Xbox Series X devs might be held back by Xbox One


Dec 11, 2018
Phil Spencer:
"Frankly, held back is a meme that gets created by people who are too caught up in device competition," says Microsoft's executive vice president of gaming, and Xbox chief, Phil Spencer. "I just look at Windows. 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.
"That said, we're shipping Xbox Series X this year. I'm playing it every day at home, and it is different to playing on an Xbox One X. We should applaud the work that is going on with the SSD, and the work that is going on with audio, to pick some of the areas that Jim [Ryan] and Mark [Cerny] and the stuff that [PlayStation] is focused on. We should applaud load times and fidelity of scenes and framerate and input latency, and all of these things that we've focused on with the next generation. But that should not exclude people from being able to play. That's our point. How do we create an ecosystem where if you want to play an Xbox game, we're going to give you a way to go play it?"
Matt Booty:
"Our teams have a pretty good skillset on architecting things so that it is scalable and putting that into the hands of players. We are so tightly connected to the hardware team and the platform team, that I don't ever worry about taking advantage of the high end. I don't think we'll be in a situation where our teams won't be making the most of what is given to them. In fact, I don't even know how we'd do that [laughs]. Keeping a game team away from new hardware, new features and new things, that is where they're naturally going to gravitate.
"The work will be in making sure we put controls into the hands of the players. So if you're running this game on an Xbox One, is frame rate important to you? Is visual fidelity important to you? Let's give you those options. And I think we are going to see more of that, where we will be able to bring some of our experience of developing for PC to bear."
Tim Schafer
"Before consoles, we did PC, and you end up thinking about your game in a platform agnostic way. You think about the game and what you want it to be, and the game is smart enough to fit onto the destination. If that's current generation or next generation, it'll be a little different and you'd take advantage of both platforms, but in the end the heart of the game is the same. If you don't do that... you could say our games are about narrative and comedy, which works on any console. But as we've found out from the PC market, if someone invests a lot of money into their system, they want to see you using it. They want the infinite resolution and stuff like that. You need to think about that kind of stuff."