Multi-Platform

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"Coming this summer -- on every platform ever made."

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Any software program, particularly a Video Game, that is simultaneously developed and (usually) simultaneously released for more than one system.

Functionally, multiplatform games differ from port in that the game was written with the other systems in mind even during initial development.

The time and effort to make a multiplatform game is not as great as some assume. Some developers have stated that it raises the cost only about 10 percent. This can vary quite a bit depending on how different the systems in question are. For instance, the Xbox and PC versions of Sands of Time are quite similar, the iPhone and PS3 versions of The Force Unleashed are quite a bit different.

This really became popular with developers in the 6th console generation. Even though the PlayStation 2 was in the lead, games on the Xbox, Game Cube, and Windows still sold well enough to ensure an even bigger profit than on the PS2 alone for very little extra development. This was even carried to the point of the wildly popular Game Boy Advance receiving "ports" of set-top titles!

With the cost of video game development being even higher with "high definition systems", this trope is more popular than ever. Series that used to be at least timed-exclusive are now going multi-platform. Nowadays, however, the priorities have shifted—as the Play Station 3 and Xbox 360 concentrate more on graphics than the Wii, and the Wii's controls are non-standard compared to the other systems, the result is usually one version of a game for Play Station 3 and Xbox 360, sometimes called PS 360,[1] and another version which is released on the Wii (and occasionally on PlayStation 2 as well, hence also the term WiiS2).

On the PC side of things, some games are literally multiplatform, with the versions for different platforms (say, Windows, Macintosh, and Linux) all on the same physical media (sometimes called a "hybrid" release.) This is Older Than the NES in PC-land; in the days of 5.25" floppy disks, some games were released with a version for one computer (for example, the Commodore 64) on one side, and a version for another (Apple II, IBM PC, or Atari 8-bit) on the other. Obviously, this sort of thing doesn't fly in console-land, due to dictatorial fiat console companies have over developers (possibly carried over from the days of carts, when it was physically impossible.)

Keep in mind the difference between this and a port. If a game was made for one system first, any version past that is a port or remake, like Tetris.

It also doesn't count if the series has many different versions on each system, like Dance Dance Revolution or the Tales (series).

Compare Cash Cow Franchise.


Releases among series that usually develop for one system:
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was developed for the Game Cube, but the game was delayed to the point where Nintendo realized they could release it on the Wii at the same time and have a launch game for that system. This succeeded, as the combined sales of both versions have made it the second bestselling game in the series.
    • The two versions of Twilight Princess have one very noticeable difference: they're mirrored. Canonically, Link is left-handed, which holds true for the GameCube version, but because more people are right-handed than left-, Nintendo flipped the Wii version to make it easier for people to control. That means they flipped the entire game, so maps have to likewise be flipped if you want to use them between versions.
  • Resident Evil 5 is the first of the series being made for two systems, although most of the main games later got ported to multiple consoles, and nearly all of them had PC versions on initial release.
  • A simultaneous Xbox 360 release of then Play Station 3-exclusive Final Fantasy XIII was announced midway through development, at least for the Western version.
  • Though most Grand Theft Auto games were eventually ported to other systems after their initial release, Grand Theft Auto IV was the first to see a simultaneous release on two consoles.
  • Tekken 6 was exempt from the series' Sony leash and allowed to be released on the Xbox360 as well as the Play Station 3.
  • The first two Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games (though technically different games, were the same in almost every way) were released for the GBA and the DS.
  • Digimon World 4. The prior titles were only for PlayStation, and later ones were only for the Nintendo DS.
  • Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny is the only Rune Factory game to be multi-platform (on the Wii and the Play Station 3; previous titles had been for the DS or Wii only) and the first Harvest Moon or Rune Factory to have a simultaneous multi-platform release.
  • The Sony Playstation brand was the home of the Naruto: Ultimate Ninja series for the longest time. However, Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 is the first game in the series to be released on another console besides one of the PlayStation line - on the Xbox 360, specifically. The game's sequel, Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations, also followed suit, being released on the Play Station 3 as well as the Xbox 360, just as its predecessor was.
  • Metal Gear Solid has always been a Sony-exclusive series for some time now. However, with the release of the spinoff, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, it the first modern Metal Gear game to be multi-platform, coming out for Xbox 360 and PC.

Series notable for being Multi-Platform (at least recently):
  1. Sometimes also confusingly used for the owners of both an XBOX 360 and Play Station 3