The PS4 and Xbox One versions of Hogwarts Legacy have been delayed a month and are now scheduled to launch on May 5, and the increasing age of the last-gen machines has fans wary. We might not be looking at PS1 Hagrid, but it might not be far off.
It's normal for a generational transition to feature a lot of games launching on both old and new platforms, but the period of cross-gen releases has been especially lengthy on PS5 and Xbox Series X and S. You can speculate on plenty of reasons why - maybe the supply issues that plagued the new machines made developers reticent to cut off the install base of the old consoles, or maybe scaling for multiple generations is easier with modern development processes - but we might be at the end of the road.
"Time to put last-gen to bed," TX_Sized10-4 (opens in new tab) says on Reddit, lamenting the last-gen Hogwarts Legacy delay. "Trying to force games into the constraints of 10-year-old hardware is either hamstringing them on new hardware or making them a painful experience on old hardware."
"If you guys still complain that the old-gen port is terrible on release then honestly that's on you," JPA17 (opens in new tab) adds, saying "all the signs are pointing to it not being great, which is completely expected considering how old last-gen is at this point."
You can look to folks like lazymutant256 (opens in new tab) for the drastic option: "I know it's an unpopular thing to say at this point, but I think it's time to consider canceling those versions."
We've seen games like God of War Ragnarok and Forza Horizon 5 scale well on older hardware, but we've also seen utter disasters like the last-gen versions of Cyberpunk 2077. Old-gen versions of games like Marvel's Midnight Suns have also seemingly been stuck in limbo.
To put the age of this hardware in some historical perspective, 2023 will mark the ten-year anniversary of the launch of PS4 and Xbox One. A decade on from the launch of the NES, we were playing 3D revolutions like Super Mario 64. A decade after Super Mario 64, we were into massive open-world games like Oblivion. A decade from there got us to the likes of The Witcher 3 and Uncharted 4.
Technological leaps these days are much less flashy than they used to be, but there's a world of difference between, say, the PS5 and the PS4, and it looks like even players are starting to understand the difficulties and effects of multi-generational development. If expectations for the PS4 and Xbox One versions of Hogwarts Legacy are this low, what's that Switch port going to look like?
The release of Hogwarts Legacy has been the subject of criticism and debate due to J.K. Rowling's public stance on gender identity, which continues to challenge the inclusivity at the heart of the Harry Potter community. Here is our explainer on the Hogwarts Legacy controversy.