Scaling Back PS5/XSX Games to Original PS4/XO Hardware is Rather Difficult for Devs, DF’s Linneman Says; Former DICE Engineer Confirms
Developers are having a rather hard time scaling back cross-gen PS5 and Xbox Series X titles to the original PlayStation 4 and Xbox One hardware.
At least, that’s Digital Foundry’s John Linneman has said through Twitter overnight. According to Linneman, plenty of developers have confirmed that scaling their upcoming cross-gen titles back to the base current-gen hardware is a rather “painful” process. As a matter of fact, Linneman states that developers don’t want to develop titles for the now “under-powered” AMD ‘Jaguar’ CPU inside the base models of Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One, which both launched in 2013.
“Nobody wants to develop for an under-powered Jaguar CPU any longer”, Linneman wrote on Twitter when talking about the absence of next-gen exclusives. “I've spoken with enough developers to know how painful the process is at this point. Leave Xbox One and PS4 behind.”
One weird thing I’ve noticed lately is an aversion of “next-gen” exclusives as if launching a game exclusively for a next-gen machine is “anti-consumer”. This is how it’s worked before - Mario 64 didn’t exist on Super NES and it was a great thing.
— John Linneman (@dark1x) August 13, 2020
Embark programmer, and former software engineer at EA DICE, Liza Shulyayeva, also chimed in on the matter and confirmed that developing games for several targets is rather hard indeed. According to the programmer, making titles work on both the current- and next-generation consoles, requires a lot of work.
“Building and certifying games for a bunch of targets is hard regardless of hardware utilization”, she wrote. “Compatibility issues in SDKs & other tooling are a thing, as are staffing and infrastructure limitations. This isn't a matter of clicking an extra button to support 10 platforms vs 9.”
Over the past few months there have been several reports about the current-gen consoles holding back the upcoming next-gen consoles. Xbox head Phil Spencer, however, stated that this isn’t the case with the Xbox.
"Yes, every developer is going to find a line and say that this is the hardware that I am going to support, but the diversity of hardware choice in PC has not held back the highest fidelity PC games on the market. The highest fidelity PC games rival anything that anybody has ever seen in video games. So this idea that developers don't know how to build games, or game engines, or ecosystems, that work across a set of hardware... there's a proof point in PC that shows that's not the case.
What are your thoughts on this matter? Do you agree with Linneman? Hit the comments down below.