Out With the Old: Cross-Generation Titles Nearly Extinct in 2015

Earlier this week, id Software announced a standalone prequel to Wolfenstein: The New Order called Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. What stuck out about the announcement was that the game would only be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, unlike The New Order, which was available cross-generation. Upon further research, this isn’t strange at all, and it’s actually a telling sign that last-gen systems are on the way out in a hurry.

It all started in early 2014, when the upcoming Batman: Arkham Knight was announced – without support for PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360. It was a shocking announcement, but the folks at Rocksteady would soon prove that, like antagonist of the Batman movie that launched the caped crusader into mainstream popularity, they were just …

Ahead of the Curve

Enter Dying Light. When Techland developers decided they wanted to hit the reset button on their free-running system and create something truly revolutionary, they realized that last-gen systems simply were not cutting it. October 2014: Techland announces that Dying Light will no longer release for last-gen systems.

Related: Dying Light Review – Reanimating the Genre

Fast-forward to 2015. Several major titles have released without cross-gen support, including Evolve and The Order: 1886. Titles of note that are still releasing on last-gen come with a few asterisks. Battlefield: Hardline will still give last-gen owners something to play, but the game suffered a hefty delay, so it’s basically a relic from the past. Mortal Kombat X will also grace the PS3 and Xbox 360 – ported by a different developer, and that’s not to mention recent rumors swirling about a possible delay in that department.

The only anomaly is Metal Gear Solid V, which will release cross-generation for some reason never to be discovered. And while everything above may just be conjecture …

Numbers Don’t Lie

In 2014, last-gen games still made up a significant chunk of the games released. With significant overlap and no guarantee of exclusivity, 78 games released for Xbox 360 in 2014 and 115 games released for PS3. Games that also or exclusively released on next-gen consoles were greater, but still a reasonable distance away – the PS4 saw 133 games release in 2014, while the Xbox One had 96.

In one year, the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 will go from being on a mostly even keel with their next-gen counterparts to being between 80 and 100 games behind.

While you should keep in mind that these are just raw numbers and don’t account for things like ports or remasters, the numbers in 2015 show a pattern undeniable by such things. There are already 102 Xbox One games that have released or are planned for a release in 2015, as opposed to just 26 for the Xbox 360. Similarly, 149 games have or will release for the PS4 in 2015, while only 49 have or will release for the Playstation 3.

In one year, the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 will go from being on a mostly even keel with their next-gen counterparts to being between 80 and 100 games behind. While they may scrape by with some indie games here and there, last-gen consoles are losing out on …

Major Games in 2015

Already, Avalanche Studios’ Mad Max game has been cancelled for last-gen. Borderlands 3 has just been announced as a next-gen-only title. The aforementioned Batman: Arkham Knight is but one in a long list of major 2015 titles snubbing last gen, which includes Rainbow Six: Siege, The Division, Just Cause 3, Rock Band 4, Star Wars: Battlefront, The Witcher 3, Dead Island 2, Uncharted 4 and Halo 5, and so on and so forth. That already impressive list is only going to get bigger.

With a heavy advantage in both major games and number of games overall, the next-gen consoles will take over sooner than you may have anticipated.