Not everybody’s happy about the news that the traditional console cycle may have been obliterated. Especially consumers, who may be compelled to buy expensive new hardware every few years like PC gamers are wont to do. The impending PlayStation Ne and Xbox One Scorpio are mid-generation refreshes that significantly increase each system’s respective horsepower, while maintaining compatibility with the current systems. Some developers think the idea is going to cause headaches, while others are pretty damned please about it.
One such developer is Epic’s Tim Sweeney, who’s rather delighted about the newer, more powerful consoles.
“I’m absolutely thrilled with this,” Sweeney told Eurogamer. “It gives you the best of both worlds, the upgrade cycle of the PC which ensures that people always have access to the latest and greatest hardware and games don’t go out of date over a seven year cycle, together with the fact there’s a box you can go and buy – or two boxes – and you’re guaranteed that everything can work. And I think the configurations for developers are very reasonable.”
In some ways, I actually agree. If Sony and Microsoft pull off this new console cycle properly, maintaining operability of games for years to come is a good thing. Instead of starting from a userbase of 0 every generation, consoles would continue to grow. Yes, it’s very much like PC gaming, but if it’s handled well and new games will run on older hardware, we won’t have the industry slumps that occur whenever there’s a transition to a new generation of consoles.
“From an industry insider perspective, the console industry will grow and sustain its user base much better if it doesn’t have to reset its user base to zero every seven years. The idea of throwing everything out and doing everything from scratch every seven years is completely crazy. And everything Epic’s done with our new game development approach, involving these online games we’re going to maintain over time, it’s about building games where we don’t have to reset our user base to zero when we want to add new features.”