With Sony and Microsoft introducing mid-generation updates of their consoles with PS4 Pro and Xbox One X, one would assume that the concept of console generation might be forgotten soon and we would be seeing consoles compatible with their previous iterations. However, according to Albert Penello, console generations are very much alive.
Speaking with IGN, Microsoft’s Albert Penello talked about the console generations and noted that despite mid-generation upgrade with Xbox One X the concept of a console generation is very much alive but the focus of consoles will be compatibility with games for older generations, quite similar to what is Microsoft doing for Xbox One X.
I think there will always be step changes in technology. I don’t think we’ve ever said that console generations go away because of this idea. But I do think that it changes the nature of how you think about compatibility, which has always been an afterthought for the most part on consoles… there have been some who have done a great job of it, but we’re doubling down on it, going back even further. And Phil said this a lot… we’re making a huge effort for backward compatibility.
However, Xbox One X is itself a very powerful console as it can run games at 4K/60 FPS and according to some devs, the console will not be pushed to its limits anytime soon partly because of the games that will be supporting older Xbox.
Remember how Gears of War 1 pushed the 360 to its limits early in its cycle?. I don’t think we’ll see that anytime soon – full potential that is. However, I can only speak for smaller development teams, like ours. One of the reasons for that is exactly what you said, spending time and resources on supporting the older Xbox.
What is your take on the concept of console generations? Do you think Sony or Microsoft need to follow the concept of a full-fledged console generation? Let us know in the comments.