Remedy Entertainment Criticizes The Complexity Of Making New Games For Xbox Series S

Posted on March 21, 2021 by Nick Moreno

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To look at the newest line of Xbox console, Xbox Series X & Xbox Series S, both while somewhat similar in composure internally are virtually different machines in capabilities on what developers can achieve. For next-generation machines, many teams would presume the Xbox Series X architecture to be ideally for the hardware it develops for. But, the team also has to work on making the game functional on Xbox Series S as well.

In the past, Xbox lead Phil Spencer has touted some of the advantages that Xbox Series S could reach that perhaps its sibling Xbox Series X could not. One being load times: the entry-level model could face even faster waits. Additionally, Microsoft also went on to ensure the Xbox Series S could meet “double the frame-rate” on select games. Later learning that is because the hardware targets a lower resolution namely.

But, development to meet the same standards on Xbox Series S that for Xbox Series X is not so easy. Speaking with IGN, Remedy Entertainment Communications Director Thomas Puha explains the hoops that the team had to jump for with the recent Xbox Series X|S port for Control.

You can watch the segment from the interview in the video below:

“The Series S, well, it’s no different from the previous generations where the system with the lowest specs does end up dictating a few of the things that you’re gonna do, because you’re going to have to run on that system, right? And it’s very easy to say that ‘why don’t you just lower your resolution and texture quality and off you go?’ It’s just nowhere near that simple, it sounds good when you say it and every engine is built in a different way.”

Puha continues, “It depends on are you making like an engine that’s much more about GPU bound or CPU bound? Which [Xbox Series model] are you taxing a whole lot more? Well, we kind of tax kind of both, because we have a lot of physics and we have a lot of the raytracing effects, but then that makes a huge, huge difference especially on Series S. So it’s a lot more difficult to engineer an old game to make sure it works on everything.”

While Puha does share to be honest about the instance when working with Xbox Series S, he also notes that the unit is also “lower barrier of entry” for new users. Even more, Spencer in the past mentioned that the Xbox Series S could even be the one to outsell in the pair that released back in November.

Now that we’re building the future games, and hey, we know these are the systems it has to run, we take that into account from day one and we can ensure that all platforms have as good of an experience as possible. That’s what needs to happen. We appreciate there’s a lower barrier of entry for the next-gen experience, but like, you know, the more hardware you have, the more you have to ultimately compromise a little bit when you are a smaller studio.

While Microsoft faces criticisms in this instance, PlayStation 5 is not safe either; mostly in terms of support for 120 frames per second. In that, developer Psyonix reveals that the system to achieve a higher performance is expected to face more so a port rather than a simpler tweaking on Xbox Series consoles. You can read the full report by heading here.

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