Back when Quantum Error was first announced, developer TeamKill Media confirmed that it was in development for PS5 and PS4, with the latter version set to arrive sometime after the game’s initial launch on PS5. Earlier this year, however, the developer announced that the cosmic horror shooter’s PS4 version had been cancelled, saying that it would have required “too much downgrading and changing of assets, lighting, and much more to function”.
In a recent interview with GamingBolt, TeamKill Media’s co-founder and owner Micah Jones spoke about Quantum Error’s cancelled PS4 version in greater detail, stating that by the time the game was nearing the end of its development, it had become clear to the developer that a PS4 version wouldn’t be a simple port, but would have “taken a full remodel, like gutting a house and starting almost scratch.”
“In early 2020, we were first approved for the PlayStation 5 and encouraged to also do a PS4 version,” Jones said. “Then later in the year we were approved to bring the game to the Xbox platform as well. We are a small team of brothers with one main computer for development and a secondary computer for the level building. Once we were nearing the end of development, we knew that there was no way of turning what we had built into a great game for the PS4, and contacted Sony to remove a PS4 version. It would not be a simple port, but would have taken a full remodel, like gutting a house and starting almost from scratch.”
Jones went on to elaborate on exactly what level of changes would have been required for Quantum Error’s PS4 versions, which would have included things such as the addition of “at least” 150 loading screens, the removal of global illumination and Nanite, frame rate being decreased, things like subsurface scattering and shadows being downgraded, and boss fights and cutscenes being restructured.
“For a PS4 version, the game would have been structured completely differently with at least 150 loading screens that do not exist in the PS5,” Jones explained. “There would be no global illumination, which would completely and utterly change how the game looks. Everything would have been scaled back, like subsurface scattering on characters, and shadows, and the frame rate would be lower. The game would be completely different in look and play. The boss fights and cut scenes would have had to have been completely restructured to account for loading. There would be no Nanite used in the game. Many assets in the game would have been unusable. Our game is nearly 90 GB, and if we had built a PS4 version, it would have been even larger.”
He added: “Amazing and beautiful games have been made for the PS4, but that is the thing- they were made for the PS4. We couldn’t just turn things off and have a PS4 version. If we tried to just scale down our existing project into a PS4 version, it would be unfair to those customers. It would not be the quality it could be if it had been built for the PS4 using techniques that make awesome PS4 games. If we had time or teams of people to build a wholly dedicated PS4 version then we could have done that, but it’s just not possible.”
During the interview, Jones also spoke with us about why Quantum Error isn’t getting a simultaneous Xbox Series X/S launch, stating that the cosmic horror shooter’s Xbox Series S version is in an “unacceptable” state.
Quantum Error launches for PS5 on November 3. Its Xbox Series X/S and PC versions don’t yet have release dates. Our full interview with Jones will be going live soon, so stay tuned for that.