With the rush of next generation titles being pushed these days, you might think that Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 in your entertainment center is quickly becoming outdated equipment.
And while it’s true that the previous generation of consoles are past their peak years in terms of exclusive releases, game publishers say they have no plans to abandon the platforms anytime soon.
“We will have games for PS3 and 360 for this year and probably the years after,” said Lionel Raynaud, Ubisoft’s vice president of creative. “We want to be able to provide games to people who are playing on these consoles. Black Flag was the first Assassin’s Creed game of this new generation but it was designed with that in mind, but I wouldn’t say it was a cross-generation game, as it has features that could only be for this generation.”
There’s some business logic in extending support for these consoles also.
While they’re no longer bleeding edge machines, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 have each sold roughly 80 million units worldwide since their launch. (Combined sales for the Xbox One and PS4 are estimated to be under 12 million right now.)
That’s a huge audience – and a lot of money on the table. Analysts say they expect that the majority of the revenue generated by software sales this year – perhaps as much as 70 percent – will be for ‘older’ systems.
Developing for both, though, doesn’t mean having to skimp on the bells and whistles for the next-gen versions, either.
“Even when you do a game that has old-gen and new-gen versions, we decide which one is lead,” said Raynaud. ”So if you decide that new gen is lead for all of your games, then you have no restrictions at all – you’re just saying that the other generation will maybe not be able to have everything but still be a better game than we’re used to having on this generation.”