Reports have emerged to suggest that Battlefield 6 will not be coming to PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, when it releases later this year. This is according to leaker Tom Henderson who has previously stated the Battlefield 6 will adopt a near future setting for the game.
Henderson has also speculated that this would tie in with the other rumours that Battlefield 6 could launch into Xbox Game Pass on day one. If the game is only coming to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S, the potential audience is much smaller than if they also released on the last generation machines, and EA could recoup some of the development costs and ensure that the game has as large a player base as possible via Microsoft’s subscription service.
Now, we obviously have to take all of this with a pinch of salt – the Battlefield community is currently pouring over sketches of what someone claims are images from an imminent reveal trailer – but it would also line up with what DICE and EA have been saying about the game’s early development.
Announcing that it was in development at EA Play Live in June 2020, EA’s Chief Studios Office Laura Miele said they are “creating epic battles at a scale and fidelity unlike anything you’ve experienced before.” while showing off a greyboxed demo of the game featuring a much, much higher player count than the 64-player battles found in Battlefield 4, Battlefield 1 and Battlefield V.
In an investor call earlier this year, EA said “[Battlefield 6] takes full advantage of the power of next-generation platforms to bring massive, immersive battles to life with more players than ever before. Featuring maps with unprecedented scale, the next edition of Battlefield takes all the destruction, player agency, vehicle and weapon combat that the franchise is known for and elevates it to another level.”
That’s all great, but you have to wonder how that would work on base PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Since Battlefield 4’s release, DICE has targeted 60fps gaming on home console, but has often had to compromise in order to get there, running at 900p and 720p, and with the frame rate not being locked to 60fps when in the 64-player battles. Adding more players, bigger maps and everything else into the mix could be beyond what these seven-year-old consoles are capable to doing.
The end of 2021 should also see a healthy PS5 and Xbox Series X|S player-base emerging. The PS5 shipped 4.5 million units by the end of 2020, and the consoles continue to sell out as quickly as Microsoft and Sony are able to produce and stock them. There could very easily be around 25-30 million new generation consoles sold by the end of 2021, and these would be in the hands of ‘core’ gamers who are interested in a new Battlefield.
It shouldn’t be long before we find out more, with EA telling investors that Battlefield 6 will be revealed this spring.