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One of the founders of Devolver Digital, the boutique publisher behind games like Hotline Miami and Genital Jousting, is eager to see Sony and Microsoft launch their next-generation platforms. Speaking to GameSpot at PAX Australia, Graeme Struthers said he’s excited about the launch of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Project Scarlett in 2020 in part because those systems are expected to be attractive to all developers big and small.
This wasn’t always the case, as Struthers–who has been with the company since he co-founded it in 2009—pointed out that the PS3/Xbox 360 generation wasn’t the most inviting for indie developers.
“It’s great,” Struthers said of the upcoming release of the PS5 and next Xbox. “The previous generation, the one we’re coming to the end of, was the one for companies like ourselves–we were allowed in. Previously it was pretty hard to be on PS3 and Xbox 360. For next-gen, we’re in at the start. given the same opportunities as anybody else, which is great.”
While Struthers is indeed excited about the potential for the PS5 and next Xbox to grow the gaming category overall, the executive observed that the new consoles seem to be more iterative in nature instead of dramatically different or improved versions of their predecessors.
“I think it is ever harder to tell the differences [between new consoles] but it’s also cool that they’re both coming in with a new generation [of consoles] because it means they are going to invest more money in this space, which will create more users,” he said. “It’s good for everyone. And to have Nintendo in such good, vibrant health as well, you’ve got three console platforms and Apple Arcade to mull over and Steam and Epic.”
Devolver releases some of its games on consoles, but the company has always been and continues to be a PC-first and PC-focused publisher.
Struthers isn’t the first gaming industry executive to speak in this way about the next generation of consoles. Atsushi Inaba, the head of Bayonetta developer Platinum Games, said in an earlier interview that the PS5 and Project Scarlett are “more of the same.”
Sony just recently officially confirmed that its new console will be called the PlayStation 5. The company also began to discuss its plans for a next-generation controller.
Microsoft, on the other hand, hasn’t shared much about its new Xbox. The console continues to be known only as Project Scarlett. What we do know, however, is that it will work with any Xbox One and Xbox One controllers you may already own, while the backwards compatibility support also extends to Xbox 360 and Original Xbox games. Microsoft will release Halo Infinite as a launch title for the new console.
One of Devolver’s biggest upcoming releases is the wacky, weird, and wonderful-looking sorta-battle royale game Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout for PC and PS4 that’s due to launch in 2020.
GameSpot’s conversation with Struthers spanned numerous other topics, including secrecy in the video game industry, why subscription plans like Apple Arcade, Xbox Game Pass, PlayStation Plus, and others might hurt independent games, censorship in Australia, the origins of Devolver’s absurd E3 press conferences, and more. GameSpot will publish more from the interview in the time ahead, so keep checking back for more.
For more on the next generation of consoles, check out the stories linked below: