In a recent interview with Eurogamer, PlayStation global sales and marketing head Jim Ryan spoke about the PlayStation 4 Pro and the Xbox One X. In it, Ryan believes that developers will hold back on the Xbox One X version to “cater to the lowest common denominator” which in this case is the PlayStation 4 Pro.
Comparing historical events where the PlayStation 3 was, on paper, more powerful than the Xbox 360 he told Eurogamer
What I would do is cast our minds back to the PS3 generation, where we had on paper more impressive specifications than our competition, and in some areas by quite a considerable margin. Now, that didn’t play out the way we had anticipated it would – and this is nothing to do with co-marketing deals, this is just general developer and publisher dynamics. What happened was that developers, maybe at the behest of publishers, developed up to the lowest common denominator and stopped there. And in very few cases took advantage of the additional horsepower of the PS3.
Here he does ignore the fact that a lot of developers not within first party circles found the Xbox 360 easier to develop for and found developing for the PlayStation 3 more complex.
Developers at E3 including Bungie have also come out to say that they won’t hold back the Xbox One X version just to keep parity with the PlayStation 4 Pro. What we may see instead is games being hobbled on the Xbox One X to keep in line with the online experience of Xbox One and Xbox One S owners. Sharing an online environment would be difficult to manage some players at 30fps and some at 60fps and is likely the same for the PlayStation 4 family of consoles.
On PC, it is a given that some players will be running faster than others and those that pay more for their machines get smoother experiences. That isn’t something Microsoft or Sony would want to be pushing in this mid-generation hardware refresh but might be something they have to face going forward.