Tekken 8‘s producer Katsuhiro Harada had some interesting things to say about the current generation of game consoles.
To be specific, he was asked about making the game for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S, compared to making it for PC. Here’s what he had to say:
“It’s unfair that they’re so capable…I’m a huge PC gamer. I actually like to build my own PC. So for me, building a tricked out PC and having that graphical edge or performance edge to play a game is always something that I like to experience. So one of the things that’s quite surprising was just how capable both consoles are for such a low price point compared to building a PC. So that’s why I said it’s unfair that the consoles are that good at that price point.”
Harada’s statement is interesting, but also seemingly contradictory. The Tekken franchise had its start in the arcades and consoles, with the original game coming to Japanese arcades in 1994, and the first PlayStation port a year later. It was particularly closely associated with the PlayStation for two console generations, with seven PlayStation exclusive games and ports, and it didn’t get a proper iteration for the PC until Tekken 7 in 2015. So Tekken really wasn’t particularly known for being a PC game, in the same way fighting games as a genre weren’t really known for being on PC, as much as they were an arcade fixture and a popular niche for consoles.
However, further examination of this statement would indicate that Harada knows exactly what problems PC gamers have. PC parts, especially GPU cards, have been difficult to obtain and exceedingly pricey for the past few years. This was not only because of the effects of the pandemic, and the war in Ukraine. Before 2019, crypto miners and blockchain projects hoarded the supply of these GPUS and subsequently raised their aftermarket prices. While we had reported that supplies had started becoming more common this year, the effect of nearly five years of low supply continue to be felt in the market.
So, it’s true that both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series consoles are very impressive devices for what they are. The Xbox Series S is an even more interesting case for this conversation. This console had been built around a specific price/performance proposition, so that it can run the latest games, but without being wasteful. Capping performance at native 1440p and removing the disc drive allows Microsoft to sell the console at a significantly lower price to its peers, literally the same price as a Nintendo Switch.
However, the Xbox Series S, Series X, and the PlayStation 5, are all significantly cheaper than building a PC, just as Harada described. Even if the consoles also have their own supply issues, gamers would still find it easier to order one and wait, than have to wait on the best parts for their ideal PC build before assembling them. Consumers can opt to buy prebuilt computers, such as the console looking Alienware Aurora, those would come with nearly double the price to match or beat the performance of the consoles.
Today, consoles and PCs have an interesting relationship. Sony publishing their games to Windows has actually convinced some gamers to buy PlayStation 5 consoles, for games like God of War Ragnarok. And so, the upcoming console release of Tekken 8 would work to bolster support for the PC release and vice versa. For now, it wouldn’t be accurate to say that these platforms are competing hard vs each other, so much as they complement each other, and give consumers more choices to game.