When it launches on November 10, Xbox Series X will be the most powerful console the world has ever seen. One of the biggest benefits of all that power is giving developers the ability to make games that are Xbox Series X Optimized. This means that they’ve taken full advantage of the unique capabilities of Xbox Series X, both for new titles built natively using the Xbox Series X development environment as well as previously released titles that have been rebuilt specifically for the console. In our Inside Xbox Series X Optimized series, these creators will share the behind-the-scenes accounts of how they’re optimizing their titles for Xbox Series X and what that means for the future of gaming. Today, we’ll be chatting with Masayoshi Yokoyama – Yakuza Series Chief Producer, Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio about optimizing Yakuza: Like a Dragon for Xbox Series X.
Q: What excites you most about developing and bringing Yakuza: Like a Dragon to life on next-generation hardware?
A: Being able to develop Yakuza: Like a Dragon on Xbox Series X gave us an opportunity to develop the game at a much higher performance level than we’ve ever been able achieve before. Seeing the game run at a smooth 60 FPS gameplay experience or in native 4K with near-instant load times is incredible.
Q: In addition to benefiting from the power and performance of Xbox Series X for quicker load times etc. what Xbox Series X features were you most excited to explore leveraging in the development of Yakuza: Like a Dragon?
A: Since we’ve just brought Yakuza to Xbox for the first time, it’s great that we were able to support Smart Delivery to make Like a Dragon more accessible across console generations.
Q: How will these enhancements impact a player’s experience with Yakuza: Like a Dragon?
A: It allows the player to enjoy the game however they’d like – varying graphics options and playing across hardware generations makes it a much more enjoyable experience overall.
Q: Why did your development team choose to focus on increased resolution as an enhancement area for Yakuza: Like a Dragon?
A: Since Yakuza: Like a Dragon uses an RPG battle system, we chose to focus on providing higher / more stable framerates to facilitate a more comfortable player experience, but we also had the opportunity to increase the resolution to show off the intricate details we include in our characters and set pieces.
Q: How do you expect fans of Yakuza: Like a Dragon will respond to playing it on Xbox Series X with these enhancements?
A: I think players will really enjoy the more detailed renders and smoother performance of the game. We focus a lot on very subtle details when developing Yakuza titles, so this will make it a much more immersive experience than it would be otherwise.
Q: What is it like developing on Xbox Series X?
A: The hardware was easy to develop on, it’s incredible to develop on a platform that’s as powerful as a high-spec gaming PC.
Q: Which enhancement were you most excited about to explore leveraging for Yakuza: Like a Dragon on Xbox Series X?
A: I was personally most excited about the reduction in loading times due to the SSD, it’s nearly instantaneous; there’s not even time to read the loading screen tips!
Q: What does Smart Delivery mean for your game and how you’re bringing Yakuza: Like a Dragon to fans?
A: As mentioned previously, I think it’s great that players have more hardware options and the ability across console generations with their favorite games whenever they want. Being able to bring their save data along seamlessly is also a nice addition.
Q: What does Xbox Series X/next-generation development enable in current or future projects that you could not have achieved with the current generation of consoles?
A: I think we’re finally in an era where you can play high-end games whenever and wherever you want; we have a lot more room to explore high-fidelity experiences from a development standpoint.