After the mixed reception given to Nintendo’s Wii U at E3, it is hard to imagine why either Sony or Microsoft would feel the need to rush the follow-ups to their current tech. The appearance of an Xbox 720 is rumored be as early as E3 2012. Bethesda assures gamers that it will be at least 2014 before either the PS4 or Xbox 720 consoles arrive. Now EA is weighing in, and they want to let both the consumers and producers know that they have plenty more in store for this generation of consoles.
Frank Gibeau, the president of EA Labels, had quite a bit to say recently regarding just how doubtful he is that Sony and Microsoft’s next offerings will be able to push gaming forward in any significant capacity:
“It’s hard for me to conceive what you would do on a PlayStation 4. The displays are already 1080p, you’re already connected to the internet… You could make it faster, you could have more polys and you could up the graphics a little bit… but at what cost? I think that [the age of] big, abrupt change in consoles where we all pile in on top of each other and everything changes overnight is just gone.”
Gibeau’s statements are not unexpected, nor have they been neglected by gamers and press around the world ever since the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and even the Wii, hit their respective strides. It would be a fair assessment to say that gaming has caught up with with the rest of the technology that defines the 21st century, and most would be hard-pressed to give a valid answer to the question of new hardware. It will be expensive, create yet another learning curve, and in all likelihood, fail to innovate enough to convince gamers to empty their wallets.
“One of the things that we like is that the technology is consistent, and we believe that there are still things that you can do on these systems…we haven’t quite squeezed the last once of hardware horsepower out of these things, as you can see with Battlefield 3. Frostbite 2 technology coming in can do some really interesting things that nobody is able to do, and you see some great stuff coming from our competitors too.”
He goes on to say that gamers are not yet “banging on the walls” for new consoles, and until that happens, there is plenty of room to grow with the consoles that are sitting in millions of homes today.
Do you agree with Gibeau’s view of the market? What do you think Xbox 720 and PS4 could offer that today’s consoles don’t, and what would you be willing to pay?