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Next-Gen Xbox Quietly Dissed By The Witness Dev

Jonathan Blow doesn't speak a whole lot, but he speaks his mind when he does. That's why people were eager to hear what he had to say on a recent Twitch stream. Interestingly, Blow had some words for one of the next-gen platforms — but had none for one he's apparently not hot on.


"I'm excited about some consoles in the next-generation, let's put it that way," Blow said on the stream. "PS5 is pretty good."

There's a pretty large omission there, right? It seems the PlayStation 5 has Jonathan Blow's approval. If only there were some other next-gen console coming out that he could weigh in on; perhaps some kind of competing system from a company Blow has worked with in the past. Does one of those exist? If so, is it even worth naming?

Jokes aside, it seems Blow was trying to say a lot by saying very little. There's something about the next-gen Xbox offering that doesn't really excite him. Based on the leaked specs we covered earlier today, it certainly sounds like Microsoft's Xbox Series X is going to lead in terms of power. But as some have rightly pointed out, the Series X may not be the only next-gen console we're getting from Microsoft.


Blow might have some beef with Lockhart

Ahh yes, Lockhart. Lockhart is the presumed lower-tier alternative to the monster that most expect the Series X to be. If you think of the Series X like the Xbox One X, Lockhart is more like the One S. It can play all the same games, but it'll do so at a much lower graphical fidelity.


It's possible Blow was referring to Lockhart, and that wouldn't come as a total surprise. We've heard stories about developers who'd rather not see a Lockhart-type console exist, as they feel it could hold the next generation back. We have it on good authority that Microsoft could offer such a system, so if Blow believes the potential of next-gen games will be limited on the Xbox side by Lockhart, it's reasonable he'd find the PlayStation side more appealing.

Hopefully Blow will clarify what he meant in the days to come, but we're not holding our breath. He's not a big talker. In fact, we may not even hear from him again until his next game comes out on Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, and whatever else. Until then, we'll likely be left to wonder which Xbox he has beef with — or why, for that matter.


If you are Jonathan Blow, reach out — we'd love to hear from you.

This isn't Blow's first awkward moment with Xbox

This actually isn't the first time Jonathan Blow has seemingly been at odds with Microsoft. To start, Blow claims that Microsoft wanted the demo of Braid — Blow's breakout title — much shorter than he intended. Blow believed that, "it's ok to give people a significant portion of the game because if they like it, they'll want to play the rest." Microsoft, however, did not agree, and thus we ended up with a much smaller experience as a result.


Blow also talked about why The Witness came to PlayStation 4 first before Xbox One, despite the success he experienced with Braid on Xbox Live Arcade. It seems Blow was very proactive about wanting to develop on Sony's newest machine, and Sony happily obliged, inviting him to a pre-announcement event to get a look at the goods. According to Ars Technica, however, Blow didn't get the same kind of treatment from the Xbox team.

When Blow got in touch with someone at Microsoft for info about the company's next console, the email he received in response was pretty unbelievable: "I have no political path to making something like that happen for an independent developer," it said.

Needless to say, Microsoft has made a lot of inroads with indies since then thanks to its ID@Xbox initiative. And The Witness did eventually make its way to Xbox One. But it sure seems like Blow is still carrying a lot of unhappiness around when it comes to the Xbox brand.


It begs the question: Will we see Jonathan Blow's next project come to an Xbox console? Will it come, but after it releases on PlayStation 5 or even Switch? We honesty don't know the answer at this point. But we'll definitely be keeping tabs on what Blow is up to. He has a pretty stellar track record thus far, which means whatever he's working on next will likely be a pretty big deal.