Ex-Sony boss predicts new consoles in 2012-13

Capcom boss thinks Kinect and 3D are stopgaps before new consoles.

Ex-Sony Europe boss David Reeves thinks new consoles may be released sooner than thought. In an interview with gamesindustry.biz Reeves – now working for Capcom – thinks motion control and 3D are a stopgap before new consoles arrive in 2-3 years.

Two to three years, I reckon so. I don’t have any inside information. All the first-parties have got to be working on something. The tricky thing is when do you put a stake in the ground on technology? That’s the problem. You can be waiting a few extra months to implement something, but you’ve got to set a date to go with a certain chip at a certain point otherwise you’re going to miss the key milestones.

Reeves talks about Kinect and how he important he thinks it is for Microsoft.

If you map it out the Xbox 360 is right up in the corner and it has certain types of games associated with it. And Microsoft knows that in ten years time they can’t be there, they have to be appealing to families. And I reckon that strategically it’s absolutely the right move. It’s almost like two steps back and one step forward. They are right to separate Kinect from everything else.

Reeves also mentions the increasing costs of developing core titles and why downloadable content could be the future:

Where it has to get creative is with games like Grand Theft Auto and Halo, you’ve got to reinvent yourself for a new generation, and that’s difficult, especially as these games cost $50-$70 million. In terms of downloadable content as long as the content holders – the labels, the artists – aren’t too greedy, that’s really where the money is. Because otherwise you’re spending $60 million to create a new game. To produce Rock Band the guys at Harmonix are brilliant. They’re not doing a lot of graphical work, it’s not very expensive for them. SingStar was exactly the same, it becomes a licensing business in a way.

When asked about 3D Reeves was positive about the benefits for developers, but less so for consumers:

It only takes five or six lines of code to change it from a normal game to a 3D game. I remember working on MotorStorm and the guys did a 3D level in about three weeks. What I think we’ll see is that certain parts of a game will work very well in 3D and you won’t need to make a whole game in 3D. The other aspect is it’s quite a strange feeling to play games in 3D. I’ve played quite a lot, 15-20 games and not necessarily Capcom titles, and when you play them intensely like WipEout you get a sick feeling, so you have to be careful about it. When you look at racing games in 3D and a lot of action adventure games it is a step change. If it works well in 3D then publishers will do it in 3D because it’s not a massive expense to do that.

I got a headache after a 20 minute play of the Avatar game in 3D so can understand where Reeves is coming from. The bigger issues from this interview is clearly his perception that new consoles will arrive in 2-3 years. Will we really see a PS4 in 2012? Historically you would say yes but after PS2’s lengthy – and still ongoing – lifepsan it would be a surprise. An Xbox 720 in 2 years? I doubt that too – though you can easily see another upgrade or two for both consoles.

Anyway, what do you think? Will we see a new consoles from Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo within 2-3 years? And if so would you be happy to upgrade?


Greg Howson

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