How to Port Games to Consoles?

The world of video games offers a fantastic relaxation to the players and many look for playing on multiple platforms, especially consoles. While the process takes a lot of time and effort, and involves legal hassles as well, the results are certainly rewarding.

A fair question that most gaming enthusiasts have in this regard is when their favorite game will be coming to the console. If you are one of them, you have arrived at the right place as we take you through the journey of what goes into porting a game into consoles.

Why would you port games?

The answer to why anyone would opt for console porting of their games is quite straightforward. It’s a plausible means of drawing attention to an already existing game once again and deriving further profits from the same. Porting games into consoles is a labor-intensive process that requires specific expertise and knowledge. If you are into the world of gaming and have access to the right skills and resources, the process is certainly worthwhile.

What are the steps involved in game console porting?

Game porting services into consoles is a process of conversion that makes the product suitable for another format. For instance, if a game is exclusively available for consoles then it can be difficult for users with only Android and computers to access the game. On the flip side, some users prefer playing online games on consoles only.

If you are willing to try console porting, it requires certain technical features to change for meeting the requirements. The process will need to take go through a number of phases and here are the primary stages that go into it:

1. Plan and analyze

Sometimes, games are ported by the users or other gaming experts who were not a part of the original game development team. This means they may not be aware of the architecture of the product. So the first thing that they need to do is to collect information about the game and analyze it in the desired direction. This will help in detecting those functions that are required to be updated for successful formatting and also those that need to be removed or added from the other available versions of the game.

2. Coding

For console porting, sometimes direct developer intervention becomes necessary. And this takes a long time for importing the source code, bringing about the needful alterations, and finally transfer the game to the new platform for use.

On the flip side, porting becomes effortless and faster in case the product was developed in popular game engines such as Unreal Engine or Unity. This happens since those games developed on larger game engines have the potential to work on a host of platforms without compromising efficiency or user experience. Moreover, gaming engines typically contain the needful instruments for porting into various platforms.

As different platforms have specialized requirements for the model and size of the game, it’s crucial for to adapt to different gaming assets. For instance, games with large models cannot be ported into those platforms with limited sizing. It won’t be able to endure the level of data containing high-class assets.

3. Test

Sometimes games or applications that are ported contain a lot of bugs particularly when it has not undergone thorough testing by the developers’ team. The reason is that it’s hard to find issues with any product that’s not designed by you or when you are not aware of how things work. Thus, it’s mandatory to carry out tests that can bring new as well as existing errors to the surface. This is also another reason why many companies outsource testing for saving resources while attempting game porting.

It’s important to fix everything regardless of the stage in which the bugs were introduced to the game. Moreover, the specialists have to be meticulous about performance and compatibility tests also. When the game fails to meet the parameters of the console or if the performance comes down, then that needs to be fixed as well.

4. Certification

For releasing a game on a console, it’s essential to go through the process of certification. This can slightly vary depending on the console. But in simpler terms, the game needs to be able to do a ton of things before it receives the certification. At times, these are hard and fast rules that you have to comply and in some cases, there are certain functional features that need to be added.

As the foundational issues are covered, the ported game can be sent to the platform owners for testing the game. You can rest assured that the ported game will come back to you with hordes of issues that might have escaped the specialists’ eyes. Getting the report takes time and fixing the issues and sending the same for certification once again is a different ball game altogether.

Now the question is how difficult is it to port games into consoles? In reality, you can hardly call it an easy or simple process. After all, it comes with a long checklist that needs to be taken care of before releasing the game.

These include paying attention to the requirements of the platform, starting to follow the guidelines of the platform, testing every single pixel on the device where the game will be launched, and finally, planning for a realistic date of release. Last but not the least, there’s nothing to hesitate about when you believe you need help.

The bottom line

As you have noticed, porting games takes a lot of time, effort, patience, and most importantly knowledge and experience. Without any of these, the process may take too long or you may not be able to figure out where things went wrong. But if you take a look at the bright side of things, there’s always help to find. When you want to port your favorite games into consoles, you may shift the responsibility to the shoulders of professionals who can truck through the complex process and have your choicest game released on the console.

What do you think?

Written by Joshua White

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