The arrival of the Xbox 360 in November 2005 coincided with the arrival of a new feature that had a profound impact on the way some gamers play. It is indeed on Xbox 360 that Microsoft introduced the Achievements. These little virtual rewards have become addictive for gamers. And their plebiscite was such that the concept was quickly taken up by other platform managers. Today, Microsoft is considering new ways to advance its successes.
Microsoft is currently considering integrating an equivalent to the Platinum Trophy for PlayStation games on Xbox. In any case, this is what recently suggested Jason Ronald of Microsoft. The director in charge of project management at Xbox recently participated in the Iron Lords Podcast. And it was during the latter that the future of Achievements was discussed.
Successes, serious business
More specificly, Jason Ronald was asked about the possible arrival on Xbox of a “Achievement equivalent to Sony’s Platinum (Trophy).“The podcast host specifies that he is talking about a”recognition from the game“when the latter has been completely finished. According to the Microsoft representative, the Xbox team is aware that there is a demand at this level:
We have clearly heard the feedback (from the players) on this. Achievements are an interesting topic because not all people play games the same way. So we ask ourselves how to reward people for playing the way they want and the way they want.
Some players just prefer to play multiplayer. What do we do to reward them or highlight their progress? Other people like to play a ton of different games. How to respect their investment? And besides that there are people like me who are completionists and literally want to finish everything in a game.
There is therefore a balance to be found. And that’s really something we’ve had feedback on. We have nothing to announce today but it is clearly something that sits on the top of our list when we think about the future.
Towards Intelligent Successes?
The possibility that a Platinum Trophy equivalent will land on Xbox is not the only interesting element here. Unlocking an Achievement or Trophy in a game sometimes involves performing actions that the player would not have taken naturally in the absence of these rewards. Like completing all the side quests, or winning a given number of online matches for example.
It is therefore intriguing to see Jason Ronald talking about a Achievement system adapted to everyone’s playing habits. Is Microsoft considering a smart Achievement unlocking system with rewards that change from player to player based on their in-game practices? Impossible to say at the moment.
That being said, having such a system in place would make it harder for third-party publishers. Moreover, such a system would not necessarily be well received by all players. Those who find obtaining Achievements too restrictive might adopt a new way of unlocking them. But those who like to use Achievements to compare themselves to other players and show their commitment would certainly not welcome a system that allows two players to unlock Achievements differently on the same game.
Achievements vs Trophies
Finally, remember that Achievements were introduced with the release of the Xbox 360. Each Achievement has an associated number of Gamescore points. The latter is higher or lower depending on the difficulty associated with obtaining it. On most big games, unlocking all Achievements earns 1,000 Gamerscore Points.
The Achievements were immediately adopted by Xbox gamers. Some have even become addicted to Achievements (to refresh the concept, Microsoft introduced a rare Achievements system on Xbox One in 2016).
Faced with the popularity of this system, both Valve and Sony responded. Valve integrated the management of Achievements on Steam in 2007. For its part, Sony added Trophies to PS3 games in 2008 (the first PS3 games therefore did not have Trophies).
On PlayStation consoles, the Trophies do not match a given number of points. They are, however, associated with a precious metal. The more difficult the Trophy is to obtain, or the more investment required from the player, the more valuable his metal. The Platinum Trophy for a game is automatically obtained when all of its other Trophies have been unlocked. Note in multi-platform games, the lists of Achievements-Trophies are identical.
What do you think of these statements from Jason Ronald? How would you like a Platinum Achievement on Xbox consoles? And what do you say about a Success system that adapts to player practices? Give us your opinion in the comments below.