Earlier today, we reported on Ori and the Blind Forest‘s developer Thomas Mahler’s comments about why the Xbox One Scorpio constituted a full next generation system, rather than being ‘a half assed update (which the PS4 Pro kinda is…)’; in a further post, it appears as though Mahler has further explained his stance.
It appears as though Mahler believes the specs and added power of the Scorpio make it next generation- the intercompatibility, which he concedes exists, is just an added perk of the x86 based architecture that Microsoft have decided to pass on to the consumer, and the question of cross gen games is one that he says has always existed across all console generations.
“According to your logic, if any first party game exists across 2 generations, the new generation is the same as the old one?” Mahler said, in response to a different commenter’s questions. “Even if the next-gen box has, let’s say, a shit ton more power, new input devices, allows for new features like VR and allows me to play games in my library at higher resolutions and higher framerates? So basically, the Mega Drive wasn’t a next-gen console, cause Golden Axe – a Sega First Party Exclusive, mind you – was also available on the Master System? Titanfall 1 – An Xbox-Exclusive Game – was also available on the Xbox 360, so the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One belong to the same generation of hardware? The PS4 belongs to the PS3 generation because Journey was released on the PS4 as well? I can play the new Zelda game on my Wii U as well, so the Switch is not Nintendo’s next generation? Games have existed cross-generations for a looong time. That in itself is absolutely not an indicator of whether a box is ‘next-gen’ or not, whatever that even means.
“With next-gen hardware, be it Scorpio or PS5, you’ll be able to get games on the older gen hardware and see it run a little worse (probably lower res, lower framerate), while it’ll perform the best on the latest gen hardware – exactly like what you see on the PC or Phone market,” he continued, explaining how he sees the next round of hardware play out. “If you wanna play a brand new game at 60fps, get the new box. Don’t wanna get the new box? You can still play the game on your old box at 30. That’s probably how that’s gonna work out.
“The forward-compatibility is just an added benefit that Microsoft agreed upon and I think that’s very pro-consumer: Once the new box comes out, your old box won’t magically be worthless. You’ll still be able to get the games that exist on that platform. Yes, they’ll run a little worse, but devs will have to make sure the experience is still good. If it’s not, it’s the devs fault.”
I can sort of see where he is coming from- and he is making a proper point. I suppose the complication here is, Microsoft’s official line is that the Scorpio marks the end of console generations entirely. At that point, the question of whether or not Scorpio would qualify as a next gen machine under the old paradigm becomes rather meaningless- and one that there is no point in arguing about.