Don't get your hopes up for Rise of the Tomb Raider being totally free from the constraints of the old consoles just yet. Along with the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC versions made public at E3 last week, Amazon UK now has listings for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 releases.
Naturally, it would make sense to release builds for the previous generations, because, after all, they have a much bigger audience right now. It's guaranteed to put more copies in the hands of gamers, as well as making Square Enix more money.
On the other hand, what would this mean for development? Rise of the Tomb Raider isn't going to be able to take advantage of gameplay only capable on next-gen consoles with the older hardware holding it back. If true, it'll to be more like the Definitive Edition of Tomb Raider, a previous generation game given a next-gen face lift.
I understand the importance of releasing to both the large installment base of the previous generation and reaching out for the newer and more progressive hardware as well, but one thing I walked away from E3 realizing was that cross-generation titles were far from the highlight of the show. Almost every game I am looking forward to either is a next-gen exclusive or brave enough to face the world showing off its previous generation exclusivity.
Persona 5 is a great example of how the PlayStation 3 can still be relevant nowadays.
We've been through cross generational gaps in time before, mostly around the dawn of the previous generation when publishers couldn't ignore the PlayStation 2's massive audience. Tomb Raider Legend games come to mind when thinking about that. Only then, the lines between what was "next-gen" and what was the old way of doing things were far more clear. This time around, that line is so much harder to see.
If Square Enix confirms that Rise of the Tomb Raider will be released on previous generation consoles, will it convince you to hold back on buying a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One just yet? Chances are they'll be the exact same game with one just being prettier than the other. Will the money for a new console be worth the graphic overhaul?