Video Game Editorial: The Time Has Come For Next-Gen Consoles… Or Has It?

Guest post by Kat Cole

CEO of games publisher Ubisoft Yves Guillemot was quoted this weekend as saying that he believes the video gaming industry is becoming stagnant in the wake of the reluctance of publishers to release new intellectual property this late into the cycle of the current generation of consoles.

Whilst he noted that the 3DS, Kinect and Move systems aided the longevity of interest in the consoles currently available, Guillemot suggested that the real creativity and end to the industry’s present “depression” will not occur until next gen set ups make it to market:

“Each time there is new hardware it gives our creative teams more freedom and they don’t have to follow the same rules […] Consumers like the current formats, but there is not enough creativity at the end of a cycle to really spark the business.”


UK Sony representative Ray Maguire recently said – paradoxically – that it is far too early to be conceptualising a PlayStation 4 when the current system is only “half way through its current lifecycle” which suggests that the supposedly exhausted era will continue for a while yet. It remains to be seen which gaming giant will takes the first steps towards the (potential) digital-only – i.e. no physical software – video games era, which seems to be the next logical step for the industry in the wake of the popularity of games streaming services (such as Steam and Impulse) and peer-to-peer gaming services like Steam and Direct2Drive.

It would be an unwise move for games developers to stop producing quality titles in the meantime however. No doubt that when all-digital game consoles make it into our homes there will be more than one system to choose from and therefore, it is important for Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo to ensure that their current followings move forward with them in to the next generation of gaming (bored gamers might be tempted to switch to another of the existing consoles). Relying on novelties of motion sensitive gaming and other new technology should not be the key provocation of interest.

Thankfully though, there are number of brilliant titles arriving in 2011, including Portal 2, murder-solving title L.A. Noir, the 13-year-awaited Duke Nukem Forever and Gears of War 3 (Beta codes are included when you pre-order the game from certain gaming retailers).

But are these games enough to keep you interested in the present systems? Or do you agree with Guillemot’s opinion that there is an immediate need for something new? Share your views in the comment section below.