Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot delivers a speech during an earnings call that suggests the company believes the gaming industry is in for a drastic change soon.
Despite the rapid pace at which technology changes and innovates in today’s market, the video game industry has remained remarkably stagnant in terms of how it presents its hardware. The console market has existed for decades, and speculation surrounding each new generation typically centers around how long each console’s life cycle will be rather than whether or not they will be replaced by something new in the near future.
In the past few years, however, there has been ample evidence that the industry has begun to change its stance on the permanence of the console. Japan’s ailing console market kickstarted a discussion about how video games might need to evolve once more, and now it has become popular for CEOs and industry experts to comment on how consoles don’t have many years left in them after all. Ubisoft’s CEO Yves Guillemot is one of those experts, stating in a recent call that:
“We expect there will be new consoles that are going to make this market continue to grow…we’ll still have another generation of consoles before we have new types of consoles coming to the market.”
Guillemot later clarified that he does not consider the rumored PS4.5 mid-generation upgrade or the new Xbox One hardware that might come to E3 2016 this year as entirely new consoles. That means Ubisoft fully expects another generation after the PS4 and Xbox One, one that could begin with the Nintendo NX depending on its specs and release date. After the last traditional console generation, however, Ubisoft and Guillemot already have something in mind for the future:
“We believe in streaming – it demands lots of bandwidth. We think it’s going to grow but today, with the types of games we have, it will still take a bit more time to be more popular.”
Many high-profile gaming figures have already suggested something similar to what Guillemot believes, with Electronic Arts’ Peter Moore envisioning a stream-based future for video games as well. The differences in opinion from these comments seems to be not if the console market will eventually be a relic of gaming’s past, but how the future of streaming will be implemented, either with something still resembling a console or an entirely console-free set up.
With that being said, however, Guillemot’s comments might even be considered conservative given today’s console climate. Sony president Shuhei Yoshida recently said he wasn’t even sure there would be a PS5, and Sony recently announced the formation of a new mobile gaming division that seems to confirm the suspicion that even industry giants are wary of the future of console gaming. Perhaps, based on Guillemot and Yoshida’s statements, the rumor of the PS4.5 isn’t necessarily a mid-generation upgrade – it could be the swansong for Sony’s traditional, console-based model of video game development.
What do you think about Guillemot’s beliefs regarding the future of gaming? Do you think consoles have more staying power than the industry leaders seem to believe? Let us know in the comments below.