Gears of War 4 developer The Coalition was "disappointed" with the Xbox One's specs. The developer also explains how Xbox Project Scorpio, the upgraded Xbox One hardware offering, has improved things from a development standpoint.
In an interview, The Coalition's technical director Mike Raynor says that he was "a little bit disappointed" with the Xbox One when he first started working with it. Although "I've seen that evolve, and improve constantly since we've launched," says Raynor, initially "it kind of felt like we'd really taken a step back."
That said, the Gears of War 4 developer reveals that "with what we're doing with Project Scorpio it's very pleasurable to work with." Raynor explains that the team thinks of PC "as kind of the ultimate platform, in terms of scalability and all the different targets that we have" and that "a lot of development for us is similar to PC." The developer also feels that targeting Project Scorpio isn't so much trouble if a studio is already used to developing multi-platform games that scale across different PC hardware configurations.
On the one hand, Raynor's comments come as absolutely no surprise given that Microsoft itself has admitted that it 'lost' developers with the Xbox One. The platform holder has also said that it is very much hoping to win those developers back with Project Scorpio and has already put several features in place with the hardware to make developing games much easier.
So, for Raynor to say that Project Scorpio makes development simpler and is no difficulty at all (despite the different hardware specs) is on-message. Microsoft has also been pushing its Universal Windows Platform and Xbox Play Anywhere which enable developers to get games on Xbox One and PC without jumping through too many technical hoops, and this also fits in as part of that equal PC and Xbox gaming push.
But on the other hand, some Xbox One players may be upset by Raynor's suggestion that the console was a disappointment at first. While a lot has happened and changed since the console was first unveiled and released in 2013 and therefore developers like The Coalition have had plenty of time to get to grips with it and make the most of any technical limitations, there's a concern that the original console will be left in the dust in favor of the Project Scorpio's better specs. Project Scorpio won't have exclusive games, Microsoft has said, but whether developers still optimize their games for the original console and the newer one even though the new hardware is better is another question.
Gears of War 4 is available now for Xbox One and Windows 10 PC.