The president of startup studio Ready At Dawn has told GamesIndustry.biz that developers must stop making excuses for producing handheld games that aren't up to the same standard as their console counterparts.
In an exclusive interview, Didier Malenfant conceded that consumers are becoming disgruntled with the choice of games available for the PSP, stating: "There's obviously not as many titles as people would want on the platform, but at the same time, up until now there hasn't been any title that really gives you the same kind of experience you could find on the PS2."
"Everything is compromised, and it bugs the hell out of me when you hear a lot of developers saying, 'Well, we can't do this that way because it's a handheld game,' or 'We can't do this because it doesn't have a second analog stick.'"
"Those are all excuses," Malenfant continued - observing that the original PSone controller didn't have any analog sticks, "And there were great games on that."
Malenfant, who formerly worked for Jak and Daxter developer Naughty Dog, co-founded Ready At Dawn in September 2003 together with former Blizzard employees Ru Weerasuriya and Andrea Pessino.
The studio's first game is simply titled Daxter, and is based around the character of the same name. Malenfant believes that Daxter "Is not only a really good game, but really something that shows that for the first time, this is a handheld that can give you the same experience you'd find on a home console."
"For me that's terribly exciting, because I tend to play my PSP a lot more than any other console, simply because it's portable. I don't want to end up playing sub-par games just because I'm on a handheld, which up to [the arrival of the PSP] has been what we've had to do."
"We really set out to prove that you can do a game that is as good, if not better, than a PS2 game and really show off the platform. If we do end up becoming the game that opens the floodgates, I'd be really really proud, because it's such an awesome handheld."
Daxter will be published this spring by Sony - a company with whom RAD has an excellent relationship, according to Malenfant.
"You need to get to a situation where you get the support, but at the same time, you're working with people who really understand games, and I think that's the hardest thing to do," he said.
"Obviously you want people who know the business side, but at the same time games are so much about passion that you really need people you can talk to on the same level, who really understand what makes a game great."
"That's what's so hard to find - because there are a lot of talented business people in the industry, but very few talented business people who actually know games."
When asked if RAD would consider accepting an acquisition offer by Sony in the future, Malenfant replied: "I can't say we've really thought about it. What's important to me as far as Ready At Dawn's concerned is that we've been able to build a new company culture with the people we've hired. As long as we keep that together and we're able to maintain that, there's no outright plan, or discussions for that matter."