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Ubisoft CEO Says Next Gen Consoles Closer Than We Think

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the better-faster-stronger dept.

Games 326

An anonymous reader writes "Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot tells CNBC that he believes the next generation of video game systems isn't as far away as the public has been led to believe. Guillemot noted that public demand for the best machine possible, as well as coming competition from companies such as OnLive could spur Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo to roll out new systems sooner than they want. That's not good news for publishers, though, as he says games in the next generation will likely cost $60 million to create."

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Can I Ubisift (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28338821)

a frist P0st?

You BET (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28338823)

It would be terrible if a la carte cable TV meant that networks like BET would go away due to lack of funding.

Do you remember when, overnight, every black person in the USA started saying "are-uh" instead of the correct, monosyllabic pronounciation of the letter "r"? How about when that silly "raise the roof" gesture became trendy? What about yellow t-shirts? Speaking of who is or isn't in "the house" in a loud annoying voice? Who could forget shizzle and nizzle and other black contributions to our culture? I used to wonder how they managed to coordinate these trends because one day none of them would exhibit such behaviors and then the next day all of them do it as though they had been doing so all of their lives like some kind of long-established tradition. I mean, that sounds like it would be quite the logistics problem and would take a lot of work. Then it dawned on me! BET is how they do it. Ah well, as they say - monkey see, monkey do!

I wonder if any of the group-identity type of blacks would be surprised or shocked to learn that most of the commercial trends belonging to "their people", especially music but also designer clothes and the like, were actually the products of market research performed by some very white people wearing business suits and doing other things that are quite non-thuggish. Amazing how they hate "acting white" when it comes to getting an education and bettering yourself but they love following whitey when it comes to market trends.

Re:You BET (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28339239)

What about all the suburban white people buying all the rap albums? Seriously, do you really think black people watch BET? Fucking nobody watches BET. But I'm sure it still gets better ratings than the Golf channel.

Re:You BET (-1, Offtopic)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339345)

"I wonder if any of the group-identity type of blacks would be surprised or shocked to learn that most of the commercial trends belonging to "their people"...were actually the products of...white people..."

Yes, but it backfired on the white men: now white women are jumping on the "black is hip" bandwagon. Increasing numbers of white men are being cuckolded by 7-foot Mandingos. That'll teach whitey to play god with black culture.

I'm not surprised (0, Troll)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#28338825)

Considering all of this generation of consoles suck.

Wii: Poor graphics, and lots of shovel ware -- this is the best console of this generation.
Xbox 360: Horribly unreliable hardware, even after the jasper redesign.
PS3: A BD player that can also play a few games.

The next generation of consoles can not come fast enough.

Re:I'm not surprised (0)

Andr T. (1006215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28338999)

I really hope something good comes out from Microsoft's project Natal. The Wii is good, but IMHO, worse than the graphics is the lack of _real_ control using the WiiMote. The number of moves you can do with your hands is virtually infinite (and that's what she said), but most Wii games translate these 'infinite movements' in 6, 7 types of movement (take Tennis in WiiSports and 'Star Wars - The force unleashed' as examples). That's frustrating.

Re:I'm not surprised (2, Insightful)

RedK (112790) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339047)

Oh please, Project Natal didn't take off years ago when it was called EyeToy, what makes you think it'll take off now ?

Re:I'm not surprised (0)

Andr T. (1006215) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339125)

Well, I watched this video [latenightw...fallon.com] today and it looks promising.

Re:I'm not surprised (0)

RedK (112790) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339181)

No more than all the EyeToy games looked 5 years ago when it came out for the PS2. In the end, it's more of a niche thing than a full blown revolution. It's just better icing on the same motion capture cake.

Re:I'm not surprised (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339243)

But it is basically an Eye Toy with a mic. Even the Eye Toy had 3D recognition. I think natal will do better than Eye Toy but it will die a pretty quick death.

Considering how expensive it is to get the full and proper xbox experience and the fact casual gamers don't get a hard-on over graphics, what does the 360 offer them? Keep in mind you have to pay extra for wireless on the 360 where as it's free on the Wii. To most people that will seem like a scam.

Re:I'm not surprised (3, Informative)

koolfy (1213316) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339507)

How could the Eye Toy possibly have 3D recognition with only one "eye" ?

With that 3D recognition, nearly perfect movement tracking (even in the dark, with people walking between you and the device), exact player recognition, all those 70 strategic points of the body tracked in real-time, and real 3D head-tracking perspective implemented in games, you actually can do much more than what the Eye Toy would ever be able to do...

What the Eye Toy basically did was play with the visual effects that a moving object can produce in a video... That's pretty much it.

There is no way you can do a controller out of that :)

Re:I'm not surprised (4, Insightful)

CmdrSammo (1086973) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339781)

3D motion capture is possible from one camera actually (I'm working on it for my PhD). There's only a small number of configurations a body can be put into to fill the same 2D silhouette as seen from a single camera.

Besides that the demo's shown in the GP video really only need 2D motion capture anyway, except maybe the accelerator for the driving game. But seriously, why would I want to stand/sit with my leg in an awkward position when I could just hold "A" instead? For the same reason my Wii is also collecting dust.

Re:I'm not surprised (2, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339223)

Because its a bit more advanced that EyeToy was...

I actually think Project Natal will just come straight to the next xbox. I mean:
- Any of the previous games dont support it
- Its peripheral you have to buy separately - not everyone are going to buy it, so the games need to support 'normal' players too, so cant concentrate just for the Project Natal.
- Xbox360 is old and its successor will probably come soon anyways
- Its just way better idea to start from a clean table like Wii did. EyeToy was also an peripheral to PS2.

Re:I'm not surprised (4, Informative)

cwtrex (912286) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339141)

Enter the Wii Motion Plus. Check out these Youtube Wii Motion Plus Vids. [youtube.com] The motions no longer seem limited for the games that support this new device.
Natal might start to get annoying as it seems you have to get scanned before each game.

Re:I'm not surprised (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339077)

TFS:

...could spur Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo to role out new systems sooner than they want.

Blatant misspell aside, what that will mean for us is more red rings of death(and the Sony and Nintendo equivalents) from rushed design and testing as well as games which are basically glorified tech demos with no real plots or stories.

Re:I'm not surprised (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339279)

The only Nintendo equivalent I know of is broken windows/TVs. I don't think a new system is likely to change that.

Re:I'm not surprised (5, Insightful)

Killer Orca (1373645) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339121)

Yeah they all have their flaws, honestly I got sick of how Microsoft has nickel and dimed me this generation: pay to play online, $60 wireless headsets, 20 GB HDDs for $100!, full game downloads with no discount, a disc check on games that you install every time, I would be happier if it was random, etc. They have pretty much guaranteed my return to PC gaming once they release their next system and stop supporting the 360.

Re:I'm not surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28339341)

I'm sure I'll catch heat for this in the blogosphere, but I couldn't agree with you more...

Re:I'm not surprised (5, Insightful)

V50 (248015) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339431)

I'd strongly disagree that all current consoles suck. Just for disclosure, I have all 7 Current (PC, DS, PSP, PS2 + 3 Consoles) game systems plus many games for all, but still lean toward being a Nintendo fan(boy).

Considering all of this generation of consoles suck.

Wii: Poor graphics, and lots of shovel ware -- this is the best console of this generation.

I'd strongly disagree that "graphics suck" on the Wii. The Wii is probably somewhat more powerful than the original Xbox. The original Xbox that people were gushing about its "amazing graphics" just a few years ago. If said graphics were good enough then, they are good enough now. I still play PS2/GC/XBX games around as much as their successors, and do not find the graphics limiting or sucky.

Actually the only generations that I tend to feel the graphics do suck on, are the 2600 and PS1 generations. (NES if you really are demanding). The most primitive 2D and 3D graphics. Beyond those, all systems have had graphics ranging from good (Wii, SNES, Genesis, GC, PS2) to amazing (PS3, 360). And yes, I do think SNES graphics were better than PS1 graphics. Good 2D > primitive 3D. OTOH, the PS1/N64 was the source of a great deal of innovation, because of the new technology.

Shovelware comes with being the market leader. The PS2, PS1, NES and 2600 are infamous for having tons of shovelware. Just don't buy it. A new console wouldn't change the shovelware situation.

Xbox 360: Horribly unreliable hardware, even after the jasper redesign.

Fair criticism, though I have heard the most recent ones are semi-reliable. However, this is justification for a new model, a Slim 360, perhaps, not an Xbox 720.

PS3: A BD player that can also play a few games.

Largely accurate in 2007. Not so much in 2009. There are PLENTY of good PS3 games, many of which are exclusive (MGS4, KZ2, Valkyria Chronicles, Uncharted, etc.)

The next generation of consoles can not come fast enough.

I fail to see why. Actually, I don't really see any benefit from another set of consoles, almost at all. Other than even more mind blowingly amazing (and expensive) graphics, I fail to see what would be gained. None of your problems would be addressed, except perhaps the 360 reliability. The market leader would still get shovelware, and the PS4 may or may not have the games you want. I feel, and the sales of the Wii back up, that graphics became "good enough" with the PS2 generation, and moving beyond that is rather excessive, especially when only something like 30% of Americans have an HDTV and I'd wager most of them can't hook it up correctly. (Next time I see a 4:3 screen stretched to 16:9, or a store's BD-Player hooked up to an HDTV by SD component cables, I think I will cry.)

I have 3 HDTVs, so I'd sort of like an HD-capable Wii, preferably like a GBC (IE, Wii 1.5, not Wii 2). But the Wii's graphics are still more than capable, and the PS3/360 are, if anything, excessive.

Re:I'm not surprised (1)

_Hiro_ (151911) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339551)

The Wii does rather nicely with 480p widescreen. While 1080 would be nice, I don't know that anything over 720 is really needed. Like you said, most people don't even notice when the BD is hooked up using component cables. :P

Re:I'm not surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28339565)

I have 3 HDTVs

But the real question is: do you have 3 PS3's?

Re:I'm not surprised (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339655)

I'd strongly disagree that "graphics suck" on the Wii. The Wii is probably somewhat more powerful than the original Xbox.

I wouldn't say they suck, but they're not what you'd expect from a next generation console. You said as much yourself right there. If all I'm getting is last generation graphics with a nifty controller, why do I need new hardware?

I still play 2600 and PS1 games regularly, so I'm not bothered by shitty graphics. I am bothered by the lack of technological advance between console generations however.

Re:I'm not surprised (2, Interesting)

gbarules2999 (1440265) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339745)

the Wii's graphics are still more than capable, and the PS3/360 are, if anything, excessive.

Graphics are not just there for "looks." Oftentimes they can add to gameplay, and change it, make it move in ways we haven't considered before.

Just because you like the SNES graphics more doesn't mean the PlayStation wouldn't be valid. The added power brings more to the table for 3D than the SNES could ever do. I'd like to see you try to do Resident Evil, Gran Turismo, or Tomb Raider on the SNES, for example. Look at a game like Mass Effect, which use the increasing technology to make more believable characters and interesting worlds.

This smacks of "Nobody's going to need any more than 647KB of RAM" to me.

Re:I'm not surprised (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339471)

Ironically your list is very accurate except for the BS about the PS3. 90+% of the games that play on the 360 also are available on the PS3 as they're multi-platform and a good selection of excellent exclusives [wikipedia.org] are also available only for the PS3.

The hardware is reliable, the system is quiet, the blu-ray player is very functional, the up-scaling for DVDs is very high quality and the gaming is excellent and free to play online.

Re:I'm not surprised (1)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339623)

That's not much of a criticism of the PS3. Are you upset that it plays BD discs? Do you think it can't do that and also have good games? It has been a little slow in getting a broad range of top-notch games, but it's getting there quickly.

One thing I'd love to see is for a console to open up their development process and create an App Store similar to the iPhone. There would be an explosion of freeware, indie games, and assorted applications.

For example, imagine a Slashdot viewer optimized for TV usage. I can currently read /. on the PS3's web browser, but trying to navigate through it is a pain. If someone made a nice viewer with big text, easy navigation, ability to mark stories as read, etc., I'd pay $2.99 for that.

Re:I'm not surprised (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28339827)

I love how the default user action to to mod up trolls like this.

The current generation of gaming is more or less the same as the last generation, which is more or less the same as the generation before that. I really don't understand how people can say that games are so much worse now than before when they're basically the same game as before, but with an increment, or better graphics, or better controls.

As to the specific consoles, yes, we are all quite aware that each console has a downside, just as each console before had a downside. Yes, the wii has bad graphics. Yes, some 360s break (not all!), and yes, the PS3 library leaves something to be desired, but each console is pretty good.

Wii: Innovative motion control/point-and-shoot style gaming. Granted, it doesn't work as well as it should, and the graphics are terrible. Honestly, my least favorite system.

Xbox 360: Great catalog of games, solid online support. Everyone that's had their console break has also had a replacement, plus usually a free game or free month of live.

PS3: Has a decently sized game library, plus several online titles. Online support is good (but not as good as the 360) and there are some interesting single platform titles out there. Truth be told, if you're looking for a bluray player, it's also pretty much the best one you can get (and for awhile was the cheapest one you could get). All in all, by no means a bad console.

This generation has been far from a let down for any gamer willing to accept that trends change. Anyone that longs for the time of the playstation 1 or later needs a reality check. (problems with PS1: initial controller replaced with dual shock, which was necessary for some games. Each console more or less required a $20 memory card. the card held so little that everyone really needed 2 or 3 cards. The games had poor graphics even then, long load times, wired controllers, etc.)

More to the topic: I seriously doubt that any new console will appear in the next few years. Here's my reasoning:
1. People don't want to spend money right now. A new console has a sharp price increase for both the consumer and the producer of the goods.
2. There's nothing really wrong with this generation. The graphics still look fine, the consoles still cost too much and the sale of consoles is still quite strong (or was last winter)
3. The current generation is only about 4 years old. The last generation was an abnormality, but most generations last about 6 years or longer.

Re:I'm not surprised (1)

RendonWI (958388) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339859)

I personally am planning to get a PS2 in 2010 or so.

Title's spelt wrong (1, Offtopic)

XPeter (1429763) | more than 5 years ago | (#28338837)

It should say "Ubisoft"

Re:Title's spelt wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28338863)

I wish i could tag your comment 'orly?'

Re:Title's spelt wrong (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339291)

Now that I looked at it, it looks and sounds like Ubishit.. Good work for getting that past! :-)

Subject's spelled wrong (0)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 5 years ago | (#28338885)

It should be SPELLED.

Re:Subject's spelled wrong (1)

XPeter (1429763) | more than 5 years ago | (#28338929)

I just finished taking language arts finals too...Wonder how well I did :-)

Re:Subject's spelled wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28338959)

Get yo facts rite: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/spelt [reference.com]

Re:Subject's spelled wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28339303)

Yeah yo spelt flour is lovely.

Re:Subject's spelled wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28339419)

There is no more annoying creature on the Internet than the one who condescendingly gives a correction that is, itself, incorrect or unnecessary. My personal favorite example is the smug bastard who responded to the sentence "Emacs is my favorite text editor" by saying, "That should be, 'Emacs are my favorite text editors.'"

Re:Subject's spelled wrong (1)

vectorious (1307695) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339581)

Spelt is fine in British English Spelt (2) [merriam-webster.com] (www.merriam-webster.com)

Re:Title's spelt wrong (1)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339271)

This is just a simple case of game maker wishful thinking.

Re:Title's spelt wrong (1)

koolfy (1213316) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339627)

How in Hell can this post be modded 5 informative ?
Did I land in a world where reporting typos were capital "+5 values" pieces of information ?

Sure I did, it's called Slashdot and I love it.

Typo in headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28338843)

Would not be the first such thing on Slashdot.

Well, 5 years has always been the standard (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#28338857)

If you go back all the way to the Atari 2600, you'll notice a consistent pattern of 5 year console "lifespans" (most recently, the Xbox and PS2 broke the pattern a little at 4 and 6 years respectively, but not by much).

Atari 2600 -1977
Atari 5200 - 1982
NES - 1986
SNES - 1991
N64 - 1996
PS1 - 1995
PS2 - 2000
PS3 - 2006
Xbox - 2001
Xbox360 - 2005

Of course, no one wants to admit that they have a new console just around the corner until they're pretty damn close to having it ready (within a year or so), lest it kill current-gen sales. But there is NO WAY it's going to be 2015 before we see a new Xbox 720 or PS4 (as some are trying to claim). Even with the economic downturn, there is no way we're no going to start seeing see ten year gaps between generations, when it's been 5 year gaps for the last three decades.

Re:Well, 5 years has always been the standard (3, Funny)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 5 years ago | (#28338967)

You forgot the Nintendo Gamecube, but to be honest a lot of people forget it too.

Re:Well, 5 years has always been the standard (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339189)

I thought I would give Nintendo a break on that one, but okay:

NES - 1986
SNES - 1991
N64NES - 1986
SNES - 1991
N64 - 1996
Gamecube - 2001
Wii - 2006

Re:Well, 5 years has always been the standard (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28339477)

N64NES - 1986

Nintendo would have made eleventy billion dollars with an N64NES in 1986. I bet they'd still fetch a fortune on eBay.

Re:Well, 5 years has always been the standard (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339331)

I wish I could forget it. Unfortunately, I've got a stack of mediocre games in my closet that won't let me.

Re:Well, 5 years has always been the standard (1)

csartanis (863147) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339049)

Gamecube - 2001

Or were you leaving it out on purpose?

Re:Well, 5 years has always been the standard (3, Insightful)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339097)

"... there is no way we're no going to start seeing see ten year gaps between generations, when it's been 5 year gaps for the last three decades."

I don't agree here, graphical horsepower of the next console or two away will push the limits of cost structure to develop a game that doesn't sell into the millions, while gaming has gone more mainstream it isn't like the movies, developers still complain about piracy on the PC when their games sell into the millions on console and PC (Call of Duty 4 dev's, I'm looking at you). Many games are totally viable if game developers would stop trying to be the movie industry, somewhere along the line companies started seeing themselves as movie-esque. I don't need my games to be realistic or have real graphics, what I've noticed as we've increased graphics the fun factor has stayed the same or has decreased in some games. I've passed over a lot of recent releases that I haven't even got around to playing because I simply wasn't that interested in these games.

I mean think of mario the game as a concept, imagine you tried to sell it today: It's a game about a plumber that runs around stomping on turtle-beings called koopa's and these things called goomba's, and there's this dragon-turtle esque thing we call koopa who's invades the mushroom kingdom.

Instead we see stuff like:

Assasions creed
Mass effect
Gears of war
etc, etc.

All trying to be 'movie games' or 'be real'.

I think Prince of persia is one of the only games that doesn't try to take the whole movie thing to far and be a game first. The original Prince of persia: Sands of time was one of my favorite games, I thought Warrior within was ok but I didn't overall like the second and third games as much as the first.

Re:Well, 5 years has always been the standard (1)

RedK (112790) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339233)

A slight correction. The Original Prince of Persia was not Sands of Time and it was much superior to all this 3D crap being pushed out by Ubisoft.

Re:Well, 5 years has always been the standard (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339525)

Sorry I mean the FIRST game in the sands of time trilogy my bad.

Re:Well, 5 years has always been the standard (1)

gbarules2999 (1440265) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339563)

You misunderstood the parent. He means the original game in the Sands of Time series, which some people consider to include the much shittier Warrior Within and The Two Thrones.

Re:Well, 5 years has always been the standard (2, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339413)

Its bad to compare games from 80's and 90's, because it was all new then so everything felt exciting, besides theres some nostalgia towards those early years that probably happened to be lots of peoples teenage years aswell.

Besides, theres still Mario games released for Wii. Actually, Mario Galaxy was damn fun and it had working, not photorealistic graphics.

Now I do enjoy [youtube.com] the great [youtube.com] graphics aswell. It makes you feel more in the game, in good and bad. It gives impressions and woah moments. But its not required to make a fun game.

Btw, I enjoyed Assassins Creed even tho it got a bit boring quickly.

Immersing graphics or movielike (where you feel like you're in a movie) doesn't equal to bad games, if done correctly. Great games are always great games, and good graphics make it nicer to play it.

Re:Well, 5 years has always been the standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28339585)

You are a moron. Everyone who thinks Prince of Persia started in 2003 is.

Re:Well, 5 years has always been the standard (2, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339219)

You included Atari in that timeline, but left out Sega? For shame.

Sega Master System - 1986
Sega Genesis - 1989
Sega Saturn - 1995
Sega Dreamcast - 1999

So 3 years, 6 years, and 4 years. Almost 5 on average.

Re:Well, 5 years has always been the standard (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339367)

My apologies to the hedgehog.

Re:Well, 5 years has always been the standard (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339495)

Don't forget the CD and the mega-drive, etc.

Major add-ons to the Sega platform hurt them as much as it helped I think.

Re:Well, 5 years has always been the standard (3, Interesting)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339453)

This is the first gen of consoles that can really leverage the internet, so past performance is a bad indicator in this case. All 3 machines have digital money printing services and all 3 are acceptable. At this point there isnt a huge pent up need for more detailed graphics like in previous gens. We have reached the 'good enough' stage. Ill be conservative and say we are looking at a 6-8 year cycle on this gen of hardware.

This is heresy. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28338859)

The Lord Jesus will appear and the rapture will be nigh. Renounce, sinners, lest you miss your opportunity for endless heaven. You that do not believe are doomed to eternal torment in the bowels of the pit.

Re:This is heresy. (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339369)

>eternal torment in the bowels
I've got that already after having a 'special edition' curry last night.

Re:This is heresy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28339439)

heaven : harps, clouds, christians
hell: strippers, hookers, playboy models, alcohol, year long campfire

Why should I pick heaven?

Re:This is heresy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28339667)

Which would you rather sit in for eternity: clouds or a campfire?

Then again, if all your nerves died with your body maybe it wouldn't matter.

Re:This is heresy. (1)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339513)

God lied, Adam didn't die.

Satan was the one who wanted man to be smart and think for himself, god wanted to just be a control freak "the SIMS" player with his little garden.

$60 Million wants to be free. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28338865)

"That's not good news for publishers, though, as he says games in the next generation will likely cost $60 million to create.""

And only $0 Million to BT all over the planet.

llaagg (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28338877)

From the article:

The idea behind OnLive is the company's servers will run the game, and send a videostream through your home's Internet connection. Your controller and button mashes are sent via the Internet to OnLive's servers. The experience, though, is seemless -- as if you were playing a copy on a machine at home.

That might work for a slow game like an RPG, but good luck getting a twitch game like Tetris [youtube.com] to feel lag-free through a home Internet connection, even in urban areas of developed countries.

Re:llaagg (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339337)

You know how America's Army is a video game that is also a recruitment tool for the army? Onlive is a video game system that is also a recruitment tool for our clandestine precognition enhanced assassin program. Anybody who can get a decent score in a twitch game gets an interview.

I honestly don't know why anybody has any hope for OnLive. The current best-available thin client connection mechanisms are discernibly worse than local even when running basic 2D office stuff on a 100Mb LAN. Unless they are bundling genuine magic in every box, I don't know how they could hope to make 3D gaming over even decent home ISPs not utterly suck.

Re:llaagg (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339761)

Unless they are bundling genuine magic in every box

They are putting real magic into the machine, but the magic is very insincere.

Like the other day I was beta testing Command & Conquer for Onlive, and the magic was saying how it just loved to instantly transfer packets for an exciting game like that for me, but just last week it was saying how RTS games were board games for Ritalin-addled "tweentards" who couldn't hack a thinking game like Civ. Oh but now that an RTS was going to be a flagship game it was all for em, and I think it honestly didn't expect me to notice.

No excuses & start coding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28338937)

Are they really trying to shorten the console generation cycle down from what Playstation 1 had?

Are they still clueless about what is a good game and what is pointless graphics/realism crap?

New generations don't make games better.

Re:No excuses & start coding (1)

Millennium (2451) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339137)

Are they really trying to shorten the console generation cycle down from what Playstation 1 had?

Are they still clueless about what is a good game and what is pointless graphics/realism crap?

New generations don't make games better.

No, but a new crop of buzzwords makes games very easy to sell to technophiles. That's what Ubisoft is after: sales without effort.

Public demand for the best machine possible? (5, Insightful)

Millennium (2451) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339015)

Yeah, right. More like "Ubisoft wants more easy graphics-are-everything cash-ins and the current crop of consoles is losing its marketing effectiveness."

Some 50% of the marketplace currently indicates that public demand is not, in fact, for "the best machine possible": people just want better games, and they don't care very much about the technology used to deliver them. The only ones demanding "the best machine possible" are technophiles more interested in the hardware than they are in the games, and Ubisoft is looking to throw them a couple of buzzwords as an easy way to spur sales.

No! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28339319)

More like "Ubisift..."

Re:Public demand for the best machine possible? (1)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339363)

That is right. Games are way to much a "me too" industry. We are waiting for the next really "new" thing. The WII was a new thing and it sold like gangbusters.

Re:Public demand for the best machine possible? (1)

eulernet (1132389) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339577)

In fact, games are expensive when they are licensed, probably 95% of the cost of a game comes from the license.

I have been a game developer for a long time, and it was known that 50% of the budget of a game was used for marketing.

Ubisoft is also well known for messing games, because they want to build the cheapest possible games (see the pitiful experience of Splinter Cell with the Shangai team http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/2830/postmortem_tom_clancys_splinter_.php [gamasutra.com] ).

I doubt it (5, Insightful)

Itchyeyes (908311) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339089)

Something tells me that if consumers aren't ready to fork over money for new hardware, console makers aren't ready to turn their backs on products that still haven't, or are just now starting to, turn a profit, and game developers aren't ready to start making games for hardware with even higher development costs, it's not going to happen. Anyone who jumps the gun here is going to see exactly what Sony did with the PS3, that is consumers and developers clinging to older hardware as long as they can while the newer, overpriced machines languish on shelves for a couple years until everyone is ready.

Re:I doubt it (2, Interesting)

gbarules2999 (1440265) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339497)

the newer, overpriced machines languish on shelves for a couple years until everyone is ready.

That's the word, right there. Microsoft is still selling Xbox systems as a loss, but do you know why the keep doing it? Two reasons: mind share and software sales. Software is where the big bucks are. Price matters more here than anything else, for the consoles; it's the gateway "drug," so to speak. If you get them to buy the unit, chances are they'll buy the games (unless they're buying a PS3 for BluRay...snicker snicker).

Isn't it funny how, if you go back and look at the stats, the under-powered unit usually gets the better variety of software? PlayStation 1 and 2 were both the lowest common denominator, and they both did extraordinarily well compared to the superior (in some ways) Nintendo or Xbox offerings.

Re:I doubt it (3, Insightful)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339535)

Sony committed to 10 years on the PS2 just like they did for the PS1 in terms of continuing support. The PS2 is still a viable gaming platform at only $100 and during E3 they suggested they'd continue support past the 10 year mark if publishers were still wanting to use it as a platform. They'll most likely continue support for the PS3 long after the PS4 comes out as well.

Microsoft's inability to make their hardware cheaper and long-lasting meant they had to blow away the xbox when the 360 was ready as they lost money on every unit sold right to the end. I'm not convinced they won't do something similar with the third version. If there's any hope, its that Microsoft usually gets things right by the third version (Windows, Excel, IE, etc.)

I'm interested in... (3, Interesting)

Bluesman (104513) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339149)

I'm happy with a system that can display good games in high definition and take advantage of my home theater setup. The PS3 delivers that for me, but I'd like to see better games available. That said, Rock Band 2 gets a lot of play, and I really appreciate that the PS3 can play just about any media you throw at it.

The Wii has some fun games, and I have one of those too, but they look like absolute crap on a hi-def TV.

An updated Wii makes sense, a new PS3, no way. The PS3 has all the hardware I need -- just make some games already.

Re:I'm interested in... (1)

EvilToiletPaper (1226390) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339543)

True, the PS3 has the potential to be the next-gen console already.. ubisoft should focus on something better than a 3-hour Prince of Persia with an extremely annoying protagonist.

Re:I'm interested in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28339617)

exactly, customers don't want this. It seems just the big publishers do so they can make some quick easy cash-in's so they can sell their software.

Incremental "New" Machines (5, Interesting)

smackenzie (912024) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339163)

Actually, what we are most likely going to see is incremental -- but significant! -- updates to the existing consoles. Updates that are large enough to be considered a "new release" but small enough not to be totally new architectures. We know, for example:

- Microsoft is planning an all-out marketing campaign + release schedule around Natal. It's not quite a new console roll-out, but Microsoft is treating it as such. Fully backwards compatible.

- Nintendo needs to get on the HD bandwagon, but doesn't necessarily need to push the envelope for HD gaming. Expect something that meets 720p criteria and is approximately [some smaller integer greater than 1 but less than 5]x as powerful as the Wii. Fully backwards compatible.

- Sony: not entirely clear. Open to suggestions. They have a PS3 slim in the works. No, not a new console. They released the PSP Go, dropping UMG support. That's interesting. The Cell is a pain-in-the-ass to develop for, but various shops are starting to get the hang of it. Maybe we will see a PS3, Mach II with 2 Cells, slim body and, of course, the now-mandatory motion tracking controllers.

The fact that future games are going to cost somewhere in the $60M ballpark is precisely why we will NOT see brand new architectures any time soon. No one, except maybe 1st party entities, is going to give up all of the applied dev resources to hop to an untested platform.

If you want to commence an interesting dialogue, I propose something like "What, exactly, constitutes a NEW console?"

Quite the Opposite (4, Funny)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339309)

Actually, what we are most likely going to see is incremental

What I think we are more likely to see is excremental.

Re:Incremental "New" Machines (1)

The Moof (859402) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339465)

Sony needs to fix/standardize their online gaming network in a bad way. I shouldn't have to poke holes through the firewall on a per-game basis to play online with my PS3 if the standard PSN ports are already open. Plus, I had to create a full Konami account on top of my PSN account to play MGS Online, which seemed redundant to me.

Suprised? (1)

Xistenz99 (1395377) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339227)

As many missteps as each of the Big 3 Video game makers have had, I think knowing and developing new systems is something they are on top of. They are all real secretive on their R & D, so I am sure they are further enough along then the CEO Ubisoft knows. I think he overestimates OnLive role in video games, which will be minimal at best.

games vs spectacles (5, Insightful)

Speare (84249) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339255)

Games don't take $60 Million to make. Spectacular extravaganzas with high-detail hero models, high-detail set designs, high-detail world designs, full-orchestral scores, full-cinematic cuts, companion toy merchandising, and highly-predictable-never-escapes-the-rails storylines. That's what takes $60 Million to make.

The cat will enjoy a ball of tinfoil more than the eighty dollar robo-mouse. Give the player an enjoyable challenge, something they'll understand on the first play but want to play again and again. Don't try to reinvent the concept of gameplay.

Re:games vs spectacles (1)

Bandman (86149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339381)

Maybe you haven't been paying attention to the stuff put out by Square Enix lately...

Re:games vs spectacles (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339711)

Maybe you haven't been paying attention to the stuff put out by Square Enix lately...

Why not? He described it precisely:

"Spectacular extravaganzas with high-detail hero models, high-detail set designs, high-detail world designs, full-orchestral scores, full-cinematic cuts, companion toy merchandising, and highly-predictable-never-escapes-the-rails storylines."

Re:games vs spectacles (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339587)

Even Killzone 2 supposedly only cost about $30 million to make, and its a pretty huge amount of work.

Back in 2007, their budget for the game was $20 million [spong.com] . I can't imagine most high-end games costing much more than that to develop.

Re:games vs spectacles (1)

YourExperiment (1081089) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339731)

Don't try to reinvent the concept of gameplay.

That's the whole problem - generally speaking, they're not.

Re:games vs spectacles (1)

Magreger_V (1441121) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339737)

"Don't try to reinvent the concept of gameplay" I disagree

Fallout 3... (1)

Anyd (625939) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339767)

Unfortunately my favorite game last year was by far Fallout 3 on PS3. That was a monster of a game, and it turned out incredible. They may have set the bar very high!

Re:games vs spectacles (1)

222 (551054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339855)

On the flip side, I recently finished playing Killzone 2, which had a budget of 30 million dollars. I can honestly say it was one of the most memorable gaming experiences I've had, and I can't believe I'm so impressed by a console shooter.

Market not ready (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339269)

Right now would be an awful time to put forth the expense of a whole new console launch. I think the smart players will wait for at least two more years... even Nintendo, do they really need more power or do they just need more publishers to take full advantage of the Wii as we are just starting to see?

I think the new motion stuff announced by Sony/Microsoft is a stop-gap meant to offer something new but not have a new platform for some time.

Re:Market not ready (2, Interesting)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339579)

Not only is the market not ready, current-gen consoles are still really expensive. One of the XBox 360 models is $299.99 (first new, non-bundle one I found). The PS3 is $400. The Nintendo Wii is still $250 (same as it was 3 years ago). The gaming community is still waiting for their current generation systems to make up for their cost. In contrast, when the previous generation was on it's way out there were $129 PS2s and $99 GCNs.

I'd argue that the high cost to manufacture the PS3 and the XBox 360 leave only Nintendo in any position to move to the next generation. They've been making a profit since the beginning and haven't needed to roll out new versions of their hardware. In contrast, if Sony and MS can't sell their systems for anything less than any next-gen effort would easily cost $1000.

On a side note, the use of the CELL should be considered one of the dumbest design choices. I've worked with people who wrote code for it; it's a nightmare just to get things working. One day game system designers will learn that a simple-to-program system is the way to go.

Does he know what the Wii is? (3, Informative)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339317)

He seems to overlook the fact that the most popular console is the weakest machine, and its popular games (Wii Fit, Wii Sports...) are simple enough that I am not sure how they could benefit from a hardware upgrade beyond input devices. Add to that the motion-control expansions for all the consoles and you have consoles with longer life than usual. Add in the fact that PC gaming tends to work better for the big-ticket games that push performace, and I see no reason why a console maker or game publisher would care to start a new cycle already (I'll leave it to other comments to provide reasons for Ubisoft to want this).

Why would they kill this generation? No more used (5, Interesting)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339355)

This generation has seen console gaming taking the first painful steps into HD. Sony and Microsoft have lost billions on this step, while the comparibly simple Wii is far more profitable. So what are they going to do to increase profits for the next generation?

That's simple-next generation consoles will be entirely DLC-only. Forget about exchanging games, bringing your games over to a friends' house, etc. All games will be download-only and you'll max out your broadband cap by downloading a single game, unless you switch to a certain broadband provider that has a deal worked out with Microsoft so that M$ downloads don't count against your cap.

Wha about diminishing returns (5, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339433)

The 16 bit consoles were clearly miles ahead of the 8 bit machines, but each generation the improvement has been less significant. PS2 games and original XBox games still don't look that bad. The real advantage with the latest generation is higher resolutions. Reflections and shadows are just eye candy.

Now, the question is, why will it cost so much more to develop for a newer generation? Doubling the number of polygons isn't double the work. A lot of effects have already been written so they just need to use existing libraries for them. Game worlds may well get larger but games themselves don't need to do so substantially.

And the main point to realise is that budgets will not magically expand to match the cost of developing a game. The budget for a game is the amount that it can be expected to make in terms of sales so that the investors have a decent profit. The game will have to shrink to match that budget.

Better to spec-bump the next generation (3, Interesting)

hattig (47930) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339451)

I think that both Sony and Microsoft would be insane not to build upon their current platforms with their next generations. Skipping to a new architecture (x86 + Larrabee has been suggested for Sony) would likely cost a lot to implement, and I think that both companies want to break even fairly close to launch this time.

Sony's best path, in 2011, is to launch a PowerXCell32 based PS4. This is basically a Cell with 2 PPUs and 32 enhanced SPUs (although I think they could do a 4 PPU version). Couple that to a GT300 series GPU and you've got a 1080p monster.

I also don't think that Sony can single-chip the PS3 unlike the PS2, because of the NVIDIA GPU. This might make it less economical to cost-reduce like the PS2 later in life.

Microsoft can just have an octo-core CPU running at higher clocks and whatever ATI can come up with in 2011 - R900 at 3TFLOPS?

Regardless, we'll only start hearing about the next generation when the current generation has had another price drop so people don't put off their purchase. I expect to start hearing concrete details in early 2010.

Role Out (1)

amoeba1911 (978485) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339479)

7th grade spelling FAIL

role != roll

The obsession with graphics (1)

Flipao (903929) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339499)

Is driven by hardware manufacturers, not consumers: The most popular game in the world today look dated on its release almost 5 years ago.

How about an open source game console standard? (1)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339549)

One that can take advantage of newer technology to deliver a better gaming experience?

Yeah I know the Indrema failed, but if the people making Linux distros for mobile devices and smart phones decided to port their code to the newer game console technology to creating a game console distro it would be a good idea if many gaming companies joined in and started to work out a standard for game consoles that will help reduce the cost of developing new game consoles for everyone. Not only that but if it is a Linux distro games can be put on LiveCDs that boot and then run the game on PCs and Macs.

I suppose one can just develop video games in Java or Python to be used across any computer platform and port Java and Python for various game consoles to run such games as well.

Xbox 360 is fine for now (1)

Is0m0rph (819726) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339765)

The hardware issues seem to be worked out now with the latest motherboards. Xbox Live is really maturing and branching out into family fun kind of games like 1 vs. 100. Participating in a live game show is more fun then I thought it would be. I couldn't be happier with it right now and it just keeps getting better. Natal, looks gimicky too me will be good for casual gamers like the Wii is and probably attract a good following that way if it's not too expensive.

Where are the games I want? (3, Interesting)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 5 years ago | (#28339817)

I love 2D platformers. The last one that truly impressed me was Astal on the Saturn. Imagine what today's machines could do for this genre; imagine a new Turrican or Shinobi, in high-res 2D, all hand-drawn, with multiple layers of parallax and translucency, with more action and animation than the old systems could dream of handling. To sum it up: something that would be to platformers what The King of Fighters XII is to fighting games.

But sadly, no. These days, 2D platformers are relegated to portable systems. And I'm stuck playing a genre I love with emulators.

Won't somebody think of the platformer fans?!

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