Baselines will always exist and the lower the baseline you have to develop for (there is talks about MS wanting next gen games to keep running on base X1) the lower the quality you can achieve on the upper line because it still have to work on the base one.
Also don't pretend that you have almost no work to make the game work on all versions.
Even PS4Pro that is only twice as powerful than base PS4 the option of IQ or FPS is still additional effort compared to only develop the base game.
MS will no doubt make the dev tools as friendly as possible if this is the case. They apparently focused heavily on the software and dev tools for XB1X, so there's no reason to believe they won't go beyond that to get games running on both next gen consoles as easy as possible. That of course doesn't mean it will be a simple as making one version and having it work perfect on both, but for the average dev, it won't be a big deal overall. Unless all they care about is profits, and how many devs like that make great games you want to play anyway?
As for PS4 to Pro. Did the devs know Pro was coming? If they had an idea, did they take it serious, or was it just up in the air in a manner that they very well assumed it wasn't going to happen, and didn't really plan ahead? Why waste time on scalability, if you don't know or think you're going to need it? Now that devs know a mid gen upgrade is likely, and maybe PS will even be straight up and tell them it'll likely be based on a Zen 6 CPU and RDNA 5.0 GPU, etc, they can be more prepared in advance, so there's less headaches down the road.
As for the smaller devs, well, they may have to put a little more work in for both consoles, or maybe they can focus solely on Xcloud streaming. As long as the game works on the Xcloud server hardware, it should work on every XB console right?
Just to think they're people on this site that think MS is going to make major comeback in the console space. XBOX game pass is their primary game service and that will be on everything and they loooooove that idea. Google opend the door to games as service and MS just ran through it. The console is just to shut people until they're trained.
Lockhart and Anaconda would cover at least a few possibilities. It may help them to succeed in the fact that if they can have the cheapest next gen console, as well as the most powerful, they will likely pick up more sales then they would otherwise. More than a few casuals will be swayed if Lockhart is $100 cheaper than PS5. There are also going to be those people who simply want to know they have the best hardware, and won't know, or care, that the games may be playing worse than they would on the single PS5 SKU. They will buy Anaconda, whether it's the same price as PS5, or $100 more.
Lockhart also covers MS butt if Anaconda doesn't do what they want and need it to do, like the XB1X. If PS5 runs away with the high end, then with the MS focus on digital and cloud streaming, they might as well focus on Lockhart and not even bother with a mid gen upgrade. MS could just save the mid gen input costs and put them towards subsidizing Lockhart and getting it as cheap as possible asap. They would certainly sell a worthy amount of consoles that way. Imagine a next gen 1080p/60 casual console that plays the majority of next gen games, yet costs just $249 after a couple years, while PS5 is at $399. Lockhart would sell more than enough units in a situation like that. Meanwhile, MS, like you mentioned, is doing everything they can to get their users to pay for Live and Game Pass.
I wouldn't be surprised if MS focuses more on Nin's hardware choices than SNY's. All you have to do is look at how the last 5 or 6 years have played out, and then take into consideration the Wii and Switch. Why with the clear MS focus on digital services, should they try to compete with SNY in terms of power going forward? Why not be the Switch of the home console market? Cheap next gen hardware that plays the games reasonable enough, with plenty left over for online subscriptions.Last edited by EricHiggin - on 07 December 2019