It seems that EA, Ubisoft, and Take-Two are all in favour of the mid term console upgrade cycle, or ‘Nextish Gen” as I am calling it and hoping the term will catch on*.
“I actually see it more as an incredibly positive evolution of the business strategy for players and for our industry and definitely for EA,” comments EA Global Publishing Chief Laura Miele to GI.biz. “The idea that we would potentially not have an end of cycle and a beginning of cycle I think is a positive place for our industry to be and for all of the commercial partners as well as players.”
She went on to explain that one of the benefits is that Neo consoles will run old PlayStation 4 games, and hoped this path would continue with future hardware updates.
“I really see that they’re trying to hold on and bring players along,” said Laura. “If players want to upgrade, they can. There will be benefit to that. But it’s not going to be punitive if they hold on to the older hardware”
Ubisoft’s head of EMEA Alain Corre was on the same page, “The beautiful thing is it will not split the communities,” he said. “And I think it’s important that when you’ve been playing a game for a lot of years and invested a lot of time that you can carry on without having to start over completely again”
“The ecosystems aren’t shifting as much,” adds Strauss Zelnick from Take-Two. “We essentially have a common development architecture now that’s essentially a PC architecture, and if the console market truly is entering an almost smartphone like upgrade curve, it would be very good for us obviously.”
Consoles have traditionally had a long lifespan, and for many, myself included, that has been a huge reason why they were chosen over a gaming PC. It remains to be seen in console owners will embrace a more flexible, rapid, and indeed costly, upgrade path.
*Other suggestions from the TSA staff are Upgrade Gen, Mid-Generation Upgrade, and Current Gen Plus. I think mine is snappier.