It’s a surprise to be sure! EA have announced that their latest Star Wars release, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, will be getting a release on both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One.
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During Electronic Arts’ latest earrings call, the company surprised listeners as they revealed that the studio behind the two Star Wars Jedi instalments, Respawn Entertainment, were in the “early stages” of bringing the critically acclaimed Star Wars Jedi: Survivor to last-gen consoles, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, despite current generation consoles (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X) being in the third year of their life cycle.
Stig Amussen, Survivor’s game director, told Play Magazine in February that Respawn and EA had chosen to skip releasing the title on last generation consoles so that Jedi: Survivor could take full advantage of the current-gen hardware, most notably the superior processors and improved memory, with the hopes of Survivor standing as a “true new-gen experience.” Upon release Survivor received mass critical acclaim, in particular for its PlayStation 5 and Series X versions, while their PC version suffered an abundance of issues upon launch.
In addition to working on a last-gen version of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, the studio is also reportedly working on a third entry into the Star Wars Jedi series, along with a single player first-person-shooter untitled Star Wars game, and are producing a Star Wars strategy game with the studio Bit Reactor. Currently there’s no word as to when any of those projects are due to be released.
It’s likely that EA and Respawn are choosing to release a last-gen version of Star Wars Jedi: Survivor due to the massive number of consumers that own those consoles, particularly the PlayStation 4 which sold over 117 million units in under ten years. As of the time of writing the PlayStation 5 has sold over 40 million units in less than three years and the Xbox Series X and S consoles have sold over 21 million combined. Since Respawn are hard at work developing a last-gen version of Survivor, they may as well consider working on a Nintendo Switch version of the title – the console is four years newer than the PS4 and Xbox One, and has sold a whopping 125 million units.
Personally I’m in disagreement with a last generation release of Survivor. We’re three years into into the life cycle of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, the focus for most studios should be the current generation of consoles, and we should be looking to take advantage of the hardware. Around three to four years into the life cycle of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, publishers and developers had already began moving onto the current generation entirely, leaving the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in the dust. By the time the last-gen version of Survivor arrives, we’ll likely be approaching the fourth year of the current-gen given that Respawn are in the early stages of development and we’ll be more than likely seeing a mid-cycle refresh with new models releasing of the current generation of consoles – there’s already been rumours of a PlayStation 5 Pro and Slim looking to release in the latter half of 2024.
It also doesn’t sit right with me that EA and Respawn have decided to announce that they’ll be releasing a last-gen version of Survivor three months after it’s initial release. I believe that they should’ve announced this development in the build up to Survivor’s release as many consumers might’ve felt compelled to splash out the cash on a PS5 or Series X during a time where most of the world is grappling with the impact of inflation and a higher cost of living. I personally know a handful of people who decided to purchase a current generation console purely for Survivor and in fear of missing out on the title and future Star Wars titles. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor was officially announced in the Spring of 2022 and was billed as a PS5, Series X|S and PC only title and was done so until release. However, and this is just my speculation, but it’s unlikely that EA and Respawn had decided to release a last-gen version during that period and perhaps a decision was not made until after Survivor’s release.
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