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Ubisoft CEO Says Next Gen Consoles Closer Than We Think 326

An anonymous reader writes "Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot tells CNBC that he believes the next generation of video game systems isn't as far away as the public has been led to believe. Guillemot noted that public demand for the best machine possible, as well as coming competition from companies such as OnLive could spur Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo to roll out new systems sooner than they want. That's not good news for publishers, though, as he says games in the next generation will likely cost $60 million to create."
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Ubisoft CEO Says Next Gen Consoles Closer Than We Think

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  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Monday June 15, 2009 @03:11PM (#28338857)

    If you go back all the way to the Atari 2600, you'll notice a consistent pattern of 5 year console "lifespans" (most recently, the Xbox and PS2 broke the pattern a little at 4 and 6 years respectively, but not by much).

    Atari 2600 -1977
    Atari 5200 - 1982
    NES - 1986
    SNES - 1991
    N64 - 1996
    PS1 - 1995
    PS2 - 2000
    PS3 - 2006
    Xbox - 2001
    Xbox360 - 2005

    Of course, no one wants to admit that they have a new console just around the corner until they're pretty damn close to having it ready (within a year or so), lest it kill current-gen sales. But there is NO WAY it's going to be 2015 before we see a new Xbox 720 or PS4 (as some are trying to claim). Even with the economic downturn, there is no way we're no going to start seeing see ten year gaps between generations, when it's been 5 year gaps for the last three decades.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jameskojiro ( 705701 )

      You forgot the Nintendo Gamecube, but to be honest a lot of people forget it too.

      • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *

        I thought I would give Nintendo a break on that one, but okay:

        NES - 1986
        SNES - 1991
        N64NES - 1986
        SNES - 1991
        N64 - 1996
        Gamecube - 2001
        Wii - 2006

      • I wish I could forget it. Unfortunately, I've got a stack of mediocre games in my closet that won't let me.

    • But 2015 will be the year of the PS3 []...

      • It may have to share the title with Linux. 2015 is also slated to be "The Year of Linux on the Desktop". Hopefully by then a Linux port of Duke Nukem' Forever will be done as well.
    • by blahplusplus ( 757119 ) on Monday June 15, 2009 @03:23PM (#28339097)

      "... there is no way we're no going to start seeing see ten year gaps between generations, when it's been 5 year gaps for the last three decades."

      I don't agree here, graphical horsepower of the next console or two away will push the limits of cost structure to develop a game that doesn't sell into the millions, while gaming has gone more mainstream it isn't like the movies, developers still complain about piracy on the PC when their games sell into the millions on console and PC (Call of Duty 4 dev's, I'm looking at you). Many games are totally viable if game developers would stop trying to be the movie industry, somewhere along the line companies started seeing themselves as movie-esque. I don't need my games to be realistic or have real graphics, what I've noticed as we've increased graphics the fun factor has stayed the same or has decreased in some games. I've passed over a lot of recent releases that I haven't even got around to playing because I simply wasn't that interested in these games.

      I mean think of mario the game as a concept, imagine you tried to sell it today: It's a game about a plumber that runs around stomping on turtle-beings called koopa's and these things called goomba's, and there's this dragon-turtle esque thing we call koopa who's invades the mushroom kingdom.

      Instead we see stuff like:

      Assasions creed
      Mass effect
      Gears of war
      etc, etc.

      All trying to be 'movie games' or 'be real'.

      I think Prince of persia is one of the only games that doesn't try to take the whole movie thing to far and be a game first. The original Prince of persia: Sands of time was one of my favorite games, I thought Warrior within was ok but I didn't overall like the second and third games as much as the first.

      • by RedK ( 112790 )
        A slight correction. The Original Prince of Persia was not Sands of Time and it was much superior to all this 3D crap being pushed out by Ubisoft.
        • Sorry I mean the FIRST game in the sands of time trilogy my bad.

        • You misunderstood the parent. He means the original game in the Sands of Time series, which some people consider to include the much shittier Warrior Within and The Two Thrones.
        • PoP Sands of Time was a revolution in 3D platforming. Even in referencing the original PoP I wouldn't call it inferior.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sopssa ( 1498795 )

        Its bad to compare games from 80's and 90's, because it was all new then so everything felt exciting, besides theres some nostalgia towards those early years that probably happened to be lots of peoples teenage years aswell.

        Besides, theres still Mario games released for Wii. Actually, Mario Galaxy was damn fun and it had working, not photorealistic graphics.

        Now I do enjoy [] the great [] graphics aswell. It makes you feel more in the game, in good and bad. It gives impressions and woah moments. But its not requir

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Its bad to compare games from 80's and 90's, because it was all new then so everything felt exciting, besides theres some nostalgia towards those early years that probably happened to be lots of peoples teenage years aswell.

          There's also the fact that the '80s and '90s saw videogames as a low-budget, high-margin industry. People came out with everything and anything for those original systems. Sometimes it stuck and became a franchise, sometimes it made money but didn't justify sequels, and sometimes it failed. But I remember much more sheer variety than we have today because developers had the freedom to try different things instead of all competing on how many polys they can push and how many innocents they can have the pl

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Hatta ( 162192 )

      You included Atari in that timeline, but left out Sega? For shame.

      Sega Master System - 1986
      Sega Genesis - 1989
      Sega Saturn - 1995
      Sega Dreamcast - 1999

      So 3 years, 6 years, and 4 years. Almost 5 on average.

    • by spire3661 ( 1038968 ) on Monday June 15, 2009 @03:44PM (#28339453) Journal

      This is the first gen of consoles that can really leverage the internet, so past performance is a bad indicator in this case. All 3 machines have digital money printing services and all 3 are acceptable. At this point there isnt a huge pent up need for more detailed graphics like in previous gens. We have reached the 'good enough' stage. Ill be conservative and say we are looking at a 6-8 year cycle on this gen of hardware.

    • I've never understood why console manufacturers don't try to make their consoles last longer. They're hugely expensive to make, hugely expensive for the consumer to buy, and have frequently made the manufacturer a net loss on sales.

      Where the big money for the manufacturers has always been is game licensing, game retail, peripherals, upgrades and associated services. The making and selling of a new console generally seems to take a big chunk out of this core business model.

      If a manufacturer would make a cons

    • As someone who just recently purchased a PS/2, I'd go so far as to say that it has yet to give up the ghost. While a lot of development effort is being put into the PS/3, it's hard to call the PS2 dead when new games are still being released.

      • by Hatta ( 162192 )

        Are there any PS2 exclusives still being released, or are they all just watered down PS3 titles?

    • I agree with most everything you are saying.

      To add on to what you have said, lets not forget that timing is of critical importance in terms of early adoption and getting the brand recognition constructed for your system. If anyone of the big three gave a solid date on when their console was going to be released you can be damn sure that the other two are going to be talking to their people seeing if they can beat them out the door with their next gen system. They are probably having these discussions alread

  • From the article:

    The idea behind OnLive is the company's servers will run the game, and send a videostream through your home's Internet connection. Your controller and button mashes are sent via the Internet to OnLive's servers. The experience, though, is seemless -- as if you were playing a copy on a machine at home.

    That might work for a slow game like an RPG, but good luck getting a twitch game like Tetris [] to feel lag-free through a home Internet connection, even in urban areas of developed countries.

    • Re:llaagg (Score:4, Insightful)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Monday June 15, 2009 @03:35PM (#28339337) Journal
      You know how America's Army is a video game that is also a recruitment tool for the army? Onlive is a video game system that is also a recruitment tool for our clandestine precognition enhanced assassin program. Anybody who can get a decent score in a twitch game gets an interview.

      I honestly don't know why anybody has any hope for OnLive. The current best-available thin client connection mechanisms are discernibly worse than local even when running basic 2D office stuff on a 100Mb LAN. Unless they are bundling genuine magic in every box, I don't know how they could hope to make 3D gaming over even decent home ISPs not utterly suck.
      • Unless they are bundling genuine magic in every box

        They are putting real magic into the machine, but the magic is very insincere.

        Like the other day I was beta testing Command & Conquer for Onlive, and the magic was saying how it just loved to instantly transfer packets for an exciting game like that for me, but just last week it was saying how RTS games were board games for Ritalin-addled "tweentards" who couldn't hack a thinking game like Civ. Oh but now that an RTS was going to be a flagship game it

  • by Millennium ( 2451 ) on Monday June 15, 2009 @03:18PM (#28339015)

    Yeah, right. More like "Ubisoft wants more easy graphics-are-everything cash-ins and the current crop of consoles is losing its marketing effectiveness."

    Some 50% of the marketplace currently indicates that public demand is not, in fact, for "the best machine possible": people just want better games, and they don't care very much about the technology used to deliver them. The only ones demanding "the best machine possible" are technophiles more interested in the hardware than they are in the games, and Ubisoft is looking to throw them a couple of buzzwords as an easy way to spur sales.

    • In fact, games are expensive when they are licensed, probably 95% of the cost of a game comes from the license.

      I have been a game developer for a long time, and it was known that 50% of the budget of a game was used for marketing.

      Ubisoft is also well known for messing games, because they want to build the cheapest possible games (see the pitiful experience of Splinter Cell with the Shangai team [] ).

  • I doubt it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Itchyeyes ( 908311 ) on Monday June 15, 2009 @03:22PM (#28339089) Homepage

    Something tells me that if consumers aren't ready to fork over money for new hardware, console makers aren't ready to turn their backs on products that still haven't, or are just now starting to, turn a profit, and game developers aren't ready to start making games for hardware with even higher development costs, it's not going to happen. Anyone who jumps the gun here is going to see exactly what Sony did with the PS3, that is consumers and developers clinging to older hardware as long as they can while the newer, overpriced machines languish on shelves for a couple years until everyone is ready.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      the newer, overpriced machines languish on shelves for a couple years until everyone is ready.

      That's the word, right there. Microsoft is still selling Xbox systems as a loss, but do you know why the keep doing it? Two reasons: mind share and software sales. Software is where the big bucks are. Price matters more here than anything else, for the consoles; it's the gateway "drug," so to speak. If you get them to buy the unit, chances are they'll buy the games (unless they're buying a PS3 for BluRay...snicker snicker).

      Isn't it funny how, if you go back and look at the stats, the under-powered unit usu

    • Re:I doubt it (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MikeBabcock ( 65886 ) <> on Monday June 15, 2009 @03:50PM (#28339535) Homepage Journal

      Sony committed to 10 years on the PS2 just like they did for the PS1 in terms of continuing support. The PS2 is still a viable gaming platform at only $100 and during E3 they suggested they'd continue support past the 10 year mark if publishers were still wanting to use it as a platform. They'll most likely continue support for the PS3 long after the PS4 comes out as well.

      Microsoft's inability to make their hardware cheaper and long-lasting meant they had to blow away the xbox when the 360 was ready as they lost money on every unit sold right to the end. I'm not convinced they won't do something similar with the third version. If there's any hope, its that Microsoft usually gets things right by the third version (Windows, Excel, IE, etc.)

  • I'm interested in... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Bluesman ( 104513 ) on Monday June 15, 2009 @03:26PM (#28339149) Homepage

    I'm happy with a system that can display good games in high definition and take advantage of my home theater setup. The PS3 delivers that for me, but I'd like to see better games available. That said, Rock Band 2 gets a lot of play, and I really appreciate that the PS3 can play just about any media you throw at it.

    The Wii has some fun games, and I have one of those too, but they look like absolute crap on a hi-def TV.

    An updated Wii makes sense, a new PS3, no way. The PS3 has all the hardware I need -- just make some games already.

    • True, the PS3 has the potential to be the next-gen console already.. ubisoft should focus on something better than a 3-hour Prince of Persia with an extremely annoying protagonist.
  • by smackenzie ( 912024 ) on Monday June 15, 2009 @03:26PM (#28339163)
    Actually, what we are most likely going to see is incremental -- but significant! -- updates to the existing consoles. Updates that are large enough to be considered a "new release" but small enough not to be totally new architectures. We know, for example:

    - Microsoft is planning an all-out marketing campaign + release schedule around Natal. It's not quite a new console roll-out, but Microsoft is treating it as such. Fully backwards compatible.

    - Nintendo needs to get on the HD bandwagon, but doesn't necessarily need to push the envelope for HD gaming. Expect something that meets 720p criteria and is approximately [some smaller integer greater than 1 but less than 5]x as powerful as the Wii. Fully backwards compatible.

    - Sony: not entirely clear. Open to suggestions. They have a PS3 slim in the works. No, not a new console. They released the PSP Go, dropping UMG support. That's interesting. The Cell is a pain-in-the-ass to develop for, but various shops are starting to get the hang of it. Maybe we will see a PS3, Mach II with 2 Cells, slim body and, of course, the now-mandatory motion tracking controllers.

    The fact that future games are going to cost somewhere in the $60M ballpark is precisely why we will NOT see brand new architectures any time soon. No one, except maybe 1st party entities, is going to give up all of the applied dev resources to hop to an untested platform.

    If you want to commence an interesting dialogue, I propose something like "What, exactly, constitutes a NEW console?"
    • by CorporateSuit ( 1319461 ) on Monday June 15, 2009 @03:33PM (#28339309)

      Actually, what we are most likely going to see is incremental

      What I think we are more likely to see is excremental.

    • Sony needs to fix/standardize their online gaming network in a bad way. I shouldn't have to poke holes through the firewall on a per-game basis to play online with my PS3 if the standard PSN ports are already open. Plus, I had to create a full Konami account on top of my PSN account to play MGS Online, which seemed redundant to me.
  • by Speare ( 84249 ) on Monday June 15, 2009 @03:31PM (#28339255) Homepage Journal

    Games don't take $60 Million to make. Spectacular extravaganzas with high-detail hero models, high-detail set designs, high-detail world designs, full-orchestral scores, full-cinematic cuts, companion toy merchandising, and highly-predictable-never-escapes-the-rails storylines. That's what takes $60 Million to make.

    The cat will enjoy a ball of tinfoil more than the eighty dollar robo-mouse. Give the player an enjoyable challenge, something they'll understand on the first play but want to play again and again. Don't try to reinvent the concept of gameplay.

    • Even Killzone 2 supposedly only cost about $30 million to make, and its a pretty huge amount of work.

      Back in 2007, their budget for the game was $20 million []. I can't imagine most high-end games costing much more than that to develop.

    • Don't try to reinvent the concept of gameplay.

      That's the whole problem - generally speaking, they're not.

    • by 222 ( 551054 )
      On the flip side, I recently finished playing Killzone 2, which had a budget of 30 million dollars. I can honestly say it was one of the most memorable gaming experiences I've had, and I can't believe I'm so impressed by a console shooter.
    • by ivan256 ( 17499 ) on Monday June 15, 2009 @04:44PM (#28340397)

      The dirty little secret of this generation is that the cost per unit revenue of the average game went down. Not up. And not by a little bit either.

      The big studios want us all to think the cost to make games goes up with each generation. That justifies cost increases, and big-name licenses.

      In reality, hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue has been generated by low to medium budget downloadable titles that have been the bread and butter of this generation of consoles.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Hadlock ( 143607 )

      Considering the game engine, which is usually at least 40% of the programming (modifying it being the other 60%), and licensing the engine can't cost more than $10 million there seems to be a lot of hollywood style waste going on, which is what they're after it seems. Without the multimillion dollar movie star eating up a large portion of the budget.

  • Right now would be an awful time to put forth the expense of a whole new console launch. I think the smart players will wait for at least two more years... even Nintendo, do they really need more power or do they just need more publishers to take full advantage of the Wii as we are just starting to see?

    I think the new motion stuff announced by Sony/Microsoft is a stop-gap meant to offer something new but not have a new platform for some time.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by frosty_tsm ( 933163 )
      Not only is the market not ready, current-gen consoles are still really expensive. One of the XBox 360 models is $299.99 (first new, non-bundle one I found). The PS3 is $400. The Nintendo Wii is still $250 (same as it was 3 years ago). The gaming community is still waiting for their current generation systems to make up for their cost. In contrast, when the previous generation was on it's way out there were $129 PS2s and $99 GCNs.

      I'd argue that the high cost to manufacture the PS3 and the XBox 360 l
      • Not only is the market not ready, current-gen consoles are still really expensive. One of the XBox 360 models is $299.99 (first new, non-bundle one I found). The PS3 is $400. The Nintendo Wii is still $250 (same as it was 3 years ago).

        Depends on the where you live :)

        Wii, one game included: $400
        Xbox 360 Premium, no accessories or games: $400
        PS3, 40 GB drive, nothing else: $600

        New games for all consoles are around $100.

        Average monthly salary: below $1000. gg no re :)

  • by T Murphy ( 1054674 ) on Monday June 15, 2009 @03:34PM (#28339317) Journal
    He seems to overlook the fact that the most popular console is the weakest machine, and its popular games (Wii Fit, Wii Sports...) are simple enough that I am not sure how they could benefit from a hardware upgrade beyond input devices. Add to that the motion-control expansions for all the consoles and you have consoles with longer life than usual. Add in the fact that PC gaming tends to work better for the big-ticket games that push performace, and I see no reason why a console maker or game publisher would care to start a new cycle already (I'll leave it to other comments to provide reasons for Ubisoft to want this).
    • Depends on how you measure popular. If you could hours of gaming, then the Wii isn't very popular. If you could install base, then the Wii is only popular if you exclude PC and older consoles. If you measure games being bought, then the Wii isn't popular either.

    • by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Monday June 15, 2009 @04:26PM (#28340099) Homepage

      the most popular console is the weakest machine

      Which has, historically, almost always been the case. In reverse chronological order: PS2 over stronger Xbox and GC, PSX over stonger N64, SNES over weaker Genesis as a notable exception though it was actually pretty close instead of the usual landslide, NES over Master System, and finally the Atari 2600 vs everything else. In the mobile dept: DS over PSP, GBA over um whoever tried to compete with it, and the Gameboy over the GameGear and anyone else who tried to make a portable over the course of a decade.

      Now you can argue that optical disks were an obvious advantage for the PSX (or more accurately cartridges were a weakness of the N64), but in terms of the processing horsepower and "zomg pretty pictures" that most people refer to when talking about 'strength', no contest. In a way, though this is part of my point -- the winner isn't decided by who has the most FLOPS to throw up the most awesome pictures. It's decided by other factors. I don't even think cartridges were the primary reason N64 lost, there's also how Nintendo alienated (read: shit upon) 3rd party developers, and oh yeah the PSX having a year and a half head start to build up a library of games and gain name recognition and expand the market. In a way, the PSX was the original "casual gamer" machine in the sense that it reached out to millions of people who hadn't been gamers before. Today's complaints about how "mom & pop" with their Wii are polluting the market mirror 1995's complaints that frat boys playing sports games on the PSX were polluting the market for us "hard-core" gamers.

      So anyway, yeah. In a generation where, as usual, the consoles' success is ranked in reverse order of shininess, saying "teh market demands teh shinies!" seems quite misguided.

  • by Gizzmonic ( 412910 ) on Monday June 15, 2009 @03:36PM (#28339355) Homepage Journal

    This generation has seen console gaming taking the first painful steps into HD. Sony and Microsoft have lost billions on this step, while the comparibly simple Wii is far more profitable. So what are they going to do to increase profits for the next generation?

    That's simple-next generation consoles will be entirely DLC-only. Forget about exchanging games, bringing your games over to a friends' house, etc. All games will be download-only and you'll max out your broadband cap by downloading a single game, unless you switch to a certain broadband provider that has a deal worked out with Microsoft so that M$ downloads don't count against your cap.

    • Maybe Microsoft wants to go download-only and nickel-and-dime its users even more, but Nintendo relies heavily on its retail ecosystem (including the used market), which provides massive amounts of free marketing for the company. This is particularly true in Japan.

  • by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Monday June 15, 2009 @03:43PM (#28339433) Journal
    The 16 bit consoles were clearly miles ahead of the 8 bit machines, but each generation the improvement has been less significant. PS2 games and original XBox games still don't look that bad. The real advantage with the latest generation is higher resolutions. Reflections and shadows are just eye candy.

    Now, the question is, why will it cost so much more to develop for a newer generation? Doubling the number of polygons isn't double the work. A lot of effects have already been written so they just need to use existing libraries for them. Game worlds may well get larger but games themselves don't need to do so substantially.

    And the main point to realise is that budgets will not magically expand to match the cost of developing a game. The budget for a game is the amount that it can be expected to make in terms of sales so that the investors have a decent profit. The game will have to shrink to match that budget.
  • by hattig ( 47930 ) on Monday June 15, 2009 @03:44PM (#28339451) Journal

    I think that both Sony and Microsoft would be insane not to build upon their current platforms with their next generations. Skipping to a new architecture (x86 + Larrabee has been suggested for Sony) would likely cost a lot to implement, and I think that both companies want to break even fairly close to launch this time.

    Sony's best path, in 2011, is to launch a PowerXCell32 based PS4. This is basically a Cell with 2 PPUs and 32 enhanced SPUs (although I think they could do a 4 PPU version). Couple that to a GT300 series GPU and you've got a 1080p monster.

    I also don't think that Sony can single-chip the PS3 unlike the PS2, because of the NVIDIA GPU. This might make it less economical to cost-reduce like the PS2 later in life.

    Microsoft can just have an octo-core CPU running at higher clocks and whatever ATI can come up with in 2011 - R900 at 3TFLOPS?

    Regardless, we'll only start hearing about the next generation when the current generation has had another price drop so people don't put off their purchase. I expect to start hearing concrete details in early 2010.

  • 7th grade spelling FAIL

    role != roll
  • One that can take advantage of newer technology to deliver a better gaming experience?

    Yeah I know the Indrema failed, but if the people making Linux distros for mobile devices and smart phones decided to port their code to the newer game console technology to creating a game console distro it would be a good idea if many gaming companies joined in and started to work out a standard for game consoles that will help reduce the cost of developing new game consoles for everyone. Not only that but if it is a Lin

  • The hardware issues seem to be worked out now with the latest motherboards. Xbox Live is really maturing and branching out into family fun kind of games like 1 vs. 100. Participating in a live game show is more fun then I thought it would be. I couldn't be happier with it right now and it just keeps getting better. Natal, looks gimicky too me will be good for casual gamers like the Wii is and probably attract a good following that way if it's not too expensive.
  • by Stormwatch ( 703920 ) <rodrigogirao@ho t m a i l . c om> on Monday June 15, 2009 @04:07PM (#28339817) Homepage

    I love 2D platformers. The last one that truly impressed me was Astal on the Saturn. Imagine what today's machines could do for this genre; imagine a new Turrican or Shinobi, in high-res 2D, all hand-drawn, with multiple layers of parallax and translucency, with more action and animation than the old systems could dream of handling. To sum it up: something that would be to platformers what The King of Fighters XII is to fighting games.

    But sadly, no. These days, 2D platformers are relegated to portable systems. And I'm stuck playing a genre I love with emulators.

    Won't somebody think of the platformer fans?!

  • It seems to me that the Wii, and PS/2 are still in their infancy in many ways. While the 360 has come down in price and stabilized to a degree, all three consoles are still a little expensive for the casual consumer, IMO. There's still a lot of life left in each console.

    Based on previous experience with the Saturn/Dreamcast, as well as with the amount of time, money, and energy spent bootstrapping the PS3, I cant see any of the major manufacturers doing much more than a refresh on their major consoles. Rele

  • Horse Shit (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Monday June 15, 2009 @04:37PM (#28340327)

    With Ubisoft putting out such fantastic titles such as "Imagine: Horsez" by the bucketload, they'll need to show me their full financials before I buy into the $60 million argument.

    Developers had no problem jumping ship to the current gen and making money. Games went up $10 on average if you own a 360 or a PS3. They charge you for updates that used to be free, and they charge you to download unlock codes for maps, levels, game modes, costumes, and fucking furniture for your virtual corporate tool. Developers will work out plenty of ways to make morons pay through the nose to cover increasing costs.

    OnLive as competition?
    Yeah, and I hear that Apple is going to be seriously entering the game market aaaaaaaaaaaany second now.

    This is a fucking joke.
    The next generation will come around when the current players decide that it's strategically viable.

    Let's look at the charts, shall we?

    Nintendo has won. They want the current generation to last for as long as they are making buckets and buckets of money.
    Nintendo will be the last of the three to go to the next generation (in terms of hard announcements). The ONLY possible scenario that would cause Nintendo to be the first to announce would be the motion controllers from MS or Sony taking away from Nintendo's profits. Nintendo would then make an announcement merely to fuck with the competitors' time tables. (Hint: Natal and Sony's tech will NOT save the 360 or PS3.)

    Nintendo will be the last to announce.

    MS is in second place, and will likely be the first to announce their next console. MS really want to push Natal to try and steal Nintendo's thunder, but despite their lines about Natal being the next generation XBOX, the fact is the only way MS can capitalize on it is if it's bundled with ALL systems. MS will push this generation as long as it can sell Natal units or Natal + 360 bundles. They need to recoup major cash from their warranty fiasco. MS likely wants Natal to get an extra 18 months to 2 years out of the 360. I don't think it'll be the hot shit they want it to be, but who knows.

    MS will announce their next-gen hardware first.

    Sony is fucked. I own a PS3 myself and enjoy it, but there's no denying that it simply didn't have the success of the PS2. I think five hundred and ninety-nine US dollars may have had a part to play with that. And with the 360 a year ahead, no one wanted to learn how to develop for the Cell. The bottom line is that Sony will announce the slim PS3 this fall and try to get some momentum, especially in Japan. Sony can capitalize on the release of Final Fantasy XIII along with the slim PS3 in Japan at the end of this year. I don't know if they can do the same thing in the US, especially since FFXIII is on the 360 as well. I expect Sony to keep trying for the "year of the PS3" until someone else makes an announcement. Sony has lost so much cash with the PS3 that they need to get as much mileage out of it as they can and can't risk jumping ship too early. Once MS reveals their hand, Sony will be free to show theirs without much risk of cutting off the PS3 before it's prime, or being one-upped tech wise or timewise for the next gen.

    Sony will be second to announce.

    The timeline as I see it is basically:

    MS releases Natal and Natal + 360 bundles in 2010.
    Sales aren't great.
    MS announces E3 2011.
    Details about the PS4 "leak" in the fall of 2011.
    Sony announces E3 2012.
    Nintendo teases E3 2012, in response to Sony's announcement. Nintendo won't have a full reveal until E3 2013.

    Late 2013 MS launches.
    Early 2014 Sony launches.
    Fall 2014 Nintendo launches.

  • Collecting scenery videos, converting them to a polygon-based rendering engine, installing it on a server and then playing it using video-streaming sounds a bit retarded to me. You could just as well hire 1000 Chinese for their lifetime, give them Wireless cameras and send them into the jungle. Ok, it may be a bit costly. It will likely cost about $60 million ... oh wait.

  • Then it's officially cheaper to play PC games than console games. It's almost the same price now anyways. And considering 50%+ of the best next gen games for 360 are just ported from PC (or ported to) that are inferior to their PC counterpart, what would be the point?

    The only games I play right now on 360 are Halo 3 (occasionally) and Guitar Hero, everything else I would otherwise play has a better version that I just played on PC (Fallout 3, L4D, Call of Duty). Oh wait, I played Braid, but I could pr
  • Nonsense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Monday June 15, 2009 @04:47PM (#28340439) Journal

    he says games in the next generation will likely cost $60 million to create.

    What a load of BS.

    It sounds like someone is looking to convince consumers that a 50% increase in the price of games is reasonable.

    Isn't anyone learning anything from what's happening in the world's economy? People paid about the same retail price for Halo as for Oblivion as for Half-Life 2. Obviously, their production budgets were different.

    When I read that Grand Theft Auto 4 cost "$100 million" to make, I just have to assume that they must have used military contractors to produce it.

    What it basically means is that there are going to be a lot fewer games produced and most of them are going to suck. Then, someone will produce a game on a small budget that will make huge profits and then that developer/designer is going to get $100 million to make a game and it will suck.

    We've seen this wash/spin/rinse/repeat cycle in the movie industry for the past few decades. Tell me, for those of you who watch a lot of movies, how many of them are really the huge blockbusters and how many are the low-budget indie films. Now think of the ones you liked the best, the ones that stayed in your head long after the movie was over. How many of those were the huge blockbuster?

    Now, a show of hands: how many of you spent full price to go see the Tom Cruise movie where he plays the nazi with the eye-patch? How many of you saw Superbad? Which one did you like better?

    Why do entertainment providers think that huge budgets are going to impress us? Or is it, as I suppose, a matter of them looking to excuse their having to keep raising prices and using draconian copyright protection measures?

    100 million to produce a video game... They really believe all their customers are morons.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by feepness ( 543479 )

      We've seen this wash/spin/rinse/repeat cycle in the movie industry for the past few decades.

      Exactly. And it has worked. I don't see the President bailing out Dreamworks.

      Now, a show of hands: how many of you spent full price to go see the Tom Cruise movie where he plays the nazi with the eye-patch? How many of you saw Superbad? Which one did you like better?

      And which of those films earned more? Answer: Valkyrie, at $200M to Superbad's $170M. This isn't to diminish the success of Superbad or mediocrity of Cruise, but to simply point out studios will go where the money is, and high-budget Cruise films are a consistent money earner, whereas $20M Superbads are very hit and miss.

      Why do entertainment providers think that huge budgets are going to impress us?

      Because they have done so consistently in the past.

      Or is it, as I suppose, a matter of them looking to excuse their having to keep raising prices and using draconian copyright protection measures?

      I think they would rather spend less and charge less than

  • If you ask me, hardware became good enough when the Sega Megadrive came out. I've had more fun with old Sega games than I've had with any PS2 game.
    After 1996, it seems like games are getting worse with each new game system.

Testing can show the presense of bugs, but not their absence. -- Dijkstra