Hindrance to game production, claim devs
A game developer has expressed their frustration with Xbox’s mandatory declaration that all Xbox Series X games must also run on its lesser-powered pal, Xbox Series S — Noting that the requirement can be, and frequently is, a hindrance to the forward progression of next-gen gaming.
As reported by VGC, these comments were made by Bossa Studios’ VFX developer Ian McClure, speaking in a conversation on Twitter with Giant Bomb founder Jeff Gerstmann. Gerstmann had previously commented that the Xbox Series X/S “forced compatibility” was unlikely to be preventing forward momentum of development within the industry — the latter being a commonly referenced talking point by many gaming communities, regardless of their platform of choice.
However, McClure then offered up an alternate viewpoint, suggesting that the cheap Xbox Series model has been forcing awkward limitations on multiple studios and their respective game developers.
“It might sound broken, but the reason you are hearing it a lot right now is because MANY developers have been sitting in meetings for the past year desperately trying to get Series S launch requirements dropped,” opined McClure in since-locked tweets. “Studios have been through one development cycle where Series S turned out to be an albatross around the neck of production, and now that games are firmly being developed with new consoles in mind, teams do not want to repeat the process.”
While McClure might be the most recent developer to make these candid comments, they are most certainly not the first. Speaking with Gamerant, Rocksteady artist Lee Devonald pointed to the “lowest platform compatibility” dictum as a frequent thorn in the side of developers, suggesting that an “entire generation of games [are being] hamstrung by that potato.” (It should be noted that Devonald was likely referring to the ruling as a potato, and not the Xbox Series S itself.)
And, in other testimony, Alexander Battaglia of the technically-focused Digital Foundry has noted that they frequently hear of studio frustrations, hindered by the Xbox Series S’ reduced memory limitations and facilitating the need to adapt design plans specifically to fit a “next-gen” game’s design onto the cheaper model. Xbox itself has recently updated its Xbox Series S dev kit model, freeing up additional memory space in order to allow developers to “stretch their wings” a little further.