Xbox exec thinks next-gen transition ‘could be as big as from 2D to 3D’

“We’re probably sitting on a pivot point in game design,” says Xbox Game Studios boss

The arrival of powerful next-gen consoles in tandem with advancements in cloud technology means we could be about to witness “as big a transition as when we went from 2D to 3D”.

That’s the opinion of Matt Booty, head of Xbox Game Studios, who was discussing the impact new technology will have on game design in an interview with Eurogamer.

“People have been designing games around load times for so long”, he said, suggesting that will no longer be the case with next-gen consoles like Project Scarlett, which was revealed during Microsoft’s E3 briefing. The next-gen Xbox’s SSD results in 40 times performance increases over the current generation, according to the platform holder.

Booty said: “To be able to have the power, the SSD to unlock a new approach to game design… We’re probably sitting on a pivot point in game design, when you add up the new console’s speed and performance, what cloud streaming will offer up when all the instances of a multiplayer game are running in one location, what it means to be running a game in a data centre… all that in combination with some of the hardware stuff could be as big a transition as when we went from 2D to 3D.

“Think when the first 3D console first showed up,” he continued. “A lot of games were 2.5D. It took a while for people to figure out, y’know, how do you make a fighting game in 3D? How do platformers work? I feel we’re sitting on a pivot point equal to that because of what the hardware will unlock.”

A preview version of Microsoft’s xCloud game streaming service will launch in October, Xbox head Phil Spencer announced at E3.