In news that will surely admit of absolutely no controversy or upset, Battlefield 4's executive producer Patrick Bach has suggested that there's not as much clear blue water between Xbox One and PS4 as between Xbox 360 and PS3. Somebody fetch the fire extinguisher while I board up the office windows, please.
"Even on an extremely high level, I think they have more things in common," Bach told MMGN in an interview last week. "It's much easier to develop and to deliver on five platforms, which is good for us."
The maturity of Battlefield's Frostbite technology will give it the edge on the new platforms, he added. "With Frostbite, being able to work so long on the current generation, it's allowed us to ensure that the engine, whatever platform we have it on at the end, that it's able make the most of the platform, so that's been [a benefit] of the extended generation."
All that said, it's early days. "Overall we don't know what to expect with new hardware, even when we're working on it," explained Bach. "I think we've been extremely privileged to have the time to work on this generation, and embrace the possibilities it's presented. It's helped the transition."
It's hard to know what to make of the comments about having "more things in common", but I suspect Bach's referring chiefly to the fact that both consoles now offer an x86 architecture, bringing the design closer to the average PC. Your quite probably better-informed speculations are welcome.
Speaking to OXM earlier in October, he insisted that DICE would strive to get the most out of each and every piece of hardware it releases on. "You could take the coward's way out, and just set the bar at Xbox 360 and PS3, and make it so that all games look the same on all platforms, but that's not who we are," he said. "We want to do our best with the hardware."
Ultimately it's "all about the games", however. "These are powerful GPUs, CPUs, there's a lot of memory, etc, and the consoles are software-driven - they can change the software if it doesn't work, they can fix things post-launch," Bach observed later in our chat.
Comcept's Keiji Inafune (creator of Mega Man and no end of cherished Capcom games) would presumably agree. "I don't think there's a major difference between them," he told Edge last month.
"If you get down to the tiny details then maybe each is better at one thing than the other, but it doesn't really impact the way you make a game. It's not like PS4 or Xbox One are particularly hard to develop for. Quite the opposite: you can make whatever you want on either one, and that should be enough for anyone."