Titanfall 360: Deliberately delayed?

Double delayed, but was it by design?
Double delayed, but was it by design?

Xbox One owners have been revelling in the manic awesomeness of Titanfall since its release on March 11th, 2014. Accolades and high praise, from nearly all quarters, have rained down upon it for almost a month now and show no signs of slowing down.

There is one disgruntled voice in the choir – and it’s not the PS4 owner. The PS4 owner is too busy playing inFamous Second Son at the moment, mildly envious he or she may be, but quietly occupied non-the-less. The disquiet is coming from Microsoft’s other camp. Camp 360.

Xbox 360 owners, who have been unable to make the leap to next-gen, have been waiting patiently for the game  IGN said was:

…almost as exciting to watch a friend play as it is to pick up the controller yourself!”

Ask a 360 owner if they are content to just sit and watch, you may get a different response.

Originally supposed to launch alongside it’s next-gen counterpart, Titanfall for the 360 has already seen, not one, but two delays to launch. Initially, it slipped to 28th March. Next it was moved to 8th April (in the US, the UK has to wait until April 11th).

What’s more, the noises coming from the Xbox One developers, Respawn, are not exactly encouraging. Of course, Respawn are not actually developing the 360 version, that task has been left to Bluepoint. The assumption being that if it does prove to be an inferior product, relative newcomer, Respawn can distance themselves from negative press.

bluepoint

It’s hard to say if Richard Baker, the Respawn engineer who spoke to Digital Foundry, was trying to be supportive or not when he said:

Bluepoint’s developing [the 360 version] and we’ve mostly been hands-off, letting them make their own technical decisions […] It seems pretty close [in terms of] feature parity and they’re still working on getting the frame-rate up. I’m not sure about the resolution…”

With rumor circulating that the 360 version will only run at 30fps and possibly below HD (720p) resolution, it’s going to be a tough sell for anyone to feel they are getting remotely the same experience as the Xbox One version.

And maybe that is EXACTLY the point?

It’s no secret that Titanfall is a system seller. In the first week alone, the game contributed to a 108% rise in console sales for the Xbox One. The game is massive, impressive and is already convincing people to pay over £400 for the Xbox One bundle, just to play the game!

In terms of Xbox One sales, these delays make a lot of sense. People are hungry for this game – they want it in their hands yesterday and by delaying the 360 version, they may just persuade one or two more people to make that next-gen leap a little earlier than they planned.

Will it still look this good? Only when it's not moving!
Will it still look this good? Only when it’s not moving!

Now, factor in vaguely negative statements about the state of the 360 version – and a whole bunch more will make that jump to play the superior version of the game they have been so desperately waiting for. Not to get all conspiracy theorist here, but it really wouldn’t be a shock if Titanfall 360 launches with pretty horrible review scores. As previously mentioned, it won’t hurt Respawn nor will it have anything but a positive effect on Xbox One sales – and ultimately Titanfall sales.

It’s win, win, win. Unless you’re Bluepoint…or a 360 owner hoping to get that Titanfall experience that everyone has been talking about.

Currently, Titanfall is scheduled for an Xbox 360 release on the 8th-11th April. However, a third delay is not completely out of the question just yet. Watch this space.

 

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