With the PS4 and Xbox One selling millions of units and constantly adding to their overall sales numbers, one has to wonder how long it'll be before the last generation of consoles - the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 - are left behind for good. Games are still coming out for the older systems, and many more people are still using them, as they've yet to make the jump to the newer hardware. Admittedly, it was quite some time before the original Xbox and PS2 were finally left behind.
The industry and cultural shift to the current consoles is inevitable, but as long as the big, triple-A games launch with versions across both new and old systems, the change is only being delayed. However, some companies are coming around, and have decided to make the move more subtle, in that only some of their games will be left to keep the previous generation going. Take Ubisoft, for example, which has a few of the biggest games out there.
Coming quickly after the official announcement of Assassin's Creed Syndicate, the publisher/developer revealed the news that it will be releasing all of its major franchises exclusively on the Xbox One and PS4 consoles. That includes the aforementioned Syndicate, Rainbow Six: Siege, The Division, Watch Dogs 2 and any future games released as part of those franchises. Just Dance, however, will still make appearances on the PS3 and Xbox 360.
In an earnings briefing, via GameSpot, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot had the following to say:
"On Just Dance, we will continue to bring old-gen console versions. But on the other products like Assassin's Creed, Rainbow Six, The Division, and the unannounced franchise, we will not have old-gen versions."
In a statement from the company's recently released earnings report, Guillemot added:
"Thanks to these new releases, very solid back-catalogue and digital revenues, and favorable exchange rates, we expect to see a further improvement in profitability."
The "unannounced franchise" mentioned may be revealed at E3 2015 next month, and is set to release before March 2016. It's currently unknown how closely this game will release to The Division, which has been pushed to early next year.
As for why Ubisoft decided to minimize support for the last-gen consoles, the success of the new consoles, while not the sole reason, is probably the biggest contributing factor. As seen in the chart above, the PS4 and Xbox One accounted for 52% of the company's total sales for their fiscal year ending March 31, 2015, as opposed to their previous fiscal year, where the pair only amounted to 15%.
The timing could have certainly been better, but perhaps Ubisoft wanted to get this out there before E3, in order to avoid the "What about last-gen?" questions.