- Sep 30, 2004
There is literally no legitimate ground anymore for someone to hedge concern around Series S on that idea anymore, when we can look at games like SOM alone as well as the logical reality of how MS will prioritize software development (or already have). At this point, it comes off almost as concern-trolling.
What Microsoft have NOT said they're doing (and goddamn them if they do) is making a crippled shell of a product for the old console just to say it's on there, the way you're talking about with Shadow of Mordor. That would be fucking ridiculous if Halo Infinite wasn't just about feature-complete with its cousin (especially since we're assuming the PC, One, and Series X versions will be cross-play.)
Shadow of Mordor on next-gen wasn't held back by it's past-gen versions because those aren't the same game; those PS360 versions are the equivalent of PSP ports of the game, ported down by an external studio (Behaviour Interactive, the same studio that made the not-at-all-the-same PSP version of Dante's Inferno, so yeah, pretty equivalent.) Different boxes of the game, different builds of the game inside the box, different studios making them each. SoM isn't relying on scaling or optimization or anything like what we're talking about with the One/Series X transition because it was handed off to some external studio who were told, "Here, this ain't our problem, you go shove it into the old shitboxes somehow, we're too busy making the real game." It couldn't have been hurt by the prioritization of versions, because developer Monolith in their Washington studio was 100% prioritized on the only version of the game that they made, and all they had to do was share some assets and design docs and builds with the studio in Canada that had 0% affect on the core product because they were miles away working on their facsimile.
There's no evidence that this is the plan with any of Microsoft's 1st Party games. I'm not saying I expect the One versions to be 100% the same if there's something the next-gen version does that can't be replicated on past-gen, but for this first year that MS is saying to count on every game to be on both, I would be surprised and very disappointed if the Xbox One products were bullshit connected in name only to the Series X products. They may employ external studios to assist (and this doesn't always go badly; the Xbox 360 port of TitanFall 1 was really surprising,) but MS is saying that Bungie is making the Halo Infinite they are advertising right now (though to be fair, you cannot actually pre-order any version of Halo Infinite right now, so they may clear up that messaging when the SKUs get set,) and whichever copy of Halo Infinite I reach for, I'm currently expecting Bungie's hands to have molded it.