It’s happening. After a strange COVID-19-affected two or more years, with humanitarian and supply-chain issues, game developers are finally ripping off the old-generation console band-aid.
With titles such as Forza Horizon 5 and Gran Turismo 7 also releasing on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 respectively, Electronic Arts has made the bold decision to not release its upcoming Need for Speed game, Unbound, on the prior devices.
It will launch on PC and the current ninth generation of consoles, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S alone, when it is released in December 2022.
This follows open-world racer Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown, which despite original plans to support older devices, will now also only launch on PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X|S.
While it may be viewed as disappointing for some, with the supply of the newer devices now more free-flowing, there comes a critical mass point where enough have been sold to justify purely focussing on the more contemporary machines. This way, in theory, the games are not ‘held back’ by also having to function on less powerful devices.
This is a big call for publisher EA, who has a long history of releasing its yearly sports games for legacy devices long after their sales peak. I’m pretty sure you can buy FIFA and Madden 23 for the PlayStation 2, right?
Well, not quite…
Still, it means we’re more optimistic about the scope and technical abilities of Unbound, which is created by a recently expanded Criterion Games. We’ll find out soon if this approach has been worth it.