Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot might have revealed the full backward compatibility for the next generation of consoles during a recent earnings call for the company.
We already knew that both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X would be backward compatible with at least some of the last generation of consoles (PS4 and Xbox One). But the way Guillemot phrased his comments might point to something even bigger than that.
During that earnings call, Guillemot was talking about future development plans and the company’s game release schedule for 2020. He was asked about the upcoming next-gen consoles and his comments were more geared toward answering the question about how Ubisoft could drive players to pick up its games on the new hardware, which is where the confirmation came from.
“What will be new in this industry will be that those [next-gen] consoles will be almost all of the back catalog of the previous consoles,” Guillemot said. “So it will be something new in the industry and will allow the old generations to continue to be big consoles for years to come, and that will be something new that will actually grow the market a lot.”
This means that players might not have to worry about only the first-party or most popular titles being carried over to the next-gen consoles. Instead, they might be able to purchase the new hardware and continue playing pretty much every game from the previous console. This is more of a relief for PlayStation users since it was almost a given that Xbox would be following this model considering some of the Series X games will still be playable on Xbox One.
“We will have new people and lots of new machines sold with a lot of marketing being done for those new machines that will be more powerful,” Guillemot said. “And on top of that we [Ubisoft] will see an increase in the total addressable market thanks to the fact that the old console will remain strong for all of the games that will be published.”
It looks like this also confirms Ubisoft’s future plan is to co-publish games for both the newer and older consoles over the next few years as the market transitions away from PS4 and Xbox One. This is something the company has done a lot of in previous years, with the biggest example being the Assassin’s Creed franchise usually crossing generations.
Guillemot could be hinting at full backward compatibility, including the digital store, so players can enjoy all of their games across at least the last generation and the remasters that are included in the online catalog. Xbox still holds a big edge there thanks to offering backward compatibility with Xbox 360 and even some original Xbox games, while the PS5 will only boast PS4 titles outside of the online offerings.
More details about both consoles will continue to be revealed in the coming months as we draw closer to the eventual release of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.