Xbox boss Phil Spencer recently discussed the possibility of new Xbox One hardware arriving before the end of the current console generation, leading to a sea of speculation from fans and industry bigwigs alike. Now, the CEO of Sniper Elite developer Rebellion has weighed in with his thoughts on the matter.
Jason Kingsley spoke to VideoGamer.com, labeling the idea an “interesting concept” – but he also acknowledges it wouldn’t be without its drawbacks.
Yes, you will have to make the game to work on the existing, let’s call it lower-spec Xbox. You would also, depending on how the operating system works, have to anticipate the upgrade.
Of course, Kingsley is as much in the dark regarding the mysterious hardware upgrade as anyone else is, but still seems to be on board with the idea on the whole. He speculates that one change to the hardware could come in the form of improved framerate.
It might just be that it would be a frame rate improvement, and it might just happen out of the box. ‘This one runs at a solid 30fps and with the new machine it runs at a solid 60fps.’ That I could imagine would be of value to some people.
A mid generation hardware upgrade is pretty much unheard of, so what comes from it (if it does indeed happen) really is anyone’s guess.
You might remember that Nintendo released a New 3DS model back in 2014, which offered smoother gameplay, faster loading times, and more stable 3D thanks to a stronger processor than the standard 3DS model. Perhaps Xbox are planning something in a similar vein?
Kingsley acknowledges that there are too many questions and uncertainties at this point to know for sure how it’ll all turn out. However, he does suggest that such a move could lead to increased development costs, and that would be a problem.
It would be quite a reasonable impact on the dev team if they’re already working on a new project, then Xbox 1.5 comes along and Microsoft needs us to do an upgrade to it. You’ve got to go back to the old code, recompile it or whatever. I don’t think they’d want to do that. That wouldn’t work.
Still, Kingsley finished off by reasoning that the likes of Microsoft and Sony are smart companies, and most likely have the answers to any questions he or his dev team may have.
In the meantime, Kingsley and Rebellion are hard at work on Sniper Elite 4 – the first game in the franchise that’s being developed exclusively for current gen consoles. It’s due to launch later this year for Xbox One, PS4, an PC
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.