Images purporting to be screenshots from an Xbox One version of the next Forza Motorsport game, Forza Motorsport, have been posted to Reddit, suggesting that the title could be cross-generational when it launches.
It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything regarding Forza Motorsport, although Turn 10 staff like creative director Chris Esaki have talked about the game’s development on the occasional Forza Monthly show.
Among the details Esaki has spoken about are community playtests, wherein a select group of players are invited to play sections of the game. The images posted come from one such playtest, with heavy “Pre Release Software” watermarking.
It’s not entirely clear how the images are from an eighth-generation Xbox One console, however the subreddit moderation staff have confirmed that the shots are genuine, with the user who posted them stating that they are from a build played in July 2021.
That rather flies in the face of previously stated information from Turn 10 itself, which still lists the rebooted Forza Motorsport as an Xbox Series and PC title on the game’s official FAQ.
The game’s initial reveal, also made no mention of the older hardware and that partly led to speculation it wouldn’t launch before November 2021 due to Microsoft’s commitment to not produce Series-specific titles for at least a year into the console’s life.
That’s a situation very reminiscent of Gran Turismo 7. Throughout the early marketing of the title it was marked as a “PlayStation 5 Exclusive”, before Sony walked this description back and, after months of speculation, eventually confirmed it would be a cross-gen title.
Indeed if Microsoft has decided to pursue an XB1 release, the decision might be very similar to Sony’s thinking.
Thanks to myriad unusual conditions all converging at once — not least of which being an ongoing shortage of the semiconductors required to manufacture advanced computer chips — there’s simply not enough Xbox Series devices in people’s homes.
That might result in poorer sales, although GT7 appears to be selling better on PS5 than PS4, but also unhappy fans who just can’t play the new title despite the PC availability.
However it leads to similar concerns over just how much the last-gen version might compromise the new-gen. While it’s a relatively simple matter to scale most things up to the new hardware, or down to the old, the fundamental structure and content of the game would need to be identical.
It would mean taking the One console into consideration for everything down to the physics underpinning the game. Turn 10 has made much of a brand-new suspension model, but it would need to be simple enough to run on Xbox One rather than being fully unleashed on Series — otherwise the experience would be different, and there wouldn’t be a level playing field in online play.
Of course Microsoft already has Forza Horizon 5 running as a cross-gen game, and GT7 itself appears to be fine on both PS4 and PS5, but we might never know how good the Gen 9 titles could have been without having to support Gen 8 too. It looks like this could also be the case for Forza Motorsport.
Microsoft hasn’t yet commented on the issue, and with the title not expected for at least another six months we don’t anticipate any clarification any time soon.