To get their thoughts on the mid-generation console upgrades from Sony and Microsoft, Games Industry spoke with publishers EA, Ubisoft, and Take-Two at E3 2016.
I perceive it as upgrades to the hardware that will actually extend the cycle. I actually see it more as an incredibly positive evolution of the business strategy for players and for our industry and definitely for EA. The idea that we would potentially not have an end of cycle and a beginning of cycle I think is a positive place for our industry to be and for all of the commercial partners as well as players.
After bringing up how her son chooses a console based on what friends he’s playing with and which game he’s going to play, Miele added that EA is thrilled with what the console manufacturers are doing:
So it’s not my perception that the hardware manufacturers are going to be forcing upgrades. I really see that they’re trying to hold on and bring players along. If players want to upgrade, they can. There will be benefit to that. But it’s not going to be punitive if they hold on to the older hardware… So we’re thrilled with these announcements. We’re thrilled with the evolution. We’re thrilled with what Sony’s doing, what Microsoft’s doing and we think it’s phenomenal. I think that is good for players. It’ll be great for us as a publisher about how they’re treating it.
Alain Corre, Ubisoft’s head of EMEA, explained why they’re big fans of the fact that PS4 Neo and Project Scorpio won’t make the standard PS4 and Xbox One obsolete:
The beautiful thing is it will not split the communities. And I think it’s important that when you’ve been playing a game for a lot of years and invested a lot of time that you can carry on without having to start over completely again. I think with the evolution of technology it’s better than what we had to do before, doing a game for next-gen and a different game from scratch for the former hardware. Now we can take the best of the next console but still have super good quality for the current console, without breaking the community up. We are quite big fans of this approach.
Finally, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said, “The ecosystems aren’t shifting as much. We essentially have a common development architecture now that’s essentially a PC architecture.” He added that, if consoles follow a similar upgrade path like smartphones, “It would be very good for us obviously. To have a landscape…where you put a game out and you don’t worry about it,” much like how TV show creators don’t worry about which monitor you’re watching it on.
All in all, Zelnick thinks “we will for sure get there as an industry. We will get to the point where the hardware becomes a backdrop.”
Do you think PS4 Neo will extend the PS4’s lifecycle? Do you think we’ll see another PS4 console upgrade before the PS5?
[Source: Games Industry]