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Ubisoft expects shorter console transition

Pent-up demand for new hardware will lead to quicker adoption, says publisher's EMEA executive director

The game industry will cross the generational gap to the PS4 and Xbox One quicker than normal, according to Ubisoft's EMEA executive director Alain Corre. In the wake of the next-gen system launches, he acknowledged to Edge that the longer than usual console cycle enjoyed by the Xbox 360 and PS3 has given the systems massive installed bases that will continue to receive games for some time.

"However, the long wait also means that gamers are really excited about the arrival of the new consoles, and we think that there will be a faster overall transition than in the past," Corre said. "The number of next-gen games we're releasing in the coming months, like Watch Dogs and The Crew, should help convince players to make the switch and ensure that the vast majority of gamers have moved to the new consoles within a few years."

Corre added that while the initial launch line-ups for the systems haven't exactly made the most of the machines' potential, next-gen games that stand clearly apart from their current-gen counterparts aren't far off.

"When it comes to mastering new technology, there's always a learning curve," Corre said. "Nevertheless the level of quality of our next-gen games at launch is really high. It's proof that developers like Ubisoft have already been working toward this technology for a long time. As we become more familiar with the machines and listen to players' feedback, we'll see the truly next-gen games start to stand out. With the bar already placed so high, we can only imagine how much richer, more immersive, more social, more interactive and more beautiful the next crop of games on PS4 and Xbox [One] will be."

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Latest comments (7)

Andy Samson QA Supervisor, Digital Media Exchange2 years ago
I highly doubt it would be as quick as they think it would be given that the previous console generation have an installed base of 300 million units. They wouldn't just shift development exclusively to these new platforms. Cross generation games will be the more logical approach since most game engines can just downscale the games.

Will the XBOX One and the PS4 be able to keep the momentum or will history repeat itself and gamers face another drought for six months? I don't see game releases being set in stone past March 2014.
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Steve Wetz Reviewer/Assistant Editor, Gamer's Glance2 years ago
I also have to disagree with Ubisoft. While a large company like Ubisoft will be able to keep up with more frequent console generations, the indie developers that Sony and Microsoft claim to care about now (note the emphasis on claim) will not be able to adapt as readily. Shortening the cycle would make their claims to indie developers not only disingenuous, but likely push them to more consistent platforms, like SteamOS or PC platforms.

Additionally, there is the R&D cost to consider. If anything, I would guess this console generation would last longer than the last, not shorter, barring some fantastic (and cheap) leap in performance which makes it worthwhile for console developers and software developers alike.
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 2 years ago
Or you could end up with two markets.

1) Fanboys/Early adopter/Core gamers. These will buy the new boxes without needing a rational reason. However it is a very finite audience. What good reasons are there for other groups to make a significant investment?

2) 360/PS3 owners who get all they need from their current box. There are a lot of these, but they will dwindle over time. How many can have their arms twisted to splash out on a new machine?
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Show all comments (7)
Those who can't afford smartphones and tablets can afford PS4s :)
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 2 years ago
With supply extremely limited, neither of the new consoles plays a role this holiday season in terms of a broader audience. It will at least take 12 months for both consoles to establish a presence worth mentioning. Not supporting 360 and PS3 with annual versions of the usual suspects is an option for 2015 maybe, but not for 2014.
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Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University2 years ago
I'd expect the transition and the generation to be shorter.
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Doesnt matter if the transition is short or moderate. Do they have the "right" games to make it exciting enough to make the jump??
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