Square Enix explains why it won’t be releasing next-gen exclusives anytime soon


This year is shaping up to be a great one for video games, with many exciting video game releases on the horizon. Amongst these is the Final Fantasy VII remake, a reimagining of the 1997 classic published by Square Enix.

The game brings back classic characters like Tifa Lockhart (pictured above) and is set in the futuristic city of Midgar, where a team of heroes led by protagonist Cloud Strife take on the evil Shinra Electric Power Company.

However, given its scope and ambition, the remake has been split into several parts, the first of which will be landing on April 10 this year on PS4.

Thankfully, though, it’s very likely the remaining parts will also hit the PS4 and won’t be PS5 exclusives, as Japanese publisher Square Enix recently said it’s refraining from launching next-gen only games for the time being.

The reason for this was explained by the company in a recent financial briefing Q&A (via Push Square).

“The next-generation consoles will have backward compatibility, so we plan for the time being to make our new titles available for both current and next-generation consoles. It will therefore be somewhat farther down the road that we release titles exclusively for the next-generation consoles”, said the Japanese company.

Backwards compatibility will be a big feature of both upcoming next-gen consoles. The PS5 has been confirmed to be able to run PS4 games by Sony, while Microsoft’s Xbox Series X will be backwards compatible with the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and original Xbox too.

Plus given that development costs for video games are pretty high these days, it makes sense that game publishers such as Square Enix want to reach as big an audience as possible. And given that more than 100 million PS4 consoles have been sold to date, it would be lunacy for the Japanese company to release this as a PS5 exclusive.

Also, the game might not only be restricted to PlayStation systems in the future. Actually, the Final Fantasy VII remake is only a timed exclusive and could reach other platforms in 2021, as the timed exclusivity deal ends exactly one year after release (that’ll be April 10, 2021 then).

It must also be taken into account that PS5 will almost surely be more expensive than PS4 was at launch – a $500 US dollar launch price is looking like a distinct possibility right now. This means adoption of the new system is likely to be slow, and this coupled with backwards compatibility explains Square Enix’s reasoning here.

This is also a good thing for those who are looking to hang on to their PS4 for a while yet. Given the console’s sales numbers, and the fact PS5 only games are still a while away, there’s still plenty of life left in current-gen consoles yet. This is certainly good news for those wanting to keep their current console until the PS5 and Xbox Series X become more affordable propositions during the next console generation.

Also, given the lack of new game announcements by Square Enix, we could speculate about what might be coming next from the Japanese giant as a PS5 exclusive later on. Maybe another Deus Ex game for PS5? This would certainly be a mouth-watering prospect for fans of the futuristic role-playing series, but it’s a matter of wait and see whether Square Enix wants to revive the franchise for PS5.

However, it’s almost a certainty that those who get hold of a PS5 console this fall will be able to play an enhanced version of Final Fantasy VII Remake and other games this year though. As has been the case with PS4 Pro, game developers will likely be patching their games so that the PS5 version looks as good and runs as smoothly as possible.

This means true 4K visuals and 60 frames per second gameplay could be in store for those playing Final Fantasy VII Remake on PS5 this year, which can only be a good thing for those looking to take the plunge and get hold of Sony’s new machine this fall.