Square Enix wants next-gen consoles now

Posted by Mark Raby

Publishing giant Square Enix thinks it is wrong for Sony and Microsoft to extend their console life cycles.

For the first time in the history of video game consoles, we are seeing companies that have managed to keep a system interesting and relevant for more than half a decade.

It had been a very well established cycle that a console would be released, then about three or four years later its successor would be announced, and then there would be a transition period where both the old and new consoles would be supported, until eventually the new console would take precedence, and then the whole cycle started over again.

That isn't happening this time around, in large part because the PS3 and Xbox 360 have obligatory Internet connectivity that have allowed them to roll out updates, both software-related and hardware-related.

But Square Enix worldwide technology director Julien Merceron, who always wants to be on the bleeding edge of the industry, doesn't think that's a good thing.

"This generation has been way too long, and I say this because you have a lot of developers that work on a new platform, and perhaps will not succeed, so they will wait for the next generation, and will jump on that platform. You could not do that with this generation though," he said in a GamesIndustry.biz interview.

"So these developers went elsewhere to see if the grass was greener. They found web browsers, they found iOS, they found other things and a lot of them won't come back to the hardware platforms. So you could look at it that thanks to Microsoft and Sony and the length of this generation, it helped the emergence of other platforms and helped them get strong before the next hardware comes out," he added.