That's the incredible opinion of David Reeves who believes that future consoles may involve collaboration between companies like Sony and Microsoft. Reeves, who retired from his position as deputy president of SCE (Sony Computer Entertainment), took time from his new position as COO at Capcom to offer up this unique insight as part of a wider discussion on the future of video game hardware. In his interview, he ponders:
"When you're on the first-party side, you realize how really, really expensive it is to develop a platform. Whether it's PS3, or Xbox 360 or even Wii, they cost millions - maybe not billions, but absolutely millions. You don't know when to put that stake in the ground of technology and move on. You know, say 'that's enough'."
“Eventually, it may just become so expensive to develop [their consoles] that Microsoft and Sony say, 'Okay, let's get together.' I'd say it's between 10 and 15 years away. That's how long I think it will take. I don't think it will be the next console cycle, but probably the next cycle after that, where you might have something platform-agnostic.”
It is an interesting idea, and one that has more poignancy given the recent announcement of OnLive's MicroConsole, a new entry to the games industry that is trying to change the way we play games. Developing consoles isn't a cheap process and the cost of remaining at the bleeding edge of games may force unlikely bed-fellows from existing competitors. Reeves went on to expand his ideas, even suggesting that Sony and Microsoft aren't the only strange combination that could occur. He stated on this subject:
"But it might be different players, of course. It might be Google getting together with, dare I say, Microsoft, or Google with somebody else."
An XGoo console? AppStation? It's not exactly unheard of in gaming circles for companies to join forces. Remember how Sony and Nintendo collaborated on much of the CD technology that eventually became the original PlayStation? If that relationship hadn't broken down, we could very well be playing Mario on the PlayStation 3 right now; a sobering thought indeed. It's not as far out as you may think either, the PlayStation 3 struggled for the first part of its existence to enter any sort of profit while the Xbox 360 has suffered no end of technical hiccups throughout its existence. It's all money that these companies have had to spend and gain back slowly through sales.
In the face of stiff competition from potential competitors, there's always the chance that this could become a reality. Imagine the success a gaming console put out by Google could enjoy or how far gaming on the Apple range of touch devices has come . It's these 'maybes' that one day could force Sony and Microsoft, or any of the above, together to pool resources in the race for gamers. Even Nintendo claims to see the threat new competition might hold for it.
Do fellow Ranters see the future of gaming? Can you really see Microsoft and Sony putting aside current ill feelings and teaming up?