It might be difficult to remember now, because it hasn’t been happening in 10 years, but there was a time when consoles just couldn’t deal with the latest in PC gaming. At first, it was partly because your puny $300 box couldn’t hope to bear the brunt of super-powered Pentium graphics, and partly because old controllers just didn’t have enough buttons to map all of the controls that PC games seemed to like back then.
This didn’t stop some developers from trying anyway, unfortunately. It took years before we got a decent port of Doom, and I still think Magic Carpet on consoles is near unplayable (and runs quite slowly to boot). But the smartest developers knew this, and tried to fit their games to the limitations of the platform at hand. Mechwarrior 2 Arcade Edition is an interesting example, and one that also improves the graphics from the original game.
Later on, controls stopped being a problem (sort of, depends on who you are asking), but power didn’t. But then, things pretty much solved themselves: as consoles became the preferred way of playing, games were generally developed with those platforms in mind. So instead of console ports, we got PC ports. No problem, except when those ports sucked, but nevermind that for now.
Far Cry Instincts was among the last games to be released on PC and then properly adjusted for a console release. It does some things right, some things not so much, but it is generally enjoyable. Most strange, the gameplay itself is quite different, even though it bears the same name: you’d expect a stealth shooter just like Far Cry, but aside from the first few levels, run and gun is far more effective. Maybe they were trying to appease the mainstream console crowd, though I think it was also a matter of power: rendering too many trees and open areas wasn’t easy on the Xbox. Would also explain why it never arrived on anything other than the most powerful console on the market (Wii eventually got a port of the sequel, which I’m going to play next – yes, the much maligned Vengeance. Pray for me).
This kind of stuff seldom happens anymore, if at all. Though sometimes the Wii got downgraded ports of PS360 games, and there were traces of the same phenomenon in console-to-handheld ports, it occasionally happened on the PSP or 3DS. However, the Vita paved the way for regular ports, and the Switch shouldn’t have problems either. But perhaps in the future, we’ll see specifically tailored versions of certain games again?