Square Enix's worldwide technology director has said that the length of the current console generation is "the biggest mistake [Sony and Microsoft] ever made".
In an interview with GamesIndustry, Julien Merceron shared his opinion that those developers who grew bored of the current generation were pushed into exploring iOS and browsers, and were now unlikely to return to hardware.
"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 claimed.
"This generation has been way too long, and I say this because you have a lot of developers that work on a new platform, and perhaps will not succeed, so they will wait for the next generation, and will jump on that platform. You could not do that with this generation though. So these developers went elsewhere to see if the grass was greener. They found web browsers, they found iOS, they found other things and a lot of them won't come back to the hardware platforms. So you could look at it that thanks to Microsoft and Sony and the length of this generation, it helped the emergence of other platforms and helped them get strong before the next hardware comes out."
Merceron elaborated by suggesting that future generations could afford to be shorter, thanks to simpler hardware and increased online functionality.
He explained, "With a simple architecture you do give more chances to everybody, which I believe is very important based on the critical business situation we're in. Games will be more costly. If you start to make the entry bar really high, more studios will die, more publishers will die, there'll be less titles on platforms, etc. If you make it accessible, you give more chances to people, you'll have a better portfolio at launch, but now you also have a problem with your longevity.
"Now you don't need to manage longevity by complexity of programming, because your longevity is ensured by your online model. And I would suggest that maybe we don't want long generations."
The worldwide technical director concluded by discussing the company's latest tech demo, Agni's Philosophy, and asserted developers will always be plagued by the Uncanny Valley.
"As soon as we ramp up the quality on graphics, this level of quality on facial animations won't be good enough. Some games succeed to be at the limit of the Uncanny Valley, but… the problem is that as rendering quality will go up, new problems will surface. The quality of the facial and body animations and the acting won't be good enough. So that is why as you evolve, you have to upgrade your physics, rendering and animations," he stated.
"It will always be a problem. As you push something, you have to recalibrate and rebalance these out. You can't have these stunning graphics while characters are acting funny on the screen."
In this article SE's "world wide technology director" (whatever the F that means) makes so many ass backwards statements, it's unbelieveable IMO. SE is the LAST games company on earth to be saying this when they haven't even mastered how to create great games on current gen systems.
1. First off how is a long lasting generation of consoles a bad thing? Well I mean I know alot of people think it's getting stale but we have to ask ourself "do we really NEED new consoles"?
2. How is it that companies will wait for a new console because they weren't successful in the current one? How is it supposed to make their game(s) more appealing? Too much competition in a current cycle for them to compete? We've seen games break through plenty times b4 haven't we? Look at the recent Dragon's Dogma...
3. How are devs using iOS and Web Browsers to sell their games? Is he just talking about casual game devs are more traditional devs? That doesn't make sense for traditional devs...
4. He's trying to make an argument that "if the entry bar on graphics is too high then lesser devs can't compete". Well then how are EVEN NEWER consoles supposed to fix that? They by definition have a higher entry bar!!!
5. "Longevity is determined by your online model". You mean having games have a longer lifespan through DLC? Not disagreeing with em here really, I just want him to elaborate on what he meant...
6. At the end he's trying to talk about improving graphics etc. So is this what this is all about? Just graphics?
My main point is that I think SE is being hugely hypocritical here because if there just making an argument about graphics in games then what about the gameplay? We all know FFXIII failed on exploration. This is the same company who claims making towns in HD is hard, and thinking linear gameplay is ok for an RPG in this day and age. So who the HELL are they to be making a philosophical point on how console gens should be?
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Square Enix thinks current console gen has lasted too long
Last edited by Vyse; 07-13-2012 at 11:09. Reason: Posting article, as requested...
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