Gamers aren’t the only ones excited about the PlayStation 4 Neo and Xbox One Scorpio; publishers and developers are just as excited, but they’re even more so with the this upcoming console generation being more of an upgrade than an outright new console. EA executive vice president Patrick Söderlund told GameInformer at gamescom that they’re likening it to the SEGA CD upgrade in the early 90s, but of course they point out that this is quite bigger.
I believe that it’s an interesting approach. We haven’t seen this whole idea of upgrading since the Mega CD in 1991 or something. At the time, that might not have worked, but this is different. I can only comment to what’s been announced by Microsoft, the whole idea of keeping the ecosystem intact and scaleable is right. If you get in later in the cycle, you can get a Scorpio or you can upgrade to it. It’s an interesting, smart approach, and we’ll see how well it works. It’s something that we as a company are 100 percent behind. I got super excited when I saw what they are working on, and without giving you any information, the same is true of Sony. In general, this is a good thing.
Naturally, he went on to praise how well the Frostbite engine will work across these consoles.
From a technical and developer perspective, it’s actually really straightforward for us. We have an engine in Frostbite that is dynamic and scaleable. It’s an engine that today supports substantially all known PC platforms and DirectX 9, 10, 11, 12. Given that these machines are almost PC architecture inside of them, they are not that difficult for us to develop for. Scaling up and down is something we’re in a good position for. If you’re a developer, when you make games, you always want more capacity. You always want to bring more to the players. We’re truly excited about this.
Söderlund added that they are definitely relying up the console ecosystem to continually expand in order to keep up, even if and when the development costs increase. It’s more than just the matter of expanding consoles; it’s mostly about increasing the install base.
We’ll have to wait until September 7, 2016 at the PlayStation Meeting in New York to see what the Neo will offer both developers and users, and that’s if Sony unveils the Neo at the meeting. They are expected to, but that means little.