You've all seen the tags. "Play it first on PS4." "Map pack available on PS4 one month before anyone else." "PS4 Exclusive Strike and Head Gear." Sony has struck some major deals with publishers like Activision and EA to get content out first, or only out, on PS4. Eurogamer is concerned that deals like this could keep developers from performing to their utmost when developing games for Xbox One X.
The Xbox One X is definitely more powerful than the PS4, but what happens when Sony makes it worth Activision's time to make sure that the latest Call of Duty is best on PS4? Apart from setting content aside, would developers ever intentionally hold a game back from looking and performing better on the Xbox One X because of a deal made with Sony? Is that possible? Is it ethical? Is it already happening?
Some of you believe that the reason Destiny 2 is locked to 30 FPS on the Xbox One X is because Sony and Activision are so cozy, and Destiny has always been a game best played on PlayStation. Would Sony ever go so far as to secure visual and performance parity by requiring that Bungie not make the most of Microsoft's latest hardware? That's the question that Eurogamer wanted to ask Phil Spencer, and his answer was pretty transparent.
See what he had to say about it all below:
Xbox Isn't in to That
Eurogamer: I'm wondering about the situation you're going to get with big third-party games where Sony has done a marketing deal. Do you anticipate performance and image quality parity between PS4 Pro and Xbox One X for those games because of some parity requirement on Sony's part, or do you anticipate the Xbox One X version will look significantly better and perform significantly better? I'm thinking of the Call of Dutys, the FIFAs, the Battlefields.
Phil Spencer: I know exactly what you're talking about. Here's what I'll say...
Eurogamer: Honest answer, Phil.
Phil Spencer: I will give you an honest answer. Xbox One X is the most powerful console ever built, and this fall it will be the most powerful console in the market. There's nothing technically that would keep any game a console game maker is building who wants to take advantage of the capability here from making Xbox One X the very best version of every one of those games.
I don't know what deals get written. I've been pretty open about, I'm not a fan of doing deals that hold back specific pieces of content from other platforms. You don't see that in the deals we've done with Assassin's and Shadow. We'll have a marketing deal on those, but I don't say, hey, I need some kind of Strike or skin somebody else can't play.
I don't think it's good for our industry if we got into a point where people are holding back the technical innovation of game developers based on a marketing deal. I don't know anything about what's in other people's deals. But this, clearly, from a technical perspective, is the most powerful console by quite a wide margin. So, when I stood on-stage and I said this will be the best place to play all those games, there's nothing technically that would keep any developer from not making that true.prevnext