While many of the upcoming games will be released as cross-gen titles, more and more people in the industry believe that this approach will negatively affect next-gen development.
Microsoft announced a few months ago that all first-party games would be released for both Xbox One and Xbox Series X in the coming years. The company doesn’t want to force a gamer to buy a new console.
What sounds like a commendable accommodation, in theory, could turn out to be a disadvantage in practice. Because there are fears that the next-gen versions will be negatively affected by the versions for the current generation that are mounting.
IGN’s Ryan McCaffrey also recently changed his mind. After talking to unspecified people, he now believes that the outdated hardware of the PS4 and Xbox One is preventing developers from showing what is really possible with the hardware of the PS5 and Xbox Series X.
“I was wrong to drink the “current-gen won’t hold next-gen back” Kool-Aid,” said McCaffrey. “I’ve talked to enough people now. It might make sense for some games, but not AAA, system-seller kinds of big-budget productions.”
The insider Shinobi also commented on this topic and emphasized that games are always developed on the lowest common denominator:
Games will always be developed with the lowest common denominator. I hate to even approach it negatively, because it's not honestly. Cross-gen games are fine, but if you want the same experience across the board including lower SKU, you have to design around that feature set.
— Shinobi602 (@shinobi602) August 24, 2020
However, Microsoft also backed down again. Some time ago, the Xbox chief Phil Spencer emphasized that they don’t want to force cross-gen productions on the developers.
Sony, on the other hand, is striving to fully exploit the advantages of the PS5 anyway. Exclusive developments are therefore welcomed. This approach also has an impact on controller support. The DualShock 4 is compatible with the PS5, but only when using PS4 games. The DualSense with all its new features is necessary for PS5 games.