We’re entering a new age in the era of console gaming. An age where the line between iterative generations is becoming blurred like…I dunno, there was a song about blurry lines wasn’t there? I think Puddle of Mudd sang about it. ANYWAY! With the Xbox Scorpio on the way and Sony promising something with the PlayStation 4 Neo (WHOA), people are talking. More than that, they’re actually excited as well. But the people giddiest of all for these new consoles? Game publishers and developers.
“At a macro level, we’re excited about what Sony and Microsoft have announced,” EA CEO Andrew Wilson said in a post-earnings conference call via GameSpot.
The reality for us is, again, in a networked world, liquidity of players is really, really important. What we’ve seen over the last decade or more with respect to PC gamers is that community has continued to grow. And it’s grown in a world where the hardware refresh cycle has been disconnected from the software refresh cycle. And what that’s meant is that, irrespective of what kind of device you have within kind of a 7-10 year timeframe, you’re able to play with a much, much bigger global community.
Which pretty much sums up the current idea in console hardware, to properly kill off the idea of regular refreshments to the technology built on cycles. “What we see now with … the mid-cycle refresh is that’s only going to enhance the size and engagement levels inside the communities,” Wilson explained.
For us, as a publisher, we’re in a very strong place. We’ve been building across platform and across console and for scalable architectures like PC for some time. So the notion that we would build once an experience that can scale up and down across an entire spectrum of consoles, whether the first phase, second phase, or the third phase over time, is not something that’s foreign to us, and [is] something we’re very energized about because, again, I think we have strength in a networked world.
And we have strength where there’s a requirement to build these scaled experiences that keep players connected.
It’s not just EA who’ll benefit from this shift in the paradigm, but the industry as a whole as Wilson continued:
On balance, we think this is great for the industry. It will almost certainly extend the console cycle almost an infinite level if we get to the point where there’s just constant hardware upgrades and constant software upgrades. But we are able, through the scaling of our games, to keep the community always together.
Just about everybody making games seems to be excited about the idea of consoles ditching the usual cycle of unleashing new hardware every four to five years. After all, today’s consoles not only cater to just about everything that a gamer wants, but they’re also able to easily add in anything requested. If you’re patient enough that is. Hey, I can finally jam tracks on my Xbox One now while doing other stuff! Progress!