This current generation of video game consoles has brought a great many new innovations to the industry. The most surprising has to be the length of the current gen. Now, as a consumer, I am happy with this. There are so many games I want to play that the thought of a new console still makes me nervous. However, even I am starting to wonder about the when the next generation of consoles will land on store shelves.
One person is not pleased with the lifespan of the PS3 and the Xbox 360: Julien Merceron, the worldwide technology director of Square Enix, stated that:
We have Sony and Microsoft talking about this generation lasting seven, eight, nine or even 10 years and it’s the biggest mistake they’ve ever made.
He goes on to say a few more things, such as advocating for shorter console cycles and lower costs of development, the latter of which being a good thing for all, in my opinion. Merceron’s reasoning for this is that developers are always attracted to the new hotness and since there were no new consoles to develop games for, they went to web broswers and iOS. And he claims that they will not come back to consoles.
But let’s examine his initial claim that devs went elsewhere because there was nothing new to develop for. First, as a fan of Square Enix, I have to say that this is utter drivel. If new consoles had come out, say, a year ago, iOS and web browsers were already strong at that point. So that doesn’t hold. If he means they should have released them before iOS games came out, that would have been in 2007. So that would have given the 360 a 2 year lifespan and the PS3 a 1 year lifespan. That doesn’t make any sense.
On top of that, there’s the fact that even if the consoles had been released in 2009 or so, before the rise of Farmville, the devs would still have gone to web browsers and iOS, to at least try them. That’s his whole point. So it doesn’t really matter when the consoles come out because according to him, the devs go towards the new technology. And since iOS is pretty damn good, I don’t think they would have said, “Oh, this is great and all, but we should make Angry Birds for the PS4 instead.” It doesn’t compute.
And for a final shot at the company that gives me more agita than any other, if the console cycle is so long, how come I have only 2 Final Fantasy titles on my shelf, one of which was a direct sequel reusing the assets from the previous game? Answer me that, Tech Boy.
Am I being too harsh on Mr. Merceron? Or is he making excuses and suffering from delusions? Hit the comments!