Xbox boss Phil Spencer has rejected the claim that Xbox Series X games will be held back from their full potential by being backwards-compatible with the Xbox One. He referenced the success of PC games at working across wide ranges of hardware builds as evidence. Spencer stated that the idea of games being held back as “a meme that gets created by people who are too caught up in device competition.”
“I just look at Windows”, Spencer explained. “It’s almost certain if the developer is building a Windows version of their game, then the most powerful and highest fidelity version is the PC version. You can even see that with some of our first-party console games going to PC, even from our competitors, that the richest version is the PC version. Yet the PC ecosystem is the most diverse when it comes to hardware, when you think about the CPUs and GPUs from years ago that are there.
“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.”
The biggest difference between the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5 so far is backwards-compatibility. Sony Interactive boss Jim Ryan has made it clear that he is not interested in making PS5 games compatible with PS4.
“We believe that when you go to all the trouble of creating a next-gen console,” Ryan explained, “that it should include features and benefits that the previous generation does not include. And that, in our view, people should make games that can make the most of those features.”