Perhaps, next-generation video game systems from Microsoft Corp. and Sony Corp. are not as advanced compared to modern PCs as current-gen consoles were in 2005 – 2006. However, chief executive of Activision Blizzard, one of the world’s largest game publishers, is confident that both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will enjoy very long life-cycles and will enable game experiences impossible before.
“I think, that most manufacturers are delivering on the promise of excellent hardware. […] I think they both made great progress. […] My sense is that consumers are going to be excited about this hardware. I think that over the long term, they probably be, if not as long as what we have seen in the current cycle, [but] roughly the same amount of time. I think that you are going to see new kinds of software that has not been available in this current generation. I am just seeing the things that we are working on and the things that weare developing, things that we have never been able to do before, that I think will excite audiences in ways that we have not seen before,” said Robert Kotick, chief executive and president of Activision Blizzard, during quarterly conference call with financial analysts.
Screenshots from Call of Duty: Ghosts game, which is powered by next-generation engine and is set to be released on nearly all gaming platforms available today. It is claimed that it will look especially spectacular on Microsoft Xbox One, Sony PlayStation 4 and latest PCs.
From hardware technology perspective, both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One provide a lot of functionality that was impossible before on game consoles and some technologies not available even on PCs at the moment. As a result it is natural to expect better graphics, better gameplay physics, cloud-assisted computing and so on. Besides, Microsoft will ship improved second-generation Kinect with every Xbox One, which will not only enable new experiences for core gamers, but will attract non-core gamers to the platform.
But besides hardware innovations, both consoles will feature a number of consumer-oriented technologies designed to make it easier to get games and play games. For example, when it comes to digital distribution, then gamers will be able to start playing very shortly after the purchase, even before the whole game is downloaded. This will likely catalyze them to spend more, a good news for publishers.
In addition, Mr. Kotick expects Microsoft and Sony to be more aggressive than ever before with the new platforms in terms of marketing, sales and volume manufacturing.
“I think, they are going to put more marketing money against the launches than ever before. I think, they have both learned a lot about how to improve and enhance supply chain and manufacturing efficiencies. I think, when you look at all of these new benefits that will come from direct digital distribution, the ability to have an always-on device… I think, there is a lot that you look at in terms of future and capabilities, whether it is social gaming, whether it is some other enhancements, [whether it is] improvements you see in graphics processing,” said the head of Activision.