In a way, Frontier has already dropped the whole console community... Supporting the new consoles would still be better than nothing. Also, the Frontier Store is still available everywhere, so even if Odyssey isn't made for last gen, they can still provide income. However, technically it's just not possible to make Odyssey feasible on Xbox One/PS4. It should be, but I don't think Frontier will ever reach that level of optimization.The new consoles only make about 10% of the console market share due to the impossibility to buy them for a reasonable price (saw few day ago a PS5 in a local supermarket for 860 € ---- 360€ over retail price - most of the time they are everywhere out of stock here in stores in germany)... and experts say, the semiconductor crisis will continue to 2023. Even the automobile production is stuttering at the moment. So even next year about this time the new consoles will make maybe 20-25% of the console market. Nope. A friend of mine managed to buy one on ebay from a scalper for additional 180€ few weeks ago. I think only enthusiast will buy at such obscene prices. Or guys who search the internet constantly for best prices - but not the average gamer. And when the nextgen ones reach a significant market share level, who will buy odyssey, which will have grown old until then...? a dlc for an even older grindy niche game...? Who will remember ED then ? (Not a AAA Title). I think, this can't be the planned business case. Would I buy a new PS5 for obscene prices (semiconductor crisis!) just to play EDO? Nope, unless there are "must have" games, that make me buy a ps5... even big AAA Titles like the hyped" Horizon Forbidden West "target the old gen consoles due to their market share. They can't be dropped right now for the big money making titles. Sure, this will change, but due to the lack of semiconductors I do not expect this break even before late 2023.
If FDev decides to drop the old consoles they cut away a big part if the console community, since most people simply can't buy a nextgen console, even if they want to. Think, this can't be wanted. So the devs will be forced to squeeze out of the cobra engine, what they can. We will see... From my point of view, I could miss out on the new optimized graphics of the ship models and other bling bling stuff on may base ps4. For me the new gameplay loops matter most. Sure, a highres-setting for the new consoles/pro versions would be nice for their owners. I wish for that. But I think, a basic EDO version without every eyecandy can be made for the old basic consoles, which are still sold. Just think of Mass Effect 4 Andromeda. Ran well even on base consoles and did not look worse then EDO (in some parts it looked even better!) So it's up to the devs to cut away the not essential nice-to-have-bling-bling-eyecandy-stuff and carry over the essence of EDO to consoles (with a basic mode and and (for the guys on pro-consoles or nextgen consoles) quality mode setting).
And I also think, there are policies from Ms and sony, that forbid to publish a dlc only running on nextgen for a game, that was sold for the old consoles, without releasing the whole game as a new enhanced edition of the complete game...
I don't know whether the platform holders make compatibility mandatory for DLC of games that are available on both generations. If that was the case, Frontier could still technically re-release Elite Dangerous as native PS5/Xbox Series X|S apps, and handle them differently to the last gen versions (even though with cross-gen save support), and then they can release whatever DLC they want on new-gen only. They will have to find a solution to this if they ever consider developing Odyssey for consoles, because it would be impossible to make it for the older machines. Not in acceptable quality anyway. But again, I still doubt it will happen on any console - and this generational gap may be just one of the reasons for that.