"Coming this summer — on every platform ever made."
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 during the 2000's. Even though the PlayStation 2
was in the lead, games on the Xbox
, 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 PS3
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 PS3
, sometimes called PS360note
, and another version which is released on the Wii (and occasionally on PS2 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
. Contrast with Reformulated Game
, where completely different versions of the same game title is released across multiple platforms.
Releases among series that usually develop for one system:
- The Legend Of Zelda Twilight Princess was developed for the GameCube, 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. In previous titles, Link wielded his sword with his left-hand, which was carried over to 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 was the first installment in the series released for two platforms simultaneously. The first three numbered entries debuted on the PlayStation before being ported to other platforms, while the Dreamcast getting an oddly named sequel in the form of Resident Evil Code Veronica. Producer Shinji Mikami later made the controversial decision of changing the target platform of Resident Evil 4 from the PlayStation 2 to the GameCube, but this decision didn't stick for long and Capcom ended up releasing a PlayStation 2 port months later.
- A simultaneous Xbox 360 release of then PS3-exclusive Final Fantasy XIII was announced midway through development, at least for the overseas market.
- Final Fantasy XI is notable for being not only Multi Platform, but the first MMORPG to cross the console-PC divide. It started on the PS2, got a PC version, and eventually got an Xbox 360 version by the third expansion, Treasures of Aht Urhgan.
- 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 PS3.
- The first two Pokemon 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 PS3; 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 Play Station 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 PlayStation 3 as well as the Xbox 360, just as its predecessor was.
- The Metal Gear series had been traditionally released exclusively on PlayStation consoles since the original Metal Gear Solid, with very few exceptions (most of them being ports and remakes). However, Metal Gear Rising Revengeance was released simultaneously on the PS3 and Xbox 360 (except in Japan, where they only got the PS3 version), and Konami plans on releasing the next proper game in the series, Metal Gear Solid V The Phantom Pain, on multiple systems as well.
- The first couple of 32-bit games in the Mega Man series, namely Mega Man 8 and Mega Man X 4, were released simultaneously on the PlayStation and Sega Saturn, after years of appearing almost exclusively on Nintendo platforms.* Mega Man 9 and 10 would later debut as a digital download on the Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360.
Titles or series notable for being Multi Platform:
- Most licensed games
- Another World
- Anarchy Reigns
- Asura's Wrath
- Call of Duty
- Dragon Age
- The Elder Scrolls, starting with Morrowind
- Guitar Hero
- LEGO Adaptation Game
- Lollipop Chainsaw
- Madden NFL
- Mass Effect, starting with ME2. ME1 was initially an Xbox 360 exclusive but was ported to the PC and PS3 later.
- Medal of Honor
- Mortal Kombat since Deadly Alliance (when the series started skipping arcade releases)
- Naev, an open-source freeware game available for PC, Mac, and most Linux distros.
- Need For Speed
- Nobunagas Ambition (but only in Japan)
- Rock Band
- Romance Of The Three Kingdoms (but sometimes only in Japan)
- Sonic the Hedgehog, after Sega's hardware division imploded.
- Project Eternity, a Kickstarter-funded RPG by Obsidian that will be compatible with PC, Mac, and Linux, and released on both GOG and Steam.
- Puyo Puyo, even before Sega's hardware division imploded.
- Time Shift
- Time Splitters
- Tomb Raider
- Many Ubisoft properties:
- Most Blizzard titles.
- The Humble Indie Bundle releases have all canonically been on Mac, PC, and Linux, and the most recent Bundles have added Android to the list.
- Dark Souls, the Spiritual Successor to the PS3 exclusive Demon's Souls, was released on both the PS3 and Xbox 360 and has now been ported to the PC.