Despite being promoted as a truly next-gen experience — targeting the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC platforms — Ubisoft's open-world racing title The Crew is also coming to last-gen consoles, specifically the Xbox 360, the publisher announced today.
You may also be surprised to learn that it's being released on Xbox 360 day and date with the already announced versions, November 11, thanks to assistance from Asobo Studio "leading development of The Crew on Xbox 360, with support from the teams at Ivory Tower, Ubisoft Reflections and Ubisoft Shanghai."
"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," Ubisoft's Tony Key said in a press release. "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."
Originally scheduled to be released in the first quarter of this year, The Crew was delayed last October alongside Watch Dogs. Explaining the decision, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said at the time, "Our long term goal is to win the next generation." And like Watch Dogs, part of that strategy appears to be marketing major titles as next-gen titles while also releasing them on last-gen platforms, which enjoy a significantly higher install base.
Ubisoft's other last-gen strategy can be seen with the recently revealed Assassin's Creed Rogue, an Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 alternative to the next-gen Assassin's Creed Unity. Rogue is an entirely different game built by an entirely different studio, and it allows Ubisoft to push the franchise forward while also distributing it as far and wide as possible.
If you're eager to try the game out for yourself before November 11, Ubisoft also announced that July's limited PC beta resumes on August 25 and following that, a "limited number of" Xbox One and PlayStation 4 owners can participate in a closed beta on those platforms in "late September."
We've reached out to Ubisoft about the absence of an Xbox 360 beta period, and the curious absence of a PlayStation 3 release of The Crew.
Update: A Ubisoft representative told us, "The Crew was originally built for the new generation of consoles, so when we made the decision to port it to the previous generation, we decided to focus solely on the platform closest to the new-gen’s technical infrastructure, which is the Xbox 360." They added, "We are not currently working on a version for PS3 and are focused on delivering The Crew for Xbox One, PS4, PC and Xbox 360 simultaneously on November 11th."