Jul 5, 2008

5 Reasons Why Achievements Are Better Than Trophies

NextGen Player Feature Article - Part 1 of 2
By Paul Hunter

With the launch of PS3 firmware update 2.40 on July 2, Sony has officially launched their own gamer reward system to compete with Microsoft's well entrenched Achievement system. Microsoft was the first the out of the gate, and has had two and a half years to refine and improve their product. With this experience under their belt, is Microsoft's Achievement offering better than their rival's Trophy system? Or has the extra time allowed Sony to develop a superior reward system?

In part 1 of this feature article, NextGen Player will examine the reasons why Achievements are better to Trophies. Next week, in part 2 we will examine the reasons why Trophies are better than Achievements.

Xbox Achievements - A Brief Description

Since the launch of Xbox 360, Microsoft has mandated that retail games offer 1,000 points spread over a variable number of Achievements, while each Xbox Live Arcade title contains 12 achievements totaling 200 points. Developers also now have the option of adding up to 250 points via downloadable content (for a total of 1,250 points), and Xbox Live Arcade titles may add up to 50 points via downloadable content (for a total of 250 points).

5 Reasons Why Achievements Are Better Than Trophies

Reason #1: Gamerscore Loyalty

Having been around for two and a half years now, Xbox 360 gamers have amassed a deep collection of Achievements - many of which have taken hours to acquire. A growing number of Xbox 360 players have surpassed the coveted 10,000+ Achievement mark, a feat that takes patience, perseverance and most importantly - commitment. With so many dedicated hours obtaining Achievements, do Xbox 360 owners really want to begin collecting Sony's Trophy offerings? Every hour spent collecting Trophies is one less spent collecting Achievements, and that means gamerscores will rise more slowly. To some, Achievements are a competition - and for those people, Trophies would be a distraction.

With such a well established reward system, Achievements are a major advantage for Microsoft. When deciding whether to buy an Xbox 360 or PS3 version of the same game, many gamers will agree that they select Xbox 360 for the Achievements. Until Trophies gain some traction and gamer loyalty, Achievements will be more desired.

Reason #2: Consumer Affinity

Being first on the market with a reward system has given Microsoft another significant advantage in the battle for consumer dollars. As many Xbox 360 owners can attest too, obtaining an Achievement is a very gratifying experience. For those used to collecting points, seeing the familiar "Achievement Unlocked" pop-up message and hearing the reward sound can be an exciting moment. Many Xbox 360 players view their gamerscore as part of their online identity, and Achievements create an instantly recognizable symbol of your commitment to hardcore gaming. There are entire communities formed based on the common interest of Achievements (e.g. Xbox360Achievements.org), and it's that strong personal affinity that will keep many gamers playing on Microsoft's platform.

Reason #3: Full Game Library Compatibility

Microsoft rolled-out their Achievement reward system for the Xbox 360 at launch, meaning all retail and downloadable games in the Xbox 360 library contain Achievements. The only exception to the rule is original Xbox titles purchased on the Live Marketplace, but that makes sense given these games never had Achievements when originally released. As an Xbox 360 owner, you are empowered with the knowledge that all games for your platform contain Achievements, no matter what the release date, distribution channel (retail vs. DLC), or publisher.

Conversely, things are much more complicated for the Playstation 3. Since firmware update 2.40 (which includes support for Trophies) was just released a few days ago, to date only Super Stardust HD has been patched for Trophies. Sony has announced a handful of other titles (see the list here) but the reality is that the vast majority of the Playstation library does not support Trophies. To further complicate the situation, a number of developers have stated that they will not be patching previously released titles. High profile games not receiving Trophy patches include: Call of Duty 4, Devil May Cry 4, GRID, Ratchet and Clank Future, Resistance, among others. While it's good to see some previously released PS3 games will receive Trophy patches, when compared to Xbox 360's full library compatibility, Trophies just don't stack up.

Reason #4: Better Online Integration

Another significant advantage Achievements have over Trophies is their online integration capabilities. Microsoft has leveraged their existing MSN Live ID infrastructure to allow gamers to login to their Xbox accounts with ease. When logged in, gamers have a full range of options available to them: including viewing their gamercard and comparing Achievements with friends. An additional edge Achievements have over Trophies is the ease in which gamers can display their gamercards online. Widget application provider My Gamer Card allows any Xbox 360 user the ability to display their gamercards on websites and in forum signatures effortlessly - with the gamercard will automatically updating your Achievement list in real-time.

Playstation Trophies, while still in their infancy, are still lacking in online integration. Sony has no comparable PSN login website where gamers can review and compare game performance with their friends. And while a company called Playfire has rushed to be the first to create Gamercard service for Trophies, their widget (still in beta) currently does not update Trophies in real-time. In order to display your Trophy list, users need to manually search and select which Trophies they have acquired. This is time consuming and as a gamer, we'd rather be playing then constantly updating some online form.

Reason #5: Manageability

Last, but certainly not least, the Xbox 360 interface is cleaner, faster to navigate, and more and intuitive. The easy-to-use dashboard allows gamers to access the information they need, such as browsing Achievements and comparing their performance with friends, in a shorter period of time. The Playstation 3 interface is improving, but is more cumbersome to navigate overall - and you still can't call up the XMB to review your Trophies during playback of PS2 games, Blu-Ray discs, and DVDs. Microsoft has built a more manageable reward system that allows gamers to spend less time flipping through menus and spend more time doing what they do best - game.


Anonymous said...

Predictably one-sided article.

Anonymous said...

I still, really, don' t undertand what the hell I' m supposed to do with Achevements or Throphies ...
I like to play, i don' t go crazy about bragging around "telling" everyone how much cool I am ...
Meh ... go back and play instead hunting points XD

BTW no doubt, it' s one-sided article also to me.

Anonymous said...

Reason #1: Gamerscore Loyalty - no longer applies, as it applies to both
Reason #2: Consumer Affinity - Consumer ignorance is not a good thing
Reason #3: Full Game Library Compatibility - Yes, however it's been somewhat devalued by game save cheaters, and games that give points away like candy
Reason #4: Better Online Integration - At current time, yes.
Reason #5: Manageability - Bull. 360s UI is so convoluted it's own developers complain about it, Sony has won awards for how user friendly the XMB is. XMB is also many times faster, and has many times the amount of functionality.

Ryan said...

yea yea yea, we get it.. .you're hard for microsoft.

I have both systems and until 2.4 came out, i always preferred picking up the 360 version of whatever game simply because it tracked my achievements throughout the game. Now, SONY has achieved this so no longer will i pick up the 360 version of the game strictly because of achievements. I'm actually excited over the RPG element of trophies and that's exactly what SONY was trying to do.

911 Gaming said...

Are we going to see a PS3 sided article in the future, or are you just writing this because you want Xbox fans to feel special for what they have?
[You have a point in your article, and in some areas you are right. In others, you forget... PS3 has the free trophies, the Xbox 360 has a payed for/advertised service (with evil gremlin twelve year olds who curse as if the pitch was turned up to "full-chipmunk." Then again, so does PSN.)]

Drew said...

Hey guys, we're going to be taking a look at both sides of the issue. The PS3 version will be up soon. That was mentioned in the Xbox article fairly early on. We welcome your comments on those too when they're up.

Paul Hunter said...

Hi there,

Thanks for the comments.

This post is one half of a two-part feature article that will compare both reward systems. Next week we will be releasing our list of reasons why Trophies are better than Achievements. The point of these articles are to debate intelligently the pros and cons of Microsoft's and Sony's reward system offerings.

Anonymous said...

wow you guys fail for reading comprehension!! The writer states in the article that next week will be 5 reasons trophys are better!!Nothing like blind fanboy love hehe

Anonymous said...

you cant say anything positive about the 360, or anything negative about the Ps3 on the internet these days. There are Sony nazis aka fanboys who come running to defend the Sony/PS3 name. They claim you are an idiot, owned by MS or just plain biased and one sided. Cry babies is what they all are, the PS3 is far from god, so idiots should stop treating it like such, the thing is crap for gaming, it is a blueray player, the 360 is a gaming console, for gamers. Deal with it.

Anonymous said...

Wow, people have very low reading comprehension abilities. It says it's a two part series stating pros and cons of both systems. Of course each article will be one-sided. Morons.

Anonymous said...

one, if your going to state your reasons on something, make sure it ain't bullcrap because xmb is lot more user friendly than the blades on the 360. easier to use and faster to navigate.

two, read everything of whats going on present and future because sony is currently working on a website for gamercards and such. you made it sound like they are not working on it. so if you think about it, thats not an advantage for 360.

three, half the reasons you stated ain't even an advantage or something that NO ONE cares about. make a better article next time

Anonymous said...

ur a retard. Your obviously a biased fanboy. especially LOL @ pt. 5

gidian said...

this is the biggest BS article from a xbox fanboy! he just reaches far for stuff, how sad!

Anonymous said...

360 rulez bitches!.....deal! lol

Anonymous said...

None of those are actually reasons, they're just opinions.

Anonymous said...

'cept for reason number three that's the only real fact.

Anonymous said...

Look at the wall of tears from butthurt kornstation owners. LMAO trophies suck, get over it.

Anonymous said...

wtf they say that they will be doing the an article on y trophies are better than achievements soon so all of you saying it is biased shut up and read it all before you start to complane

Albert said...

I couldn't careless. I have 23,000 achievements points and I'll tell you this, it's boring. I will admit I was started off as an achievement whore, but now it's just plain boring. I couldn't careless about achievements, much less trophies.

I have both consoles and there is one thing I've noticed about trophies, there's a leveling up system. I'm not entirely sure how it works since I haven't looked into it, but it looks a lot more interesting than the simple points you get from achievements. Trophies as well as a leveling up system, kind of like an RPG.

It's hard to say which will be better, but it seems that Sony has put more thought into this. Instead of trophies next to your gamertag, imagine a numbered level next to it. I think that would be pretty cool.

- TechnicalBS

Geoffrey said...

Actually, # 5 isn't "bullcrap." In relation to achievements, the interface is faster, in exactly the way the article states. For instance, when you unlock an achievement and the bubble pops up, you can hit the guide button and it takes you straight to the achievement description page. You can check out your achievements at any time, no matter what your system is doing. That is definitely more flexible than the PS3.

Read first before you accuse. It was very clearly stated that the pro-Trophy article was incoming... or are you going to say that they are 360 fanboys because they wrote about Achievements first? OMG, it's a conspiracy!!

I, for one am glad that Sony is adding the Trophies. Achievements have definitely extended the return on investment of my games. For instance, I had a customer play the PS3 version of GTA4, beat the story and get rid of the game. Here I am a week or two after beating it and I am still playing. The Achievements motivated me to complete more of the side missions and have made me want to try and beat the game in under 30 hours. I have around 60 hours into it and will probably have around 100 before I get rid of it. I feel like I got a lot more for my $60 than he did. This is a good move for Sony.

Q said...

Some flaws in your arguments...

#1 - Basically says that 360 owners won't collect trophies because they'd prevent them collecting achievements... not an argument as to why achievements are better than trophies, therefore nothing whatsoever to do with the article title.

#2 - Says that 360 owners prefer to collect achievements because they are used to... errm... collecting achievements. Really? Same failure reason as #1.

#3 - Agreed.

#4 - Agreed (at current time).

#5 - This is purely a personal opinion; it is therefore not a "reason"

I appreciate that there is an intention to post a "Part 2" argument on this issue from a PS3 perspective, but it must be a coherently argued piece, or it'll fail on the same grounds as this article - i.e. should be renamed "2 reasons why achievements are better than trophies, plus 2 truisms and an opinion"

Steer clear of anything that cannot be objectively measured.

Anonymous said...

Do we honestly care if 360 achievements are better? We have PS3s for crying out loud, we dont care!

Can't wait 'til part two of this article XD

Alex said...

Dont listen to all these rabid fanboys (on both sides). This is a good article, who gives a crap if theres opinion involved - this isnt a scientific survey, its just a gaming article!
Look forward to reading your next one
Keep up the good work

Anonymous said...

The bloke that wrote this is definatly a fanboy. you havent got a clue what your talking about. i think the be all and end all is the fact the you can try bigging up things on xbox all day long but i personally think that all these things your bigging up dont mean shit when microshaft built such a unreliable hunk of junk. All off my freinds xbox's have gone "pop" for some reason or another (either RROD or the DVD drive with unplayable disc error0. and they have all replaced them with PS3's now. So i think thats the real answer here. doesn't really matter how good the software features are etc because people are sick to death with the un-reliablity of this machine and the fact the microshaft have failed to really do anything about it.

Anonymous said...

I could've wrote a better story than this BS right here

aplusj said...

I love my 360, but these arguments were weak. Sounds like this article was thrown together in an hour. All of these points should have been one point.

Anonymous said...

These are weak arguements. Honestly, cmon, I own both the 360 and PS3. The achievements to me are better than these trophy's.

Also, the xbox user interface is much better than the PS3. The Ps3 is a very shallow interface. Maybe thats why all of these fanboys like it, because they cant comprehend how to use the 360's, which isnt that hard. The 360's is just a lot more detail oriented and really gives you a "home" feeling. So to me, because I own both and have plenty of experience with both, 360 wins this arguement.

But really?? please think of better reasons next time instead of opinons or call this an opinion article.

Anonymous said...

Waa waa waa PS3 rules!!11!one!!1 Waa waa waa Bias bias bias waa waa waa im in love with ken kutoragi waa waa waa kaz hirai have my babies waa waa waa LMFAO!!!

Anonymous said...

Obviously Sony fanboys are too stupid to realize that they are doing a vice-versa comparison. Now I'm not naming anyone..*cough* Ryan *cough* but it seems that that some people here are hard for Sony...

Drumega said...

Great feedback and interaction from everyone who've posted comments.

Just a note...for everyone who thinks Paul (author of this post) is an XBOX 360 fanboy, he actually doesn't own a 360 but does have a PS3.

Please everyone, also realize that Paul stated "reasons" and not "facts" as to why Achievements are better. These are his reasons and very valid ones at that. He will be following up with a "reasons" post to support PS3 Trophies.

Keep on the look out for that.

Drumega (Andrew)

Paul Hunter said...

Thanks for the responses everyone.

To echo what Andrew said above, this is opinion article on reasons why I feel Achievements have an advantage over Trophies.

This post is part 1 of a two part feature article that will compare both reward systems. Next week I will be releasing my thoughts on reasons why Trophies are better than Achievements.

I look forward to continuing this discussion on here, and in next week's post.


skatcat31 said...

At OC: DURH!!! Did you not read that at the top of the article?!?!?? STFU, GTFO, and go die in a corner you emo little b****. Now then, that aside (seirously stupid comment), this acutally presents some good points. Now we'll see sony's argument next week and decide for ourselve. TBH, I see them the way VGCats creators Scott saw them.

"Can you do anything wiht your dickhats?" 'I don't know...'

Anonymous said...

So all of these have been eclipsed by the PS3 since Firmware 2.40...

Post a Comment