Moon Studios co-founder Thomas Mahler says third party multiplats will “develop their games for the lowest common denominator.”
The PS5’s SSD has been a hot topic in the news ever since Sony revealed the full extent of its capabilities. That it’s a impressive piece of hardware, and one that gives the console a leg up over its competition in this area, there is no doubt- but exactly how much impact can we expect it to have on games in the coming years.
According to Thomas Mahler, co-founder of Ori developers Moon Studios, that question will have different answers for different developers. Mahler says that while first party games and PS5 exclusives will obviously reap the benefits of the console’s SSD, he doesn’t see multiplatform developers adjusting their games to specifically take completely advantage of the same, and will instead “develop their games for the lowest common denominator.”
“I would be shocked if most third party developers would not just develop their games for the lowest common denominator,” Mahler wrote on ResetEra. “I mean, there’s literally 0 chance that levels will get changed just because the PS5 can load them faster, simply because it’s way too expensive and work intensive to do that.
“The super fast PS5 SSD is nice for first party, but it won’t make any economical sense to heavily adjust your games to suit one particular platform. On PCs and the Xbox, you’ll have to work with what’s there. So it’s 2 platforms against 1. The scenario pointed out in the OP is highly unlikely.”
It’s hard not to see sense in Mahler’s take. Multiplatform games will be developed to run well on the PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC, and while it’s possible that each version will be tweaked to take better advantage of its respective console’s capabilities, it’s very unlikely that developers will spend the money or resources specifically on a game’s PS5 version to completely leverage its SSD.
For instance, though games on PC are obviously enhanced and better looking, developers set out with the intention of ensuring, first and foremost, that their titles run well on the far weaker base PS4 and Xbox One. In fact, when you consider that for at least the next couple of years most major multiplatform games will be cross-gen, the likelihood of developers spending that much time and resources on PS5 upgrades seems even smaller.
Thankfully, Sony’s first party games and other PS5 exclusives will probably be doing that, so we won’t be left completely wanting.