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Ubisoft's Guillemot: New consoles are overdue
Ubisoft's Guillemot: New consoles are overdue Exclusive
July 23, 2012 | By Chris Morris




With the current console generation in the midst of its eighth year -- and retail game sales sliding for the past seven months -- there's little argument that the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii have become a bit long in the tooth. There might be plenty of power left to exploit from their components, but from a consumer standpoint, people are ready for something new.

So is Yves Guillemot. The CEO and co-founder of Ubisoft says his company has plenty of strong titles doing well these days, but the publisher revels in new hardware launches.

"What we missed was a new console every five years," he says. "We have been penalized by the lack of new consoles on the market. I understand the manufacturers don't want them too often because it's expensive, but it's important for the entire industry to have new consoles because it helps creativity."

Ubisoft is typically one of the most prolific publishers when new systems hit. That can result in a few flops, but it also can open the doors for a new franchise. (Hopes are already high for Watch Dogs, which hasn't officially been announced as a next generation title, but the company's no comments tend to come with a wink.)

"It's a lot less risky for us to create new IPs and new products when we're in the beginning of a new generation," he says. "Our customers are very open to new things. Our customers are reopening their minds -- and they are really going after what's best. ... At the end of a console generation, they want new stuff, but they don't buy new stuff as much. They know their friends will play Call of Duty or Assassin's Creed so they go for that. So the end of a cycle is very difficult."

What a lot of people don't realize is those early risks often pay rewards throughout the life of that console cycle. Sometimes, that's just a matter of using the game's graphics engine in other titles, but every now and then, ideas in those new games can work their way into other titles.

For instance, notes Guillemot, if it weren't for Rayman: Raving Rabbids, there would never have been a Just Dance. (The idea for the Just Dance series was born from the dance mini-games that were a part of Raving Rabbids.)

"If you can't take risks because people don't buy, you don't innovate," he says. "And if you don't innovate, customers get bored."

Ubisoft, of course, will be rolling out new IPs for the Wii U. ZombiU was one of the most prominent examples of third-party support for the system at E3. While some publishers' CEOs have openly questioned the system, Guillemot notes that doomsayers have been wrong before.

"I think Nintendo has very often surprised us, so you never know," he says. "I think they've created something good, if the customer uses everything they have created, I think we can see a good success with that machine. That type of collaboration can be fun and also challenging at the same time. It's something has never been done before. ... Those guys are taking lots of risks with the games they create -- and they're extremely successful."

Still, while the Wii and the DS have been responsible for a big chunk of Ubisoft's fortunes this generation, Guillemot hedges when asked if he expects the company to be as big a contributor to the bottom line in the next cycle of game machines.

"Nintendo is very family oriented," he notes. "It's a different demographic, so we can't say one machine will be more important than the other."


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Comments


Karl E
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This ”console cycle” talk has got to stop. In any other tech industry, a CEO that based a business strategy on a series of data points, of which the latest are six, eleven and sixteen years old, would get fired.
He should be asked some more current questions. Such as: what are the specific features that would make millions of people want to buy a new console? Since his company’s future depends on this, he should have some more ideas than a controller with a touchscreen.

Michael Rooney
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That's not true at all. Historical context for trends is a very important part of every industry. I'd fire a CEO for ignoring historical data faster than I'd fire a CEO that was solely using it.

edit:

"He should be asked some more current questions. Such as: what are the specific features that would make millions of people want to buy a new console?"

It doesn't really matter if he asks those questions if new consoles aren't released, which is kind of his point.

Sylvester O'Connor
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Karl I love your response. Another question for him would be what specific features does your game have that is going to want to make people buy it instead of competitor A or B's title that looks just like it?

m m
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Such nonsense. The industry does not lag because of the need for new consoles. The creative potential for this generation of consoles has not even come close to being exhausted. It is not even as well mine das that of the last generation, let alone the 16 bit era.

No, it's not the hardware. It is the software developers, who have opted out of clever, unique gameplay and story telling for the quick and easy profits of a mass consumer model. They have followed the music industry into the quagmire of executive board meeting design and exploitative sales models that make a consumer pay twice for one product in the guise of "downloadable content".

Don't lie to yourselves.

Michael Batista
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I do not agree with the reasoning that the industry has had success due to a seemingly apparent 5 year release schedule for consoles before this generations 8 year + wait. Video Game consoles do not run on a 5 year generational cycle, they were not intentioned to operate in that way, it is simply the way things turned out as technology rapidly evolved in the past decade or two.

I truly prefer having this long period of time with my consoles, it is very nice to know that my hardware has latest 8 years and is still going strong. I would prefer this kind of trend to continue, Hardware can be updated without an entire new console being around to outdo it every 5 years. It seems like a nice length of time, but I for one can not afford to have all the newest toys every 5 years.

Evan Combs
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It may not have been intended, but it did happen. Thus the big third party publishers and developers built their cycles around this 5 to 6 year cycle. Since this cycle jumped from the 5 years to 8 years instead of a gradual increase the giants weren't prepared for such an extended generation.

That is something I think many of you might be missing is it is all about the giants, the EAs, Ubisofts, and Activisions. The bigger the corporation the slower they change, and the less easily they can change to a changing climate. They make these plans, and cycles based on history. If history changes to quickly they are slow to react. The little guys have less of a problem with this, as they tend to be more flexible and agile.

@Wreschnig
They are getting 8 years because the expected release date of the Xbox3 and PS4 is 8 years after the Xbox 360 was released. A new generation is marked by key points, not by the age of a specific console within that generation. The starting point of this generation with the Xbox 360 which will be 8 years old in November of 2013. The PS3 may be younger, but the PS3 came out a year after this generation started. There is more to deciding when a generation begins and ends than when Sony decides to release a new console.

Before you start telling them to give you a break, you should start looking at the whole picture instead of a Sony centric picture.

Sylvester O'Connor
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Another thing that I keep noticing is that people keep asking for new consoles especially from Sony/MS without really knowing what the benefit of the consoles will be. Historically, every console that came brought an advancement in technology as well. Now I don't want to come across as arrogant, so please, if someone knows what kind of advancement the technology would be with newer consoles this time around please let me know.

And I have sean Unreal Engine 4 and I have to be honest, from a technical standpoint, it is not a real advancement. There are some features that will make it easier from a developers perspective, but it won't really push anything further. Again, I speak just for myself, and this includes the Wii U, I don't see any reason for me to buy a new console if there is not something it can offer me that is unlike what I can get now.

Sylvester O'Connor
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Christian while I do agree with you in regards to the Wii U, my biggest fear is something that happened during the Wii's lifetime and that is, depsite the touch-screen, how many developers are really going to utilize the touch-screen aside from Nintendo themselves?

It's for this same reason that Nintendo themselves are also putting out a standard control pad because I think even they know that their innovative tablet pad might not be the standard and they would again alienate themselves from being able to port over most 3rd party games. Then we fall into Nintendo getting more ports which is more of the same that MS/Sony get.

Also understand that I don't want everyone to agree with me. I liked your answer and although I am not fanboy of Sony/MS, Nintendo lost me a few years ago during the N64 years. They also promise these great new inventions and then what happens is 3rd party games usually don't play as well as the other platforms and 1st party games, whiie some are truly great games, are sparse with something coming every 2 to 3 years. Again, I am willing to give them a chance because I also believe that competition breeds creativity and I wouldn't want to see Nintendo become Sega. But they have to prove to me that they are willing to committ this time to really bringing some unique ideas to the table. And also, I can't keep playing Zelda, Mario and Metroid over and over again. Granted, most games are all along the same lines. If you have played one FPS, they all kind of stick to certain ground rules. They sometimes just do the same rules differently which is noticable for me. That's all. But here is to their success!

Jim Bo
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@Wreschnig

"In that case you can't count PS2 to Xbox 360, you have to count Dreamcast to PS3. And that's 8 years."

He meant from the start of a generation of consoles to the start of the next generation.

So the Dreamcast(1999) to the XBox360(2005), which is 6 years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_game_console#Third_generation

I'm not trying to argue or derive any conclusions about different generations... I'm just saying it was not 8 years between the last two generations.

Carlo Delallana
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I have to question any statement that says creativity is held hostage by the lack of new technology.

God of War was launched at the end of the Playstation 2's lifespan, a little over a year before the launch of the PS3. Since then it has become a major franchise for Sony. I'm sure there are other examples out there of late stage new IP that have crossed over to the next generation.

Michael Pianta
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I can't agree with these comments. I understand what he means - that it makes more sense financially to launch a new IP at the start of the console generation (rather than saying that it's actually harder to be creative with older hardware, which is how many are interpreting his remarks and which is manifestly false) - but I just feel like, if consumers only buy sequels, surely that's because companies have trained them that way?

Only in the sense that the relative lack of software around launch allows a risky idea to get more attention can it possibly be better to go with new hardware. Everything else seems worse - the dev costs will be higher, the user base will be smaller, the total success of the platform isn't even clear yet (like with the Wii-U - is that going to be more like the Wii or the GameCube?) I wonder if smaller devs agree with him? I mean, perhaps Ubisoft isn't concerned about higher dev costs, because they can afford to deal with that. Do you think a smaller company like Double Fine (off the top of my head) is anxious to see new hardware? I highly doubt Double Fine feels like they can't be creative on existing hardware - look at the games they've been releasing!

And then there's just the issue of whether consumers actually want new hardware. For myself I haven't even gotten around to buying a PS3 yet, and I definitely will not be buying new hardware day one, because I just can't afford to spend more than $300 on a new system. As far as I'm concerned, they could keep this generation going several more years, I'm in no hurry to upgrade, and talking to my friends I know I'm not the only one who thinks that way. I feel like he may be misjudging the situation.

Wes Martinez
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I bought a 360 when it came out, I can say I'm proud to make that purchase. I was so surprised to see the lack of IP for the PS3 when it launched cause PS1 and PS2 held the torch after Nintendo did. Then it went to 360 IMO, the amount of good games on their kills PS3 and I have to say PSP and the new PSVita have also failed to for the same reason. They want to sell us expensive tech because the 60-70 on each game isn't enough.

I will admit PS3 has some good games but not enough for me to still dish out 300 for a system. I'm sad for Nintendo but at the same time they stuck to their young audience for a long time and its carried them through the years. I would have liked to see HD gaming with more adult content for Nintendo. They made me excited for deeper interaction with movement gameplay but the games sucked, you can only play wii sports for so long....

Sylvester O'Connor
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While I like what both Michael and Wes have said, I also agree that this argument of creativity being stifled due to no new consoles is ignorant and sounds more like some political workings than gaming experience for Yves Guillemont. Why would any developer, big or small, not want to put out a game that will obviously cost them way less to make especially with consoles that already have a great install base and with tech that they can not only use but even push to their limits?

It's laziness in my opinion because many of these Devs and publishers have wanted to follow Activisions model for putting out yearly sequels and generating millions for doing it. THQ wanted their kind of COD in Homefront, EA tried to hit the mark with both Medal of Honor and Battlefield, and are trying hard with Crysis. I mean it's no wonder people are buying games because the games that are coming out are clones. Some well done and some poorly done but clones nonetheless.

And, while I know that not many play PSN/XBLA games, the types of creativity that has been shown in those downloadable games has been amazing. Granted, if you like that kind of creative spin like Limbo or even Journey, it shows that you can take a chance and there still be people that will buy it. It just really offends me that such a person like Yves would say something so ignorant. It's almost like politics where I think someone paid him to say that.

Matt Ployhar
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Consoles have run their course. The entire market has largely capsized. If for any reason the market conditions are so much different today than they were say ~7 years ago.. (Even 3 years for that matter). Free to Play, iPads, cross platform gaming, HTML 5, and many other advancements are all examples of things that the ISVs need to keep tabs on whne they're launching any new IP. The days of putting all your IP into 1 or 2 baskets simply doesn't make any more sense IMO.

Alan Rimkeit
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Free to Play, iPads, cross platform gaming, HTML 5? Yes those do exist, but I can't play any of those things on my couch from my 42" 1080p HDTV. So until that happens, I want a console. PS3 is great for me now. My friends have 360. That is fun too. Don't really care for the Wii as the software games selection is not to robust.

But consoles running their course? Don't bet money on that. Both Microsoft and Sony are going to add streaming games into the next gen of their consoles. Keeping disc based games, along with downloaded games while adding streaming tech gives the consumer more choices than ever.

I still thing that PS3 has a lot more potential in it and will do fine for now. They can being on the next consoles in a year or so and I am fine with it. I still have to finish Skyrim, Batman Arkham Asylum, Uncharted 3, among a pile of other rocking games.

Tom Baird
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Well... PS3 has Free to Play games, iPads can use Airplay (as well as MS's Smart Glass that is coming soon), Portal 2 for PS3/PC is one example of consistent cross-platform gaming, and current gen supports HTML5: Metro UI is supposed to be HTML5, and the PS3's browser has HTML5 support(even if the PS3 browser is crap), and Smart Glass is being advertised as being able to browse with IE, providing another HTML5 console avenue. These technologies are all in the current generation. Can you explain why any of those listed elements are not able to be implemented with the current consoles, or why they would reduce the need for a tv-based console?

Not to mention that if you take HTML5 out of the browser, you realize it's total crap relative to existing and even out of date technologies/engines. It's singular redeeming feature is the browser manufacturers are actually taking time to implement it (or at least the parts that benefit them), unlike much better available technologies, like NaCl.

Chris Melby
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Well said Tom!

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Tom Baird
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so a $300-$500 console is bad, but you were just championing in an above comment the Apple TV, which is a $100 box, with a $500-$800 controller, with only a small subgroup of iPad games providing any interesting Airplay features. If you want a TV-based gaming console, any of the consoles strike me as a better deal than the Apple TV + iPad.

Harlan Sumgui
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aaa videogame sales are driven by hype. this generation has its hype engine burnt out. the industry needs a new generation to get people reaching for their wallets for the next big OMG best-game-ever prerelease buildup.

Cordero W
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Why are we still listening to Ubisoft? They get a hit or two with Assassin's Creed and Just Dance and suddenly they are suppose to be legitimate voices on console cycles?

Brett Williams
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They are the third largest publisher in the world. Consoles still being a very closed market publishers mostly control this space and it's not the open market the PC is. They have experience launching hundreds of titles across several console generations dating back 10+ years. I would say they are qualified to speak on how console lifecycles impact their business.

Cordero W
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That wasn't my point. The point is, it seems once you have a blockbuster hit, you are free to speak about whatever you wish. And Ubisoft has been talking a lot lately over the recent years. There were a few articles before that I didn't enjoy reading from them, such as when they spoke about the Wii and waiting for the Wii U's potential. I give them their props for sticking with the Wii ever since its launch, and it has given them lots of profit, but I don't really agree that we need new consoles cycles cause that's being ignorant of the industry change we've undergone, along with the economy. It's simply a business speech meant to put out some "expert opinion" for others to listen to, as if to tell Sony and Microsoft to get with the game.

Omar Gonzalez
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sight...

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Cordero W
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@Dave: The sleeping man sees not the mark of a sun upon his face.

Raymond Grier
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"With the current console generation in the midst of its eighth year -- and retail game sales sliding for the past seven months -- there's little argument that the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii have become a bit long in the tooth. "

Wii sales are down because their aren't a lot of new Wii games coming out, development has switched to the WiiU. So slumping sales don't justify the new console, the new console explains the slump in sales. I could and will keep playing my Wii for years to come though better hardware will always be appreciated.

Wes Martinez
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I have to say that consoles are a dying technology, I dont know if anyone has ever tried OnLive, I did and I have to say I was impressed on how it worked. I think the future of everything data wise is going to be cloud based eventually. That being said, networks are slowly getting faster which allows for people to just stream what they see as opposed to the console, tablet or phone doing it on the client end. Why ever pay for a console ever again. People may say, what if your connection is lost you're screwed, perhaps but you cant deny that this is the direction computing is going. Computing is done at the companies through their servers and all we have to worry about is our devices being fast enough to display and stream the information.

So to me its suspect first of all that a developer is saying they need new consoles. This tells me he knows nothing about the creative process or console hardware. You may try to pass that XBOX 360 is getting outdated and that may be the case on some of the high texture/effects games out there. PS3 on the other hand should be good for another 3-4 years. 8 CORES!!!! They are not pushing the system at all, they need better programmers or be willing to re-write code in their engines or create new code for their engines to take advantage of all the cores. The creativity is lacking in the minds of the CEO BS SALES idiots that are directing what creative routes are being taken based on financial statistics. Sure you can say its bad business but where do you draw the line between selling out or staying true to the art form. Frig you can apply this to any industry nowadays, where do you draw the line between cutting jobs and hiring 3rd world countries to build our consoles and tech, aparently they put in place nets on the balconys so they dont commit suicide. This business culture is spreading like a virus throughout our society and is tearing down all industries that are not adapting to its cut throat / money is the bottom line type operations.

I know I went off a little, but its to show that its not creativity driving the games its money and how much they can make off of you, dont ever think that the direction the gaming industry is going is a creative one, its one of regurgitated ideas and scams. Sometimes we get to see ideas break into new areas but its rare and usually from an indie company cause the big boys are too scared to lose money, screw off.

Ole Berg Leren
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As far as I understood the basics of computers during class, the chokepoint in modern computers is RAM. While every other core part of data-processing has advanced exponentially, the RAM has doubled every so often. It's lagging behind.

And isn't the RAM solution on the PS3 kind of shabby? It is what broke Skyrim for a lot of people, after all. Splitting 512mb RAM on the GPU and the CPU, I mean. The cores don't really help if the RAM can't hold enough data to keep up with the speed of the CPU. Some things you can't foresee, I guess. Even the console-players notice the consolification of games when the tech on them is too divergent.

Disclaimer: I'm like Han Solo on Lightsabers when it comes to computers. Seen them work, kind of know the gist of it. Totally prefer laserpistols when it comes to a fight.

As a side-note on economy: it's what happens when the paradigm is "constant growth." The "energy" for the growth has to come from somewhere. In a lot of cases, this means exploiting workers in foreign countries. Human lives as resources. Man, this sounds really esoteric when I reread it.

E = HumanLives - WorkConditions / WorkHours

You could probably make a graph and find out when production per life is the highest.

Evan Combs
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@Leren

I believe that is the choke point of the current generation, but from my understanding we have gotten past the point where RAM is the major choke point. It obviously is still a choke point, and can be a major one, but I think it is THE major choke point anymore. I mean just a few years after the Xbox came out a 2GBs RAM was pretty much standard on any new computer, now that is reaching to 6GBs.

But like you I am not the best with hardware. So if anyone with better knowledge wants to come in and correct me please do.

Ian Uniacke
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Saying the PS3 has 8 cores is the equivalent of saying an octopus has 10 legs. It's both numerically incorrect and teologically misleading. I'm not saying that people couldn't get more out of the ps3 but the best programmers in the world would probably not get more than 50% performance improvement than we already have under the most ideal of conditions.

Wes Martinez
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I agree on the point of the RAM, what people are saying makes total sense about there not being enough memory to buffer all the data coming from 8 cores and plus splitting it with the GPU. Now that I think about it, graphics cards on PC's have had 512mb dedicated on board before those consoles came out, its odd that they didn't think about all these in the planning. Its something we should look out for in the next gen. Maybe this is exactly the reason for them.

Joshua Darlington
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There have been 5models of iPhone released in the past 5 years.
iPhone
iPhone 3G
iPhone 3GS
iPhone 4
iPhone 4S

There have been 2models of Xbox released in the past 11 years?
3 (6?) models of Playstation released in the past 18 years?

No wonder people look to mobile as the future of games.

Wes Martinez
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I have to say I friggin love my iphone because of the games on it. All the final fantasies, chrono trigger, street fighters, sonic racing is sick, final fight, bards tale, max payne, sword of mana, chaos rings...I could go on more. Yea sure you can play some through emulator on android but I feel that Apple has made an amazing effort to bring out old IP with some updates or quality new IP. I have a Android tablet and I'm struggling to find any good games, theres definately no cross platform releases like there is on the consoles. Makes me want an iPad instead...

I think the 3GS, 4S and The New iPad were all gimmicks to make money, someone had mention how we are ungrateful about new releases of consoles. I think its just noticing the difference between a real technology breakthrough or just beefing up what they could have already done in the first place, its strategically done to suck you dry. Look at TV's as well...

Kenneth Blaney
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""If you can't take risks because people don't buy, you don't innovate," he says. "And if you don't innovate, customers get bored.""

I'm guessing the next step after "customers get bored" is "customers don't buy". If that is the case it would seem that you could just innovate anywhere along a console life cycle as then customers wouldn't get bored and they would continue to buy (which means you can innovate some more).
I get that launching a new IP is tough, and establishing it early on as a super great next-gen franchise is a good idea, but lets not pretend that Uncharted had some wholly innovative gameplay that did anything Tomb Raider didn't. The advantage of the new hardware is you get to refocus on graphics and really wow a bunch of people by taking a big step forward in fidelity as opposed to the incremental ones you have to take during a console life cycle.

jin choung
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yech.... it doesn't help creativity. it helps profitability. it helps marketing. those are not the same thing.

Brian Matthys
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You want to know the problem? MS and Sony and Nintendo don't care about the games. They're turning the consoles into "social hubs", a place to watch netflix, or check Facebook/ESPN...The big feature highlighted in the 720 design document? The "Kinect 2". Where's better hardware? Wasn't the graphics card they were considering like an AMD 6670 or something? Cmon....that's so old its not funny... Gaming is changing, casual gaming is gaining ground, and the companies are conforming to that because it's profitable...

Billy Bissette
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People are "very open to new things" at the beginning of a new console because they are desperate to buy and play new games for their new console, but are faced with only a few options. Releasing near a system's launch can, at least for a while, allow poor games to post sales figures comparable to much better titles. As time passes, people have more options, and while that means people may get less experimental, it also means poor games, half-finished games, and glorified tech demos start to lose their free pass.

Jeremie Sinic
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At the beginning of a new console cycle, people have no choice, so they buy whatever remotely suits their gaming tastes.
That's good for those companies that rush --or not-- products for new hardware launches, but I don't see what good it does to creativity...
Hell, they could release Watch Dogs on any current hardware and it would probably sell well, even with downgraded graphics, because the concept is intriguing.

Zirani Jean-Sylvestre
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The only reason they want new hardware is for the launch of new franchises. Indeed, for many reason stated above, it's easier to start a new franchise earlier in the platform lifespan. You have to admit one thing: Ppl buy what they know. Publishers learnt that from the 90s. Franchise is EVERYTHING. Whatever creativity, franchise pays much.

So the reasoning is simple: Making a (multi)million seller is good business. Making a year-to-year iteration of a (multi)million seller is the goal of every big publisher. Making the king of the hill of a genre (COD, Wow, GTA...) is their dream.

And btw, the hardware limitations are real. Even if you have the best programmers, there's a maximum in what you can get from these machines. While I agree there's still room there and there, it's pretty much limited: Ram, GPU, disc transfer. This limits you in term of simulation quality, hi-res textures, number of polygons, streaming, etc... They could release Watch Dog, but they would have to limit it in a way or another. Doesn't mean the game can't be fun.

Kevin Fishburne
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A couple of quotes from paragraphs one and three:

Chris: "There might be plenty of power left to exploit from [current generation consoles'] components, but from a consumer standpoint, people are ready for something new."

Ubisoft: "We have been penalized by the lack of new consoles on the market. I understand the manufacturers don't want them too often because it's expensive, but it's important for the entire industry to have new consoles because it helps creativity."

I think these points are true, and have always been true, but have been less so with each successive generation of consoles. In the beginning new hardware for gamers meant new gameplay experiences. New genres, new mechanics, and graphics and sound so greatly improved that they actually conveyed more meaningful information. You could -do- more in a game. Your senses were supplied with more detailed information and at a faster pace, thereby making your experience more immersive, engaging and hopefully more satisfying.

As hardware advances the differences between console generations are having a less significant impact because they're more about improving fidelity than removing the technical obstacles to advancements in gameplay and information conveyance (generally by no fault of their own I should add).

I think console hardware has reached the point (arguably starting from the previous generation) where the only barrier to creative expression is the talent and budget of the developers. Better hardware is nice; as a developer myself I deeply understand that. However I don't think it will do anything more at this point than allow us to be lazier programmers (no!) and throw more polygons, particles, frames per second and physics at our next great game.

When people talk about wanting something "new", I just hope they take this point in stride: You don't need a new generation of consoles to make something new. We crossed that line a long time ago.

Matt Ployhar
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(Great discussion! This is why I love being in the Games Industry so much)

@Alan: To make a long story short. A great recent gaming example of mine is Skyrim. Simple HDMI cable (Far cheaper to buy that than a Console) - allows me the ability to play Skyrim on a couch using my PC. Better yet - I can also un-plug - & play that game literally anywhere I want. (Bedroom, iCafe's, 5 Airports, at 33'k, Hotel Rooms, etc). So... speaking for myself personally...I feel like I'm getting FAR more bang for my $59.99

From my perspective - Consoles look more & more like the ~50lb desktops dinosaurs that are out there. Sure...they may never go away - but what's the point? All the Smartglass, Gaikai/Onlive/OTOY advancements, bringing F2P games to the Console, throwing $10's of millions at Publishers (like Ubisoft here) to sew up exclusives, etc really doesn't help the Consoles fate at all. Let alone really help you the Consumer either. Unless of course we all want to start paying $99 for our games and see even more AAA Pubs go out of Business.

My point about Consoles 'capsizing' is simple. They make their money on the SW (as loss leaders) who are now practically giving them away. (e.g. Buy a back to school PC & get a free Xbox 360 anyone?). Consoles are desperate to be more multi-function., grow their install bases, and so forth. Yet... this makes me laugh. The more multi-function they become... the more PC-like they become. So yeah... that coupled with convergence, anemic economic climates, F2P, etc creates a VERY difficult climate for Consoles to thrive in.

They were a great platform for their time, they've run out of runway, time to take the key learnings & bake that into an OS, or salvage it in other ways.

Tim Eager
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Total aside, but you're paying roughly 10x too much for your hdmi cables. Check out Monoprice or similar sellers

Gern Blanston
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New consoles are long overdue. New hardware brings about greater opportunities that are unavailable on current consoles. Let's look at what this current generation offered gaming that last gen could not:
HDD/flash storage, online play across the board, downloadable gaming, HD gaming/entertainment, motion controls, etc... I feel that people saying it's okay to go so long without new innovations is helping make the market stagnant. There is consumer apathy toward the current generation, and for good reason. Next gen won't just be about better resolutions and framerates, but different ways to play, both alone and together, that we can't imagine at the moment. Why would so many people fight against the possibility of new ideas for how to play games when many developers (like the one featured in this article) are basically begging for the industry to evolve? And if the industry stays exactly the same for too long, people are just going to leave.

We, the gamers and developers, are essentially being punished because the console manufacturers either A.) had too big of egos to admit that their consoles wouldn't lose interest within 5 years, or B.) care more about overcompensating on lost profits from 7 years ago to do what their job is - make new and better gaming experiences.

At the moment, I could care less about current gen and next gen, as these console manufacturers don't seem to care about building excitement for their products anymore. And developers are losing interest as well, obviously. I'm more interested in the idea of Ouya because it's something different, new, and has the lowest cost of entry from any other hardware option. They hype for that machine isn't based off of ego, but from word-of-mouth, and it's something genuine that's lacking from the rest of the console market.

I want new IPs as well as Guillemot, and many of them simply CANNOT happen on current gen consoles. New hardware, new control schemes, new online options, etc. will allow for new gaming experiences we cannot currently imagine. New options will push the console business forward, not the same old thing. Complacency has turned to apathy, which has turned developers and gamers away. Things need to change ASAP.

Gern Blanston
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Joe,

It's an unproven console because it's not out yet. Unless you can detail exactly how that console will function (online distribution, etc.), there is no reason whatsoever to doubt its potential. There is a different kind of enthusiasm between gamers and developers that doesn't exist with current console manufacturers. It's been officially announced that Ouya will be the size of a Rubik's Cube. Name one other console with that amount of space saving and portability. Every bit of information that comes out about this new, inexpensive console shows exactly what I'm saying we need - Something Different.

-Ouya is a new and unique form of gaming, with the smallest console hardware ever. Check.
-Ouya's controller has a touchpad (and is cheaper than all other console game pads). Check.
-If they're able to have a strong online front and offer games in unique ways while being cheaper than their competitors (which isn't a stretch at all), then there's another check.

If you can't see that this console may very well be exactly what the market needs in order to grow and become more creative, I suppose we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one.

Jonathan Murphy
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Progress is measured in breakthroughs. They exist now, but the price and development is still a little bit off. If you rush out a next gen console now it's not going to be next gen.

A lot of big companies have grown into an evolutionary dead end. I still see regular people (the real market) jump at $10 games, and cringe at $60. If they go into the next cycle with $60 games, $500 consoles they will only shrink further. Adapt or die. The only rule of business that matters.

Christopher Engler
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"retail game sales [have been] sliding for the past seven months"

True, but let's look at what came out eight to ten months ago. September-December of last year we had: Batman Arkham City, Modern Warfare 3, Skyrim, Uncharted 3, and Assassin's Creed- Revelations. I understand that this year's drop is in comparison to 2011 year-to-date numbers, but as developers hold off on releasing their very best games till autumn, we're bound to see a bit of a drought the other nine months of the year.

Combine this with a long, slow economic recovery, high unemployment among younger wage earners, the mass adoption of tablet and phone gaming, and a burgeoning online gaming community, and we'll see it's not the console's fault. Guillemot is right in one regard: people do want something different in gaming; they want value. Gamers aren't in any position to pay an additional $400-500 for a new console in order to play next generation games no matter how great they look.

Eric Geer
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Ubisoft....I can has money to buy new console?

I believe some of the most innovative and creative games come at the end of a console generation. Developers are finally comfortable with the hardware....costs of come down considerably compared to the beginning of the gen...the install base is as big as it's going to get.

Seems to me that this would be a perfect storm for creative minds....innovation doesn't need to come from the hardware....it needs to come from the software too! So far this generation there hasn't been much innovation outside of the motion controls and related software, and the "experience" based games. All other genres have been pumping out 2s, 3s, and 4s, of already established games. Obviously Nintendo has done some interesting things, but other's seem to be stuck....but Nintendo has always been the ones that say graphics don't dictate good games...gameplay does.

Bob Johnson
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Ubi knows early adopters buy anything which is why they love console launches. They can release a bunch of half finished crap and it sells because it is on a new console with little else to play. It becomes a cheap way to play test ideas as they actually make off of it.

I thought Red Steel could have been a great game and franchise. The design was there, but too much pressure to release at launch even though it wasnt polished enough.

Games released late in life cycles have to compete against a back catalog of great games at cheaper prices and against established franchises of that generation.


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