Does an extended console cycle damage the gaming industry?

Posted by Trent Nouveau

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot isn't at all pleased with the current state of aging consoles from both Sony (PS3) and Microsoft (Xbox 360).

"I think that what has happened is the transition has been very long. You know, in the industry, we were used to changing machines every five years. This time we are in the seventh year of the 360," he told Polygon

“We need new consoles and at the end of the cycle generally the market goes down because there are less new IPs, new properties, so that damaged the industry a little bit. I hope next time they will come more often."

Indeed, according to Guillemot, frequent console refreshes offer both publishers and devs more chance to be creative.

"Transitions are the best times, are the best ways, to make all of our creators take more risks and do different things... When a console is out for a long time you don't take as much risks on totally new IPs because even if they are good, they don't sell as well.So, the beginning of the machines is always a good time for innovation."

In other console related news, the co-creator of Xbox, Ed Fries, said he believes console manufactures must change the way they approach in-game monetization models.

"It's getting harder and harder for the traditional consoles to ignore the Apple kind of experience," he told GameInformer.

"Anybody can develop for the platform, certification is a relatively cheap and painless thing, and in the old days of consoles there are all sorts of myths and legends that say that's a bad thing to do."

Fries also noted that some of the issues plaguing console gaming may very well disappear with next-gen systems.

"They'll go away with Ouya, they'll go away if Apple brings some kind of product into this space, the console makers like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, they have to respond to that, it's just the future.

"Likewise, [console manufacturers will] have to respond to the free-to-play game model, the world is changing, people want this free-to-play experience, game developers want to build free-to-play experiences and the console ecosystem has to adapt to that."