As console war arguments fuelled by platform exclusives rage across the internet, we rarely stop to think about the creators themselves, or the benefits platform exclusivity bring to game development.

Max Beland, creative director of upcoming Xbox 360 and PC exclusive stealth action game Splinter Cell: Conviction, however, has revealed to why the Ubisoft Montreal development team loves platform exclusivity.

"On a development side it's easier to only focus on one platform," he said.

"It's not like it's impossible, right, to develop on both platforms. It's easy. You add more programmers and that's it. But for us it allows us to focus on the 360. There are also some decisions we take that mean we don't need to take a different decision for the other platform, like the controls.

"There's one setup of controls that we need to tweak and balance. The sticks on PS3 are not the same. Often shooting you don't put on the lower trigger on the PS3 - you put it above because the triggers on the 360 are concave, so your finger rests well on them, versus on PS3, the triggers are convex, so you slip. It's the same thing for cover. We've got a holding trigger for cover, but then that on PS3, it's not comfortable, because you end up getting in cover, then your finger slips, so we have to put it on the buttons. The controls are always a big challenge. That's one less headache."

According to Beland, every console has what are called TCRs (Technical Certification Requirements), which govern a game's reaction to certain conditions.

"What happens when I'm playing a game, and I unplug my controller and plug a new one in right away? The game needs to pause. You can't crash. What happens if while I'm saving I remove my hard disk and put a memory card in, and unplug the network cable at the same time? Those are all very platform specific, and all unique for a platform that you need to code and debug. That's a lot of time.

"So, by only shipping on one platform, we only have the Microsoft requirements to support. We don't have the PS3 requirements to support. And also the whole multiplayer part, like supporting the friends and all of that, obviously it's a lot simpler to only support them on one platform."

Beland also put to bed any lingering rumours that Conviction is what's called a "timed exclusive", stating categorically that the game will never come to the PS3.

"There's no PS3 version," he insisted. "No-one's working on a PS3 version. We're an exclusive Xbox 360 and PC title. That's it."

When asked why 360 exclusivity was right for Conviction, Beland replied: "That deal was decided while I was on [Rainbow Six] Vegas. I've been on Conviction for two years - two years and a month now. So I don't know... this is Yves Guillemot and the business people that did a deal with Microsoft at the time.

"I think it's cool because the first Splinter Cell game was an Xbox exclusive. We've got a great relationship with Microsoft. They often come to the Montreal studio and they're helping us with optimising the code. They send engineers and stuff. We've got a really good relationship with them. From my perspective, we're Xbox exclusive, so, okay, sure, no problem. We're working with them and making sure the game is as good as possible and optimised on that platform."

With the game due out on April 16, we don't have long to find out for ourselves.

For all the latest news, previews, and trailers, head over to our Splinter Cell: Conviction game page.

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