really talk about vague promises of unrevealed games that are like, three out away like how Sony does.

Now if we were to put up EPD against Sony Worldwide Studios (which is what they were known as from about the PS era to give-or-take 2018), I'd say it's a more even match...
This as well. If we consider each at their peak, then putting Nintendo EPD (or the old EAD/SPD combo) up against SCE/SIE Worldwide Studios would've made for much more interesting results. Nintendo would probably still come out on top, but you could make a lot more compelling arguments for Sony in this case. It'll be interesting to revisit this topic when Nintendo reveals more of its 2023 lineup, and Sony finally shows us all those big, innovative first party games they keep talking about but aren't actually showing.
 
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correojon

Custom title
It's such a hard comparison lol. Sony games, for the most part, really put a focus on the cinematics of a video game. But a lot of those games have somewhat clunkier gameplay like TLou2. Although Insomniac carries gameplay on Playstation systems over anything else.

On the flip side, Nintendo studios put gameplay first and that's been the model since forever. So really it is so subjective. For gameplay reasons I would pick Nintendo. For cinematic gaming, it's Sony and that's not close. TLou2 made me experience emotions that I've never experienced in a game, which is why it's one of my favorite games ever. It plays like a more refined version of Tlou and that was clunky.

In the end I'd take Breath of The Wild and Super Mario Odyssey over GoW and Tlou2.
I've only played GoW2018, but from what I've read everywhere it's a very good representative of this cinematic style that TLoU, Uncharted or Horizon all use. In my case, everything felt incredibly artificial, I constantly felt like I was being pushed through a very specific path and was surrounded by cardboard decorations, so if I pushed too hard they would fall and the whole illusion would break apart. The main characteristic of videogames is gameplay, not presentation, so if you want to go for a realistic look for your game and immersion is one of the design pillars of the game, then it must be conveyed by gameplay first. Presentation should be a secondary aspect that helps elevate gameplay, not the other way around. I mean you can try to do it through presentation, but anything you're trying to convey to the players will reach them in a much more powerful way if you make them experience it first-hand through gameplay, rather than trough amazingly well produced cutscenes or by a character spouting some exposition lines while the player performs a completely unrelated action. For me the amazing presentation in GoW fell apart the moment I started to find invisible or waist-high walls, when even the simplest interactions became clunky, when the puzzle design was so simple that I could identify mistakes I was doing in Game Maker 20 years ago...and I even felt insulted when the game tried to wow me with spectacular scenes in which I had no active part, like it was trying to tell me a very blatant lie to my face like it thought I was stupid enough to not see what was really going on. As examples of the contrary, I remember how impactful the story of The Walking Dead was because I shaped the story with my decisions, with incredibly powerful moments like having to shoot the kid: Instead of the game just making yo take the decision, it actually made you pick up the gun, aim and pull the trigger. Or TW101 finale where with the "Protect Earth" sequence that is the textbook example of how to make a QTE engaging rather than it be just a cutscene with very limited interaction.

I had the idea that this was a masterpiece of the medium, but instead I feel like it perverted the medium into trying to be something worse. Most of the time I was playing the game I felt like an spectator, not like a player. What's worse, I felt like what little gameplay there was, was something that the director would have removed if he could, but he somehow felt forced to put it in because in the end it's a game and some level of interaction is expected. All those sequences where you're just slooooooowly going from A to B and you just have to hold the stick forward while the characters talk, all the instances where even this got interrupted by senseless cutscenes to jump down a small ledge, everything made me feel like the director prioritized everything else before gameplay. I know a lot of this stuff is done to mask loading times and to make the one-shot camera work, but what's the real purpose behind the one-shot camera? It hurts pacing, it hurts the whole game's design and is something that you'll only appreciate if you beat the game in a sitting without entering menus or fast-travelling. Considering the game's length, does it even make any sense? The camera should be designed to be at the service of the gameplay, not the other way around. The same principle applies to the over-the-shoulder camera, considering how much it hurt combat and how combat had to ultimately be designed as a collection of band-aids to mitigate (not solve) the problems presented by the camera, is it justifiable as a design decision? Not if you're trying to make a game where combat is one of the main pillars, but this is not the case: Combat may be one of the most recurring activities of the game, but it is a secondary one subordinated to the presentation and narrative. Most of the time you're playing GoW, you're just walking or rowing the boat. Combat, puzzles and exploration feel like discrete interruptions of this main activity; Once finished you're back to walking. Compare this to how it feels in Bayonetta or DMC, where the main action is unmistakenly combat, or how more open worlds like BotW allow you to PLAY everywhere.

As a whole, I think GoW is a game that, under state of the art presentation, hides a very ugly core of design principles from 20 years ago. I like to study game design, read interviews with game developers, view presentations, read articles, watch developer commentary on gameplay...and from what I've seen I think that Horizon is in the same boat: A very pretty game on the surface, with a combat that doesn't end up quite working like it's supposed to and a very simple world design underneath it all, with invisible walls and very linear design to make the player experience the story in the very specific way the designers have planned, instead of allowing the player to be the one MAKING the story. Same with TLoU and Uncharted, with very good stories and presentation, but gameplay restricted by it all.

So, as a gameplay-first guy, it's EPD for me.
 

meatbag

Tingle
but what's the real purpose behind the one-shot camera?
Precisely to make the experience more cinematic. Arguably the insistence on this particular form of perspective hurts the gameplay of God of War, so I'm not a fan of it either.

they don't really talk about vague promises of unrevealed games that are like, three out away like how Sony does
To be fair, this also applies to Microsoft and some other pubs. I think we should acknowledge that these types of early announcements serve as recruitment ads more than anything else. They're not really for the buying public.

It'll be interesting to revisit this topic when Nintendo reveals more of its 2023 lineup, and Sony finally shows us all those big, innovative first party games
Okay, what exactly are the big innovative first party games Sony has planned for next year? This is a legitimate question, I only know of the HZD remake and the Silent Hill stuff.
 
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MagiCarbo

Octorok
Okay, what exactly are the big innovative first party games Sony has planned for next year? This is a legitimate question, I only know of the HZD remake and the Silent Hill stuff.
There's a bunch of development deals they signed with various start ups like Heaven and Firewalk last year. They mentioned how PS Studios has over 25 games in development with half of them being New IP. Hermen Hulst, the head of PlayStation Studios says he wants a diverse and varied lineup of games. Devs like PixelOpus and London Studio had begun hiring for new projects. We know stuff is in development. It's just a matter of when Sony shuts up and actually shows us results
 
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MagiCarbo

Octorok
Oh, I remember that info. Yeah, basically we're waiting for them to announce something more concrete.
That's the point. Sony has been making a lot of big, bombastic promises regarding their first party lineup, and that's great. But when making these promises in the middle of say, killing off your oldest internal development team, or announcing PC ports of PS4 games or completely pointless remasters of games the PS5 is already backwards compatible with, and you're showing nothing on your progress. It gives the impression that you're just selling people hot air.

That's obviously not the case, but its easy to see why PlayStation fans are frustrated with Sony lately. They're making these huge deals and grand promises, but we the consumers can't actually see them yet.
 

manfromthedam

Semi Undercover Game Music Guy
TLDR: PlayStation Restaurant has one big, meaty core meal with variations on the side. If you like that, you're golden - if you don't, don't bother. Nintendo Restaurant has a continually changing menu with varying flavours - for if you like changing it up. However, if you really like that one thing they had, tough luck 'cause it might not return.

Long version:

PlayStation has definitively been doubling down on it's core audience, and in a sense that's commendable: if you like one cinematic third-person talky action game you'll like them all. They're serving that audience really well.

Nintendo's approach is more scattershot. I sure as heck wouldn't mind more open-ended, relaxed, exploratory pieces of video game poetry like Breath of the Wild, but Zelda Team's the only ones who are doing that (for now - internal studios like changing their tunes over the years). As someone who's mainly a fan of 2D Mario, 2D and 3D Zelda games and Mario Kart I'm feeling quite underserved these past years.

Of course, the upside to Nintendo's approach is that they're often trailblazers for new kinds of experience. They just don't have the development resources to keep supporting those, leaving it to indies or competitors to pick it up. And the downside to PlayStation's approach is that, sooner or later, the appetite for this kind of game will wane and they'll need something new.
 


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