Sony Gives Up On Unified Achievement System

From 1UP:

“We didn’t mention that, but it is our intention that we would have it – although I think it would be game-centric. It’s very difficult to draw analogies [between] your success on SOCOM and your success on Madden. Madden players care about peoples’ success on Madden,” said Jack Tretton, Sony Computer Entertainment America exec VP. “So the publisher will have the flexibility to have a robust ranking system, on a game-by-game basis.”

Essentially, we shouldn’t be surprised to see cross-platform games with achievements have something in the PS3 versions, but there will not be a cumulative “gamerscore” totaling points across all games. Tretton did add, however, that Sony plans on incorporating this achievements-like system into their first-party releases, though none of the launch games feature it.

Gamerscore is the sort of system you either do all the way or not at all. Looks like Sony’s going the “not at all” route.

This makes the 360 my system of choice for multiplatform games, since I’m addicted to those damn achivements.

It’s quite the gamble on sony’s part to assume that this kind of a system has no merit. Well, either they did that, or just ran out of time. I suspect the latter, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume the former.

edit: Although people without 360’s wont know what they are missing.

I have to admit to being one of the people who thought it was stupid, before I owned a 360. I remember arguing with a friend, “Why exactly would I want everyone in the world to be able to look up what games I’m playing or how far along I’ve gotten in it?” Yet here I am a year later, and I do go out of my way from time to time to get achievements, just to raise that damn gamer score.

I like Sony’s system better. Achievements only matter when comparing the same game, while the overall gamerscore is meaningless. Twenty points in Zuma is not the same as twenty points in Madden 06.

Yeah, I didn’t think my Gamerscore would mean as much to me as it does. I think I have around 3600 gamer points currently. I thought what would kill the system is how easy it is to get Gamer points in some games (EA), while its hellishly difficult to get points in others (Project Gotham 3 you really have to play for hours and hours to get any gamer points, Call of Duty 2 doesn’t surrender any gamerpoints except for training until you finish the game or play on the hardest difficulty, etc.)

But I ended up getting addicted to Gamer points after all. Because the brilliant part is that you don’t really compare your gamer score to random people on the internet. You mostly compare it to people on your friends list. This tends to be people you know in real life, family that’s spread across the U.S., and even people you know online in forums and such. And those people, for the most part, tend to play similar games to you, and you look at their times and their scores in games, and you compare your gamer score to theirs. You look at their high scores in Geometry Wars, not the f&*#-nut who has 46 million or whatever the hell the high score is now in that game.

And when you start just comparing it to people on your friend’s list. It becomes competitive, and it becomes addictive.

Gamerpoints, okay. But being able to compare your achievements with other people is pretty cool, and without a unified system in there… you won’t really be able to do it. Who cares about gamerscore, it’s the core achievements that matter, and it sounds like sony isn’t doing that.

I don’t think I’ve ever looked at my gamerscore. Sony’s system is fine with me.

Free > gamerscores (IMHO).

But being able to compare your achievements with other people is pretty cool, and without a unified system in there… you won’t really be able to do it.

Yeah, for example, it was pretty neat when Oblivion came out, and I was able to go on Xbox.com and see that a friend of mine who had moved across the country had gotten the Achievements along the Thief line of work. Plus when he was playing, I could see that his level was high, and his health was low, meaning he was playing some kind of spell caster. And the other achievements also gave me hints, and I was able to call him up and surprise him by asking him how his spell-casting thief was doing on a certain quest. I also tracked a couple of other friends of mine who have moved away in a similar way about Oblivion. It was neat that even in an open-ended game like that, I could still track my friends’ progress in a lot of ways. That was neat.

Now that Charles has pointed it out, I recall that he’s right, we care more about Achievements than we do the actual gamerscore. It’s neat to be able to go to Xbox.com, or even just online on the 360, and compare achievements across games.

Also, It’s neat when you realize that your friend has been playing something like Tomb Raider, and he got a certain achievement, so then you call them up and ask them if they rented the game or bought it, and then you’re tempted it rent it yourself and see if you can accomplish the same thing.

Achievements also have the nice side-effect of differentiating retail from the rental space; if it takes a fair bit of playing to get a high gamerscore out of one game, then renting the game might lead to retail. I have the suspicion that Microsoft is trying to elevate the game medium from other-IP-cling-on to worthy-in-its-own-right, you know. Possibly because they know they can’t beat Sony on brand recognition in the game space?

Didn’t we have this discussion allready?

I haven’t cared for a highscore since the days of Time Pilot and I only care about unlocking new content, not about getting some silly medal(that’s why I go for the unlocks in BF2142 but don’t care about whatever needle they pin on my chest).

Just let me play online for free I don’t care if TomChick has more hours available to play games than me.

It’s pretty obvious Sony has no common infrastructure for their online presence except for the store. Any feature that requires a game to send information to a server not directly related to the game (i.e. the publishers will handle it) is simply not there. Whether there is value in centralized information will be an interesting discussion once we all get to see the differences.

We already have seen the differences. Look at the PS2’s online. Do you truly expect the PS3’s to be significantly different? Sounds like all Sony is really doing is implementing a friends list. It’s like a first generation live, except without standards.

Or look at the pc online - decentralized works fine there.

(not saying that Live isn’t really really well done, but I couldn’t care less about my Gamerscore and I don’t care much for a monthly fee for anytrhing other than a MMOG)

yeah! $4 a month is a ballbuster!

c’mon, live is so cheap it’s practically free, paying just gives you bitching rights when they fuck up.

It’s not $4 a month if you don’t buy bulk, and after a couple years that cost adds up to the 360/PS3 price difference everyone has been bitching about. Or is it only ok when it’s spread out? The smallest price point for Live is $50 a year. If you buy it in 3 month increments, it’s $80 a year. Buy it in 1 month increments, it’s $96 a year.

After 5 years of live at the lowest price point, you’re out $250. At the highest, you’re out $500. It’s a valid point.

I swear there was just a post about this topic with this exact quote in it. Maybe I’m crossing my forum wires. I agree with Charles. The gamerscore is amusing, but it’s the ability to compare and check up on my friends that’s so great for me. Checking progress, sending messages, game invites, etc.

And if it comes down to a choice between a slick and well-polished online experience versus a hobbled together feature sparse network I’ll gladly pay a measly $4 a month for it (which is for far more than just gamerscore). Of course it remains to be seen what Sony’s online network is like, but the indicators, including this latest excuse, are not good so far.

But, but-- They have Time Pilot Acheivements! With medals!

Scry: yes, spreading it out makes it ok. If it makes the 360 eventually equal the ps3 as far as price, so what? If they both cost the same but one has better multiplayer support, which one is the better deal?

I guess you could say the choice is between Live or Blu Ray.

BR is useless to me, I wont pay that much for a movie, I like hddvd because it’s just as HD and nearly all movies are $10-$15 less.

The PS3 core package already has features that would cost far more than $100 if you were to upgrade your 360 premium to the same level. And explain to me exactly why it’s any different when it’s spread out? You’re still losing $250, or $500, or whatever, it’s just a slow bleed. But it’s a bleed nonetheless.

edit: I already pay to access the internet. I don’t want to pay to access Microsoft’s “internet.” I find a lot of the Live features superfluous and definitely not worth my money. Unfortunately, if I want to play online… I have to pay. But if the same game is available on the PC or PS3, I can just go play it for free.

It’s hard to argue with free.

But it’s also hard to take two steps back. I actually like LIVE as a service. When I see friends on-line, I like being able to send them messages or invite them into private chats. I really hope Sony does develop a “gold” version of their system and offer more robust features.