Square Enix won't make Xbox Series X or PS5 exclusives for a while, favors cross-gen for now

Outriders Armor
Outriders Armor (Image credit: Square Enix)

What you need to know

  • Square Enix held a Q&A during its recent financial results briefing.
  • During the Q&A, the company was asked about its plans for next-generation consoles.
  • Square Enix explained it will be making cross-generation games for at least a while.
  • You shouldn't expect to see next-generation exclusive games from Square Enix for some time.

If you intend to stick to your current consoles for the time being, you'll still be able to play new Square Enix titles for a while. According to a Q&A held during the company's recent financial results briefing, Square Enix is not interested in making games exclusive to the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5 for the time being and will instead develop cross-generation games.

When asked about the company's plan for next-generation consoles, Square Enix stated "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."

It will be interesting to see what other publishers follow suit in offering cross-generation games for a time and which ones ditch the current hardware as quickly as possible. Square Enix has some major games in its pipeline, such as the impending PlayStation 4 timed exclusive, Final Fantasy 7 Remake, as well as publishing Outriders, a game coming from People Can Fly.

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Samuel Tolbert

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.

  • Current Gen and Next Gen are simply various levels of computers. There is nothing they need to do other than pick a specific set of locked graphical settings for each of them. I can't imagine anyone has a problem with supporting the older gen for a while until the underlying technology gets too complicated for the older systems.
  • This is simply not true, the advancements of CPU anf storage Speed are so big that they can allow for new experiences, for example guerrilla games, the creators of Horizon Zero Dawn wanted to introduce flying mechanics into the game however the HDD was to slow, meaning that if their next game would be cross-gen they would have to sacrifice game design. Of course that I don't expect third-party to trow money away by not supporting this gen, Firstly-Party on the other end in my opinion should only target next gen to offer better games.
  • They investigated it, and the tech didn't allow it, but Horizon Zero Dawn's design is so tight that I'm not sure it would have been a better game with flight. It's an incredibly difficult mechanic to get right and they'd have to have gotten rid of other things to enable it. Development is pretty much zero sum on features like that. Either that or delayed launch. And I can't think of any other system that could've been removed without breaking the game. Mediocre or bad flight mechanics would've really hurt the game too. And it was a new IP that needed to prove itself. The point behind all that being that a lot of the features that are going to be enabled by the better cpu and the faster hard drive aren't trivial to design or implement. And since development hardware has only been available for a little under a year at best and the lead time on AAA games is usually 3-4 years it makes sense to support both until projects that started after there was access to working silicon are ready which can be as much as 3 years after launch. Only Sony's first party studios maybe have an incentive to go PS5 exclusive, primarily to boost sales, and even then I'm willing to bet you don't get much in the way of new gameplay. Or, in other words, what you were responding to was correct. It's only once they've built systems that are complex enough to require it that it makes sense to transition to exclusivity, and that isn't going to happen for years, because the projects that are coming out for the next few years started before the next gen specs were locked down or had dev kits. It's a lot easier to have higher graphics targets or tack on raytracing support, especially since devs usually have to make a pc version that supports better graphics anyway.
  • If flying was going to benefit the game or not is a completely different topic, what this example was meant to show is that devs making PS4 games are already making gameplay concessions because of the hardware, meaning that devs don't need to wait for full dev kits to make games that take advantage of the new hardware. And if they needed 3/4 years after launch to make games that take advantage of next gen hardware how we would be getting games like Killzone shadow fall that took almost full advantage of the PS4 graphically speaking and still looks better than most recent AAA games.
  • No they wouldn't have to sacrifice anything at all. Flying could absolutely be done on PS4. They decided against having it due to LOD being more visible in the air. They didn't want to have visible pop in from flying around. Therefore chose to not have the feature. All the SSD will help with is the LOD and Pop in of scenery. But it can absolutely achieved this Gen on a HDD. Anthem is a prime example of fast flying in an open world. In fsct its harder to do as it is server limited for that game also. HZD is single player. Much easier to achieve. Assasins Creed does it with the Eagle vision. Just because a developer chooses Visual fidelity over Game features. Doesn't mean it's not possible. It is possible with relative ease.
  • IDK the current generation consoles are already seriously hampering what games can do. The architecture they're based on is ancient. Part of why I'll be buying this year's big titles mostly on PC. I don't trust that games like Cyberpunk will truly be at their best on the current consoles.
  • Your comment makes 0 sense. PC games have to account for weak hardware also. Sometimes for 4 generations of GPU and CPU.
  • I feel like people would have to be pretty stupid (well, not stupid, that's harsh, silly) to buy the new consoles on release.
  • Well, that's me! 😜 I used to think the same thing, but now I can afford to spend the premium price. I see it as I enjoying playing games enough to want to do it with some of the best hardware I can get and I can justify the price to myself by playing as much as I do. I also see paying the extra $100-200 as just a convince fee of getting the stuff right away rather than waiting for a price drop.