In an interview with Gaming Bolt, Andy Tudor of Slightly Mad Studios stated that the team’s upcoming racing title will take full advantage of the technical upgrades provided by Microsoft’s next console. Tutor, the creative director for Project Cars 2 said that “We may go higher resolution on Scorpio compared to Pro, or we may keep lower res but increase detail.” Tutor acknowledged that the Scorpio will provide much more technical strength than the other consoles on the market right now. Project Cars 2 then, will not be hamstrung by the limitations of the stock Xbox, the PS4, or the Pro.
This brings up the issue of parity in games that have online multiplayer modes. Put simply, the issue is, when you have one game being played on two different consoles, players gaming on the more powerful console will have a competitive advantage over those playing on the less powerful console. For instance, if one player’s console allows them to play at 60 frames per second while their competitor is limited to only 30, they would have a distinct advantage if they were playing a shooter like Call of Duty. This effectively would make this game pay-to-win as success in the game would be contingent on one’s ability to afford the more powerful console. In this specific case, Project Cars 2 parity questions would come into place between the Scorpio and the vanilla Xbox consoles.
Now some could argue that the issue I presented earlier does not totally translate to racers as they can seen as frame rates are less determinant on success but the question still remains. Can the integrity of competition be taken seriously if it is known that the playing field is not level? I’m not too sure about the answer. On one hand, it is generally known that mouse and keyboard controls are many times more accurate than controllers, especially for games that do not have aim assist support for shooters, but on the other hand, there are some out there that overcome this handicap and hold their own while using a controller.
Since the introduction of console refreshes came into the minds of gamers, people were curious as to whether developers would develop their games in such a way that performance would be consistent across all platforms, and it looks like Slightly Mad Studios just gave us their answer. Tutor did go onto say in regards to the Scorpio’s potential performance upgrades that it is “too early to say, and if we can do something extra on Scorpio easily we will do, we won’t hold it back due to Pro”, so all of this hasn’t been set in stone at this point. I will say this though, if I were to buy a premium console, I would fully expect the games developed for it to use its power to the fullest extent possible, but it definitely throws a wrench into things on a competitive level. What do you think? Is not holding back the right way too go?