The console version of Assetto Corsa is really turning into a bit of a dumpster fire, and the latest announcement from Kunos Simulazioni only confirms what we’ve been saying for a while now – the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 renditions of the popular PC racing simulator have been half-assed to the extreme. While many hardcore virtual auto racing enthusiasts felt Assetto Corsa filled a much needed gap left by the original rFactor in terms of providing a relatively open-ended modding sandbox, the same can’t be said about the product you may see lining the shelves at Wal-Mart or Best Buy for home entertainment systems. It’s overpriced, buggy as hell, and lacks several basic features the more demanding console crowd believed to be standard options from a video game in 2016. Sure, Chrysler’s original Viper didn’t ship with power windows, but Assetto Corsa is no high performance track day roadster; it sputters, pops, and eventually rolls over like an Ecotec Cavalier – though not before you’ve had it sideways a few times and seen the joy it can bring at its best.
The PC version of Assetto Corsa was recently graced with the first of three Porsche-specific downloadable content packs; cars we here at PRC.net were left relatively disappointed by, but many others seemed to like judging by the response to the article. The PC edition also allows you to configure your own private online server, and use the several pieces of official Kunos add-on content wherever the hell you’d like – including online servers setup by Kunos themselves.
On the contrary, console owners have not received any of the above features and content the PC crowd have been blessed with – which means Marco Massarutto awkwardly attacking fans for daring to question if the different versions of Assetto Corsa would warrant different experiences displays that Kunos knew people would find out the truth eventually, and it wouldn’t be pretty. PC sim racers have basically thrown a party and celebrated the return of Porsche to the sim racing world, but there is still no announced release date for the Porsche pack on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The console userbase are still unable to construct their own private lobbies to ensure clean online racing without the presence of trolls or backmarkers, and the official servers that are available for online racing, still don’t include any of the downloadable content that is aggressively pushed on owners of the game – these cars still appearing in the vehicle roster despite the player not owning them.
In a community update published two days ago, Kunos Simulazioni confirmed that they’re aware Xbox One and PlayStation 4 owners are curious about the Porsche packs, custom lobbies, and the implementation of downloadable in online races, but there is no firm date as to when players will actually see it in the game.
First, and something I’ve already partially addressed, is that those interested in Assetto Corsa – as Marco Massarutto adamantly stated above – were told there would be no differences between the original PC release, and the product published by 505 Games for modern home consoles. This has now been proven to be an outright lie, and we’re at the point where it’s logical to start asking questions about what else Kunos have lied about since the world has been made aware of Assetto Corsa. Content and features found in the PC version simply don’t exist in the console version, and Kunos can’t even give a proper time frame as to when the console game will be brought up to speed.
Second, owners of Assetto Corsa on console aren’t going to wait around any longer for updates with no firm release date. It’s one of those things where the old adage “shit or get off the pot” comes into play. The game came out near the end of this summer and has lived in a state of purgatory for almost three months; it’s not horrible enough to completely dismiss and forget about, but each passing day is another twenty four hours the game sits on the shelf, completely ignored and establishing itself as a candidate to be traded in for store credit. Kunos are at a point where it’s 100% necessary to come out and say “these updates are coming on this day” – as black Friday is on the horizon and they could reel in those who once abandoned the game thanks to previous owners re-purchasing at a discounted price.
Instead, they do the opposite.
It’s unacceptable for a developer, after something like sixty plus days of getting absolutely blown out by disgruntled customers wondering what the fuck they just bought, to put out a press release that does not include a single piece of relevant information on potentially game-changing updates. “It’s coming in the future” is not what console racers want to hear. This crowd doesn’t take kindly to eternal science projects, and the hyper vigilance from angry customers is only set to increase after the debacle that was No Man’s Sky. In niche PC sim communities, you can get away with half-finished games by counteracting the anger with establishing some sort of personality cult within your official message boards, but console gamers don’t care about coding live streams. They want a game that works correctly out of the box, and a game that’s fun to play with their friends. Kunos simply haven’t produced that for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4; telling their few remaining supporters that “it’s coming in a future update” won’t suffice – those few supporters will turn into no supporters fairly quickly.