A ton of substantial rumors have been floating around surrounding upgradable consoles to allow for more powerful games. There have even been rumors saying Sony’s “PlayStation 4.5” console may even be revealed as soon as this year, but what do developers think of this?
One of the leading reasons for these upgraded consoles is so developers aren’t held back by the hardware in consoles and are able to develop games more powerful and closer to their original vision. Some developers aren’t particularly fond of the idea of an upgradable console.
Speaking in an interview with GameSpot, BioWare co-founder Greg Zeschuk explained that he believes upgraded consoles defeat the purpose of owning a console.
“I’d say that’d be a gigantic pain in the ass that flies in the face of the purpose of consoles. It’s funny, there’s actually some stories behind that. For example, the original Xbox…Microsoft actually had multiple different DVD drives. They didn’t tell anyone that, but as a developer you discovered that you have different performance and sometimes you’d have these boxes of refurbished drives and different brands and different equipment. It caused incredible variability.
“The whole purpose of consoles is the set of requirements that you work against from a hardware perspective. To change that is complete lunacy.”
Zeschuk went on to detail that he doesn’t support the idea and thinks it’ll actually hurt developers by making things more complicated.
“I just think it’s bad. I think, ‘lock it’ and let developers do their thing. But at the end of the day, if you can focus your development effort on one set of hardware requirements and target, you are going to get a better result. It’s easier than having to split it, adding more people, having to port things across.
“It’s like dipping your toe back into the PC pool where you have to consider all these things. It was nice on console not having to consider like performance sliders. But it’s just crazy. I guess maybe [Microsoft and Sony] feel the need to.”
Microsoft’s Phil Spencer doesn’t appear to be too keen on the idea either suggesting that if they want to build a new console, it’ll be a brand new Xbox and not just a flashier version of the Xbox One.
What do you think of Zeschuk’s comments regarding the potential future of consoles? Personally, I think he is right and it’ll divide the market. An upgraded console will cause confusion and frustration with the average consumer. Hopefully, Sony or Microsoft will come put the rumors to rest or at least ease our concerns during E3 later this year.
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