The next gen is getting closer and closer, however it seems that the current consoles will continue to play a fundamental role for some time yet. Sony and Microsoft have adopted different strategies in this regard; the Japanese company has already confirmed that it has focused all its resources on the development of games dedicated to PlayStation 5, while Microsoft has long insisted on the concept of continuity – embodied by the concept of Smart Delivery – between Xbox One and Series X.
Lately it seems like Microsoft is retracing its steps – for example, the new Forza won't be coming to Xbox One and there are rumors worrying also with regard to the already announced Halo Infinite -, however, it is not the moves of the Redmond house that interest us at the moment. We know that many third-party developers will adopt a strategy focused on releasing cross-gen titles over the next two years – as in the case of Square Enix -, making PS4 and Xbox One still relevant: but what does this mean for Playtation 5 and Xbox Series X?
For several months we have talked about the concept of scalability – that is, making games that can adapt to the performance of the hardware on which they are run -, however this line of thought seems to begin to waver to show us a reality quite different from the one hypothesized: the new consoles introduce innovations that go well beyond the simple increase of the technical data sheet and many of their peculiar characteristics cannot be exploited properly until you have to deal with the current generation.
It sounded good on paper, but not in the real world.
– Ryan McCaffrey (@DMC_Ryan) August 24, 2020
The latest voice to join this growing chorus comes from Ryan McCaffrey by IGN, who admits he was wrong to believe the tale of "the current generation will not be a burden for the next gen", especially after talking to several people from the gaming industry. This approach, McCaffrey adds, may work for some titles, but isn't suitable for everyone, especially triple A's.
We also talked about this issue during our live shows – it also emerged in the final stages of that broadcast last night – and we can say that we share the position expressed in the tweet. The choice to keep the current consoles alive will prevent the characteristics of the new consoles from being exploited, as these require that the games be conceived and designed in different ways than those used for the current generation (in this regard we remind you of the Epic's intervention regarding the centrality of the SSD in the Unreal Engine 5 demo).
In short, graphics can scale and be adapted – with due limits -, but the same does not apply to game design: if a title is not designed to exploit – for example – the presence of an SSD, its next gen counterpart it can be at most more beautiful to see, but not technologically more advanced. Until PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X have to deal with the basic versions of PS4 and Xbox One – up to over 10 times less powerful than their next gen counterparts – it will be practically impossible to find a balance that can satisfy everyone.
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