Ubisoft Boss Hopes the Next Console Generation Doesn't Last As Long As This One

Illustration for article titled Ubisoft Boss Hopes the Next Console Generation Doesnt Last As Long As This One

Many of us would consider a long console lifespan to be a good thing, but Yves Guillemot, the CEO at Ubisoft, says it's bad for the industry.

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Bemoaning a "very long" transition to new hardware, Guillemot told Polygon that "we are used to changing machines every five years." At the end of a hardware cycle, the market dips because publishers are unwilling to invest in new properties if new machines are on the way.

Guillemot added that the transition to new hardware is typically when studios and publishers try to make a fresh start of things. "When a console is out for a long time ... you don't take as much risks on totally new IPs because even if they are good, they don't sell as well."

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While I'm not keen on buying a new console every three or four years, what he's saying does have some merit, particularly from where I observe things in sports. Annual sports titles are a great example of a product whose owners won't take risks with at the end of a console cycle—NCAA Football 13, criticized as a bland follow-up to 12, is a prime example. Scuttlebutt holds that developers aren't inclined to push through new concepts because they'd either have to re-engineer them on new hardware.

Ubisoft: Long console life-cycles bad for the industry [Polygon]

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DISCUSSION

I'm holding off purchasing any new console hardware at the moment, just because I have a giant backlog of content from the last year or two to get through. There's no point buying new hardware when there is still a crapload of content to get through with the current HD hardware, which still isn't showing its age.

There was a definite slowdown in quality releases towards the end of the XBox's life-cycle, and even the PS2 had quite a decline in quality game releases during the lead-up to the PS3 being released. I haven't seen any evidence of that happening yet with the current generation - maybe that's because a lot of publishers that were primarily PC-focused five years ago are now focusing on console titles.

The Wii is the only exception to this - and that is simply because Nintendo have moved their focus onto the Wii U now.