Gamers want a new Xbox and PlayStation. Gamers are getting a new Nintendo Wii U console next year. Sony and Microsoft have each stated their intentions of not releasing new hardware anytime soon. So do we really need new game boxes? EA doesn't think we do.
EA, the world's largest third-party publisher's been around the block enough times to know a thing or two about video games.
While new systems seem logical — the Xbox 360 and PS3 are five and six years old, merely adding a prettier coat of lighting and textures doesn't seem to evolve things much.
According to EA's president, Frank Gibeau:
It's hard for me to conceive what you would do on a PlayStation 4. The displays are already 1080p, you're already connected to the internet... You could make it faster, you could have more polys and you could up the graphics a little bit... but at what cost? It'll be interesting to see how [Sony and Microsoft] think about it in terms of the next generation but it seems to me that customers are happy, and we're happy to build games on [360 and PS3] right now.
The man's got a point. While, I'd love prettier games, I'm still investing in today's consoles. The combination of software updates and new peripherals like Kinect and Move are factors that are making this generation really long.
EA's CEO John Riccitiello even said that 3D gaming isn't what gamers want and that the company is focusing on online and social.
This is where Nintendo comes in. Its Wii U tablet controller is where it hopes to differentiate itself amongst the rest of the HD-consoles. That's what will set it apart. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 had HD from the start, but they've duked it out for little margins — games on both systems are pretty close in graphical prowess. What sets those systems apart?
What will set a PS4 apart from a PS3? More RAM? More Cell power? Blu-ray 2.0? What?
I'm sure we'll see the PS3 and Xbox 720 or whatever they'll be called in the next year or two in some prototype form, but I think video games are about to flatline. Heck, even Sony's reinventing its virtual lounge, the PlayStation Home into a social games platform.
If that's not a signal that a lot of work can still be done with software updates to breathe life into today's consoles, I don't know what is.