Seven-year-old space simulation adventure console players on Thursday Elite Dangerous received a heavy blow. Instead of being told that the 2021 series Odyssey The DLC expansion would finally come to console, instead they were told that the Xbox and PlayStation versions of the game would no longer receive any substantial gameplay updates, DLC or otherwise.
Frontier Developments director David Braben broke the news by saying that the game had two completely different codebases running for some time: one for PC, which supports Odyssey, and one for consoles. This week, Frontier made the decision to “focus on a single code base” so the studio could “move the game’s story forward.”
As a result, existing Xbox and PlayStation owners of the game will now only receive “critical updates”, while all “new content” will arrive exclusively on PC.
In an announcement in early 2021, Braben told fans of the series who are working on OdysseyThe console version of was on the way, though delayed by pandemic-related issues. Even so, he set expectations for a possible console release (at the time, “Fall 2021”) by describing “the focus on crafting Odyssey as incredible as possible for all of our commanders, regardless of their platform.”
“No” to current-gen, “maybe” to cross-save
Shortly after this week’s announcement, Frontier staff members took to the game’s forums to answer questions from fans. This is where they confirmed that there were no plans to make a version of Elite Dangerouswith or without DLC, designed for more powerful current-gen consoles like PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X/S.
In slightly better news, Frontier is “exploring” ways for existing console players to transfer their interstellar progression from consoles to PC, but the studio hasn’t indicated how that might work. Currently, console players must log into a Frontier-specific account to play on Xbox or PlayStation, which suggests the studio may be able to cleanly extract save data from console players. But those Frontier-specific connections don’t currently support cross-platform play of any kind, and they don’t even offer the nifty save game cross-save features (meaning you can’t land on Jameson Memorial Station on Xbox, end the session, and pick up on the same station on PC).
The fork in Elite Dangerous‘ the codebase has officially started with the May 2021 launch of Odyssey, a standalone expansion that asks the game’s players – who typically launch into space, sit in outlandish cockpits, and explore the galaxy as shuttling, gun-firing pirates – to get out of their starships and to take a walk. The DLC’s shift to a walking first-person shooter, which doesn’t formally support VR in the same way as its forebear, has so far failed to appeal. Elite Dangerous’ core playerbase, as a series of passionately written and brutally detailed reviews on Steam clearly show.
Many fans may not feel a short-term impact, as long as they’re happy to roam the space with their console friends list and focus on the massive core. Elite Dangerous experience reinforced by Horizons– thematic expansion content over the years. But for those who liked the idea of a Elite– Console-themed FPS (or those worried about missing out on the game’s next major non-FPS content update), today’s news is a disappointment.