Todd Hollenshead, iD software CEO, gave an interview to Game Informer during QuakeCon 2005 in which, among other things, he explained the reasons behind iD's current preference for XBox 360.
In the interview Mr. Hollenshead tried to explain how the company views development on the two major next-generation consoles and tried to explain how Mr.Carmack views the process of programming on both the XBox 360 and PS3.
I'm not really one to put words in John's mouth but what I do know is we've had 360 stuff for a while and it was relatively easy to bring our internal project onto 360. We just got the PS3 stuff recently and it was relatively more difficult to bring that up on the PS3. So John's first impressions are, "360 great, PS3 - pain in my ass."
I think the more we work with it - I don't know if John himself will be doing the primary PS3 work or not - but we'll have to see about that stuff. Also, 360 is further along in their process as well. They have more final hardware, and they have better drivers, and the SDK has been more refined and revised. I think the PS3 stuff, in all fairness to Sony is a little bit more raw. I think we'll have to wait and see, but I don't think that's going to ultimately change the way we're going to approach developing on PS3. He knows from a technology horsepower standpoint that it'll do everything that we want it to do, so we're committed to it.
Considering iD software is firmly embracing the next-generation console format, the interview also discussed the future of PC gaming as viewed by iD and the future doesn't seem too bright for PC gaming.
here are some interesting trends in the industry. Whenever the next generation consoles come out they predict the demise of the PC gaming industry. They do it every single time it comes around. I don't think we're at all there. While the console market continues to grow, the PC market over the last three years has been down. You still have the hit titles that sell lots of copies. But really the middle and the bottom of the market have fallen off. So we've got double digit percentage decline in the PC market year after year, so far 2005 over 2004, and 2004 over 2003. We've taken note of that, as well.
We start looking at the difficulty of combating piracy, and how much more of an issue it is on the PC versus on the console, and the fact that game development budgets are so much bigger now than they were 10 years ago, that even if you're a PC-centric developer you have to take a more serious look and approach to how you're going to do on the consoles. For a long time consoles weren't thought of as the right way to play first person shooters, and people struggled with how the control was going to work. But now with the dual analog sticks on the controllers, and the fact that Halo has sold a ton - you're still not going to have the precision of a mouse and a keyboard, but first person shooters sell great and have huge fans on the consoles.