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Sony is in a bit of a stalemate when it comes to next-generation talks. They’ve probably been in the news more than Microsoft or Nintendo when it comes to next-gen talks, mainly because everyone is looking at whether Sony will stick with a core design or will pull a Nintendo and try to go after the casual crowd. Well, recently Sony finally came forward about their true intentions for the PS4 and it basically revolves around the development lifecycle of the PS3, with the company saying that the next-gen console will arrive when developers can’t get anything else out of the PS3.
In an interview with EuroGamer, Sony Computer Entertainment’s director of global operations, Shuhei Yoshida, stated that…
"Looking at the platform cycle, when the platform becomes something game developers are not able to improve their creations with, that's the time we have to really seriously consider shifting to the next generation," … "Gamers always need something new and more exciting. If they're seeing just similar types of games coming year after year, they will quickly lose their interest. “Actually, we have been seeing the same kind of games year-after-year. I can think of L.A. Noire, Red Dead Redemption, Mass Effect, LittleBigPlanet, GTA IV, Heavy Rain and Mirror’s Edge off the top of my head that are big budget games that weren’t standard-fare shooters or rail-like action/RPG games.
For some odd reason a lot of other games this generation were kind of visually impressive retreads of the same stuff we’ve been playing from the previous generations, which has been kind of disappointing. Heck, even Razer recently wrote an open letter to Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo addressing this very problem.
However, Yoshida seems to feel the opposite -- he tends to think that the games industry is thriving with new and creative experiences, saying…
"...when you see games coming out on PS3, both the traditional type of games as well as new kind of games using PS Move, there is a lot more we can do from the game development standpoint.Good deal, chief. Except, where are all these innovative PS Move games he’s talking about? A year after release and so far I haven’t really seen the PS Move incorporated into a game that makes it anymore innovative than Microsoft force-feeding Kinect into a game like Forza Motorsport, Mass Effect or Fable. Don’t get me wrong, the technology is definitely cool, but “innovative” is not a word I would use to describe the software that these new hardware peripherals have been attached to. Maybe that will change with stuff like Crytek’s Ryse or Dust 514.
As it stands, though, a lot of developers and publishers, such as Ubisoft, have come forward about wanting newer consoles for bigger games and more expansive game ideas. The number one complaint within the industry right now (when developing for home consoles) is RAM, and some readers pointed out that a RAM expansion pak could greatly increase the longevitity of both Sony and Microsoft's current-gen consoles, considering that the processors and GPUs still seem to have a fair amount of life left in them.
Alternatively, Nintendo has been nearly a generation behind in the hardware department with the Wii but have managed to publish some of the most innovative first-party titles out there and pushing the limits of innovation within specific genres, with games such as Super Mario Galaxy and Metroid Other M. Unfortunately, the Wii has become bogged down with a ton of shovelware, too.
It’s a tough situation because the Xbox 360 and PS3 are capable of great games that push boundaries but such boundary-pushing games would have to come at the expense of graphics, which a lot of publishers are not willing to back.
I’m just curious how long Sony will continue to hold out given that the Wii U is scheudled to launch next year and the next Xbox console is rumored to arrive a year after that. But with a recent price cut on the PS3 and a few more exclusives in the works, and big budget titles like Starhawk on the horizon, maybe they just might be able to hang on longer than expected.
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