The recent sales of the three big games console – Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii – have been going down in the last seven months. Co-founder and CEO of Ubisoft Yves Guillemot recently told Gamasutra that the long life cycle of this console generation has been hurting the industry.
“What we missed was a new console every five years“, said Guillemot. “We have been penalized by the lack of new consoles on the market. I understand the manufacturers don't want them too often because it's expensive, but it's important for the entire industry to have new consoles because it helps creativity.“
“It's a lot less risky for us to create new IPs and new products when we're in the beginning of a new generation,” he said. “Our customers are very open to new things. Our customers are reopening their minds — and they are really going after what's best. … At the end of a console generation, they want new stuff, but they don't buy new stuff as much. They know their friends will play Call of Duty or Assassin's Creed so they go for that. So the end of a cycle is very difficult“, added Guillemot.
The current console generation
'Sequelitis' has been one of the major points of criticism of the current console generation, with major game developers such as Activision pumping out yearly sequels to games such as Call of Duty with little to no major changes in gameplay. “If you can't take risks because people don't buy, you don't innovate,” said Guillemot. “And if you don't innovate, customers get bored.“
The major advantage of having a new console generation come out is that major developers can try out new IPs at the beginning of a new console cycle. Another major advantage is that PC games won’t be stuck in the graphical bottleneck that is currently being caused by shoddy ports of games on the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3.
Ubisoft has announced a new IP for Nintendo’s upcoming Wii U. The game they showed at E3, named ZombiU, was one of the most prominent examples of third party support for the Wii U. While the Wii U has been openly criticized by some, Guillemot stated that doomsayers have been wrong before.
“I think Nintendo has very often surprised us, so you never know,” notes Guillemot. “I think they've created something good, if the customer uses everything they have created, I think we can see a good success with that machine.“
I hope the next generation of consoles from Microsoft and Sony are announced soon, because I’m pretty sure many players are bored of playing rehashes of the same game yearly at this point.