The confirmation of backwards compatibility for next-generation hardware raises myriad questions. All of the answers are unlikely to surface for another several months or so, but Square Enix is setting the record straight about its plans now. The publisher has no intention of releasing titles exclusively on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X until sometime “farther down the road.”
Square Enix’s President and Representative Director, Yosuke Matsuda, shared this particular tidbit during a recent financial results briefing. In the Q&A section of the briefing, Matsuda noted the following:
The next-generation consoles will have backward compatibility, so we plan for the time being to make our new titles available for both current and next-generation consoles. It will therefore be somewhat farther down the road that we release titles exclusively for the next-generation consoles.
This doesn’t come as too much of a surprise. However, it suggests the publisher’s near-future projects may not take full advantage of next-gen hardware. Of course, that much will not receive confirmation until long after the fact.
Square Enix does not constitute the first big-name publisher to reference the possibilities with regards to backwards compatibility. Ubisoft’s Yves Guillemot recently broached the topic as well, claiming that “[next-gen] consoles will be running almost all the back catalog of the previous consoles.” Though he didn’t explicitly state Ubisoft’s intentions, we at least know Ubisoft Paris is targeting a day one release on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X for Rainbow Six Siege. Massive Entertainment, however, has no such plan in place for The Division 2. Microsoft has also said that its own first-party games won’t be exclusive to the Series X, launching with compatibility for the Xbox One as well.
Regardless of its intentions for the next-generation of consoles, Square Enix has a very busy year ahead. For one, the Kingdom Hearts All-in-One Package is right around the corner, with a March 17th release date attached. Final Fantasy VII Remake hits stores in a few weeks on April 10th. Marvel’s Avengers launches later in the year on September 4th.