The Crew is being hailed as one of the first truly next-gen racing games, thanks to its mesmerisingly-massive open world map encompassing the entire US. With such ambitious scale, making The Crew only available for PC and next-gen consoles made sense, but Ubisoft has now made the surprise announcement that The Crew will also be released on Xbox 360 in November alongisde the PS4, Xbox One and PC versions.
It's currently unclear what compromises will be made for the laat-gen version aside from the obvious visual downgrades. Whether the map will be scaled down remains to be seen. Asobo Studio will be developing the Xbox 360 version with support from Ivory Tower and Ubisoft Reflections, so it's a similar situation to Forza Horizon 2 share of developer duties, whereby the Xbox One version is being developed by Playground Games and Sumo Digital for Xbox 360.
It's worth noting that Asobo is the studio that previously handled Fuel, an open world racer released in 2009 which still has the largest map in any driving game to date, even if it was a boring barren wasteland compared to The Crew's vastly detailed world. It didn't fare too well, but their ambition was similar to what Ivory Tower is trying to achieve with The Crew, so you can see why they were enlisted.
Of course, it makes business sense to make The Crew as widely accessable as possible, particularly when there's still a substansial install base on the last-gen platforms. “It’s Ubisoft’s objective to continue to meet the needs of consumers who have not yet made the move to the new console generation,” said Geoffroy Sardin, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Ubisoft. “The Crew was originally built for the new generation of consoles, but we have always had a desire to make it accessible to as many people as possible. We’re excited to bring The Crew’s same core features, massive scope, mission variety, and overall driving experience to Xbox 360 players.”
Conversely, The Crew will not be pulling up on PS3. Apparently the reason for its absence is purely down to technicalities because the Xbox 360's infrastructure is similar to the new consoles. "The Crew is originally built for the new generation of consoles so when we made the decision to port it to the previous generation of consoles, we decided to focus solely on the platform closest to the new-gen's technical infrastructure, which is the Xbox 360," Ubisoft told Eurogamer.
The second PC beta of The Crew is currently underway, with a PS4 and Xbox One beta due to start at the end of September.