The XBox One and Playstation 4 consoles have received their first space sim, an enhanced release of Strike Suit Zero. Compared to the original PC release, the latest edition includes improved graphics, an expansion pack and extra suits and goes for around $20 depending on the region. The director's cut is also the first indie game for the Xbox One. When Wing Commander Arena hit XBox Live in 2007, the maximum downloadable game size was 50 megabytes. SSZ clocks in today at more than 1.8 gigabytes - the game certainly looks pretty with all those high res textures and fancy effects!
Xbox Wire: Tell us about your game. What do you want gamers to know?
James Brooksby: “Strike Suit Zero” is a space combat game that harkens back to the golden age of space combat games. The team here are huge fans of the genre, and have been influenced by the likes of “Wing Commander,” “X-Wing vs TIE Fighter,” “Elite,” “Homeworld,” “Colony Wars” and “Freelancer” to name a few. The biggest difference between those games and ours (other than a serious next-gen lick of paint) is the fact that we have a mech at the heart of the game. Bringing in our other influences we are also big fans of “Macross,” “Robotech,” “Gundam” and “ZOE.”
Reports from last week's Microsoft Build developers conference note that the company is looking into backwards compatibility for the XBox One. Such prospects still sound like a bit of a long shot, and only about half of original XBox games were compatible with the 360, but this does provide a tiny glimmer of hope for extended Arena longevity.
One of the developers looking into this is none other than Frank Savage, who was the director of game development for Wing Commander 3 and other Origin titles. He currently leads partner development for the gaming platform, which is a natural extension of the XNA toolset that he was involved with almost a decade ago. I wonder if he still keeps his Wing Commander memorabilia up on the office wall...
According to Xbox partner development lead Frank Savage, Microsoft is working on a solution to get Xbox 360 games on Xbox One, but players at home may never get to experience it themselves.
When asked by an audience member at Microsoft's Build developer conference whether the company had plans for backwards compatibility on Xbox One, Savage responded in the affirmative but with a serious caveat. Getting software made for drastically different hardware to run on another machine is a tricky proposition.
"There are [plans], but we're not done thinking them through yet, unfortunately," said Savage, as reported by Kotaku Australia. "It turns out to be hard to emulate the PowerPC stuff on the X86 stuff. So there's nothing to announce, but I would love to see it myself."