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Ubisoft: New Consoles Coming 2011, 2012

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 28 comments

Consoles, being the closed and fixed platforms they are, have a finite life. Every five years or so, all competitors drop the existing platforms and introduce a new one, thus resetting the console life cycle.

The Xbox 360 was released in late 2005, with the Wii and PlayStation 3 coming out a year later. Microsoft made it a point to be out the gate first, but the Xbox 360 signaled the (somewhat early) start of a new generation.

2010, being the usual five years after the start of the generation, feels too soon to start all over again. Video game sales are still on the rise, and the current consoles’ prices either haven’t dropped at all (Wii) or are still considered too expensive for the masses (PS3).

All signs are pointing to this current console generation being one with a longer life bar.  In fact, Ubisoft is anticipating the next generation machines sometime in 2011 or 2012.

The fact that developers are still extracting more power out of the current platform shows that there isn’t yet a demand for more headroom. Furthermore, the rising costs of producing engines and assets for a modern game would only be made even more severe on a completely new platform.

Ubisoft knows that the next generation will require even more manpower, and is already looking at possible mergers for when the time comes.

"We want to take advantage of a company that could bring more technology to us, or new brands," said CEO Yves Guillemot to GamesIndustry. "So we have now enough to help us to grow the company for not only next year but to get ready for the coming of the next generation consoles that are probably going to happen 2011, 2012.”

So between now and 2012, Microsoft will hopefully have fixed all reliability problems; Sony will have dropped the PS3 price to Xbox 360 levels; and Nintendo will have sold at least one Wii to everyone on the planet.

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  • 0 Hide
    NuclearShadow , January 23, 2009 4:51 PM
    I don't think Nintendo will wait as long as the others. The Wii does lack in hardware compared to the other two consoles and if Nintendo can market it correctly and offering great new features then Nintendo will remain king for now. Even more so if they make the console able to play Wii games as well.
  • -2 Hide
    Tindytim , January 23, 2009 6:50 PM
    There is little purpose to make another console. The Wii is still selling like hotcakes, and most of the people buying it don't care about game depth, complex AI or physics, beautiful presentation, or intricate story. It's not a game console, it's a novelty item.

    When Wii sales slow down, then they should release another console. They could even do what they did with the Wii, and just reproduce the same hardware with a higher clock speed to keep perfect Backwards Compatibility.
  • 4 Hide
    gm0n3y , January 23, 2009 7:18 PM
    I think that Microsoft is going to move even closer to a normal PC architecture with their next system. There are 2 major reasons why they should do this: 1) The cost of the hardware development / general hardware prices will be greatly reduced by sticking to close to normal PC components and 2) Even more important is that development would become even easier and companies would be able to develop a game that will also run, with minor modification, on a PC. This makes sense for M$ because if the game isn't sold for xbox, at least it will be sold to a Windows machine, which they also get money from (for the OS). So cheaper hardware and making game development even cheaper should keep costs down and quality/quantity of games up.

    With Nintendo, I'm still convinced that their just selling a gimmick. The games aren't really that fun after the first couple of hours and the graphics are terrible. Don't get me wrong, there is enormous potential in casual gaming. But I don't think that the Wii is the answer. I'm betting that the Wii could be considered an entry level console to get new gamers into the market and once those newbies become real gamers they'll upgrade to a real console in the next generation.

    As for Sony, the only reason that Sony has ever been a contender in the console war was because they always had the best games. Now they come out saying that they intentionally made the PS3 hard to develop games for. Without good games, Sony doesn't really have a chance. The only options I can see with them is to 1) try to copy M$ maybe with slightly better hardware and make sure to get game studios on board or 2) stick with high end home theater hardware and market the system as a HTPC that can also play games.

    So in the next gen I could see us with a casual system, a real console, and a HTPC. So the market becomes more segmented and hopefully grows overall with the introductions of new gamers via the casual / home theater markets while the middle ground of real gamers continues to grow as the new users become gamers. This really could be a win-win-win if each company can differentiate itself enough.
  • Display all 28 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    Tindytim , January 23, 2009 7:37 PM
    gm0n3yI think that Microsoft is going to move even closer to a normal PC architecture with their next system. There are 2 major reasons why they should do this: 1) The cost of the hardware development / general hardware prices will be greatly reduced by sticking to close to normal PC components and 2) Even more important is that development would become even easier and companies would be able to develop a game that will also run, with minor modification, on a PC. This makes sense for M$ because if the game isn't sold for xbox, at least it will be sold to a Windows machine, which they also get money from (for the OS). So cheaper hardware and making game development even cheaper should keep costs down and quality/quantity of games up


    You do know that the original Xbox was essentially a Pentium 3 PC, right? And that was the downside of the original Xbox, because it used PC parts, they ended up having to pay other companies to use the hardware. They lost large amounts of money on hardware, and ended up being in the hole.

    And, to me, it seems rather silly to make it the same as a PC. The real limitation in power in PCs is the fact that they need to stick to certain norms. Intel couldn't replace all of it's x86 processors with something completely different, even if it was more efficient, and/or more powerful, because they need to keep compatibility, and that's what developers are used to.

    The benefit of a console is there are no standards to follow. They can use new architectures and new technologies to benefit gameplay without being limited by current computing standards.
  • 2 Hide
    gm0n3y , January 23, 2009 7:51 PM
    What you say is true, but, CPU power is not really an issue anymore. Also, they don't have to pay companies to use the hardware, they can make deals with them to buy in enormous quantities to get huge discounts on parts.

    The main issue for the current generation has nothing to do with the amount of power a console has (CPU/GPU), its how well developers can take advantage of that power. Like this article states, "developers are still extracting more power out of the current platform shows that there isn’t yet a demand for more headroom". Consoles need to focus more on games and less on hardware.
  • 0 Hide
    Tindytim , January 23, 2009 8:22 PM
    gm0n3yConsoles need to focus more on games and less on hardware.

    I would agree, to a degree. Gameplay is limited by Hardware. Physics and AI are greatly improved by increases in processing power. How a character can interact with the environment, and with other characters is limited by the hardware.

    gm0n3yWhat you say is true, but, CPU power is not really an issue anymore.

    Is that a joke? I don't quite understand what you mean about an 'issue'. I don't care all that much for graphics, and that's all the GPU does. The CPU does everything else. We haven't reached a perfect level of player interaction with the environment, so I don't know what you mean by "CPU power is not really an issue".

    gm0n3yAlso, they don't have to pay companies to use the hardware, they can make deals with them to buy in enormous quantities to get huge discounts on parts.

    Do you think Microsoft didn't try that?

    What do you think happens when they run out of the bulk parts? Not to mention that company could charge any price that wanted for their parts once it was part of the specification. If you want to make something similar, Microsoft should do what they did with ATI. Begin a joint venture that's mutually beneficial, that's why we have the R600 cards.

    gm0n3yLike this article states, "developers are still extracting more power out of the current platform shows that there isn’t yet a demand for more headroom".

    I believe that has less to do with the want of more, and more to do with the work involved. If you could easily develop for a machine with 50 times the power of the PS3, I bet almost every developer would use the machine to it's full capacity.

    The amount of work needed to yield a small percentage increase seems rather worthless as there would be no threshold in gameplay technology to cross.
  • 2 Hide
    eklipz330 , January 23, 2009 8:41 PM
    lets keep in mind the ps3 is the closest thing to an htpc as of now, and if people can afford it, it'd probably last them for a very very very long time... a ps3 is a good investment, of course assuming sony doesn't collapse
  • 0 Hide
    doormatderek , January 23, 2009 10:21 PM
    The next step for consoles would be to replace a 'generic' computer device. Something to do basic web surfing, email, Youtube, general movie/music player. It would/should be cheaper than a netbook, which I still really see as a waste, play HD games, and do virtually anything a 'computer' can do. It's just a matter of time. Come on, it's gonna be a few years before any new consoles are out, and by then, who knows what kind of technology advances there will be. I think the specs would match any quad core 3ghz system out there
  • 0 Hide
    cheepstuff , January 24, 2009 12:04 AM
    doormatderekThe next step for consoles would be to replace a 'generic' computer device. Something to do basic web surfing, email, Youtube, general movie/music player. It would/should be cheaper than a netbook, which I still really see as a waste, play HD games, and do virtually anything a 'computer' can do. It's just a matter of time. Come on, it's gonna be a few years before any new consoles are out, and by then, who knows what kind of technology advances there will be. I think the specs would match any quad core 3ghz system out there


    actually the wii can surf the web and run stuff like youtude via WiFi. the problem is nintendo's OS is not compatible with adobe flash/shockwave Ect. so it's limited to what it can do on the web. also the wii only brodcasts in 480p while xbox and ps3 can go to 1080i (believe me, it's not so pretty). pointing at the screen with a remote instead of using a mouse is kinda cool though.
  • 1 Hide
    Tindytim , January 24, 2009 3:49 AM
    PS3's can browse the web, watch youtube vids, and run any Distro of your choice. So you could install OpenOffice and do office work on it if you wanted (you can use any USB keyboard and mouse).

    It's already here, it's called a PS3.
  • 0 Hide
    Spikke , January 24, 2009 11:55 AM
    cheepstuffalso the wii only brodcasts in 480p while xbox and ps3 can go to 1080i (believe me, it's not so pretty).

    The 360 and PS3 do full 1080p. I have both, and use 1080p on both. My 360 is the Elite version though, so I can't speak for all models of the 360.
  • 1 Hide
    radguy , January 25, 2009 9:16 PM
    All models of the Xbox360 do 1080p but if you have only component out then it depends on the TV to receive input as 1080p via component. (the number of tvs that do is very very very small). It is myth that component doesn't do 1080p but it is very rare.
    The xbox 360 has the better titles, better multiplayer, and is cheaper so its beating the ps3. The wii doesn't have the titles or hardware but has the multiplay, its inovative, and is very fun for a wide audience.
    Personally I think that we need to gets some factories open and these consoles on shelves. This whole tring to find one is for the birds. At this point microsoft or nintendo could gain more ground by getting a new console out next year. Sony's 10 year ps3 might be in trouble.
  • -1 Hide
    john5246 , March 19, 2010 12:34 AM
    I don't think there will be any mention of consoles until after Xmas 2010.

    As far as what to expect from the new consoles I would say look for them to do more with online content like youtube, netflix, etc. Having that market is great, and MS needs to find a way to offer unique shows to anyone that owns a 360. For example, they could create a reality show for it. I see the new consoles featuring a lot of widgets/apps.
  • 0 Hide
    skw1 , November 4, 2010 11:28 PM

    As far as innovation goes, Nintendo will always be at the forefront of the industry. No one else seems to take bold new risks and that's why Nintendo's done so well this time around with the Wii..
    MS and Sony are more concerned about power and creating a multipurpose machine. Where’s the innovation in that. You’re just recycling something and making it better? Isn’t that what Apple does with it’s products?...... Exactly!

    People can bash Nintendo all they want, but the fact of the matter is the gaming industry wouldn't be what it is today if it wasn’t for them.
    Look at Sony’s new Remote and now XBOX’s Kinect. They’ve seen the tremendous success of the Wii and now they want a piece of the pie.
    Nintendo is an asset to the gaming industry as a whole going forward. They may not appeal to the hardcore gamers out there but they’ll always push the envelope. By doing so, their competitors will copy and better their technology. But that’s after they’ve made sh*t loads of money.

    There’s my 2 cents
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 27, 2010 11:59 PM
    oh for christ sakes , all kinect is is eyetoy on steroids, all ps move is wii on steroids, but move was in development like 2 years before wii came out , sony was afraid to release wii-like console cause they saw it as a risk ,but thanks to wii it opened the door so they finished developing the thing . all 3 companies robbed each other . and forever wii will be the console that is the most successful for grannies and people who play games like they should be played, for fun. Xbox will always be the console for ms fanboys , people who enjoy console mp experience that doesnt suck and who dont mind paying for things other consoles have outside the box. Essentially xbox vs ps3 is like mac vs windows. MS has bigger share but is it really better ? No , its better cause of the extras that you buy that cost you shit lots of money. Ps3 will always be for people who have the money to pay 300-400 bucks for a powerhouse that has shitty mp . If you ask me , the best bet is to invest a grand in a pc , then upgrade it every few years . Pc games look waay better (We all know Crysis).

    In the end of the day all consoles are is just a dumbed down generic PCs that are cheaper to buy than a pc of similar specs, yet they are nowhere near pc's funcionality . PC is only limited by the amount of money a person is willing to put into hardware and imagination of the soft devs. Whereas the consoles are restricted by the hardware inside them , the creators , and the game developers.

    When you buy xbox , ps3 or WII , thats what you get , thats all it is , 2 years later it will be the same thing , 10 years later it will be the same thing . it wont cost you anything to maintain it, but eventually it will die out and you'll be stuck playing the same games with the same functionality . PC however , once you buy it , it will be so much different after x amount of years. I bought my first pc 10 years ago , back then it was a great machine ,and due to constant updates (every 2-3 years roughly) it is still a great machine. It plays any game , it has potential that neither ps3 nor xbox nor wii will have. as far as Motion sensors go ?

    you have usb addons that enable touchscreens, if thats not enough , kinect has been out for 2 months and its already hacked. give it half year and that thing will be re-sold as a pc addon.

    Pc was the past ,is the NOW and WILL be the FUTURE .

    Hate it love it ,but you cant deny it . its true. and every generation of consoles is proving that by coming closer and closer to its original .
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 25, 2011 8:27 AM
    I wish some new expensive tech would come out from microsoft that all the low lifes and kids can`t afford, x box live was great when it first started but now hardly anyone talks and when they do it is always swearing and cussing other people, now every chav can afford a 360 and that sucks!!!
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 1, 2011 4:49 PM
    I think the ps3 is the winner of 2010 and will be 2011. The PS3 simply does everything. The PS3 is basically a computer on steroids. 3D games 3D movies, games on blu ray disc that can store massive amount of data. The PS3 games are scratch resistant and soon the xbox360 wont be able to keep up. They can't store as much data on a disc like the ps3. To where the ps3 will out last the xbox360 and wii. 40gig games and if you look at ps3's exclusives they look way better. God of war 3, Final fantasy. Microsoft cant store 40 gigs on a double layer disc. Full blown internet w/ keyboard and mouse, blu tooth, Divx compatible, and 3D with move. It's unbeatable. Oh yeah and dont let me get on the ps3 hacks. My god.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , February 27, 2011 8:35 PM
    i miss the good old days when i was a kid, saving money for so long that by the time i bought the newest console a new one came out and i could start the whole process over. i miss that. there is just no excitement anymore when purchasing new consoles. esspecially if your a 360 gamer whos already bought 3 of the damn things cause they break down every year and you're just too damn curious about whats inside of it to worry about silly things such as voiding the warrenty
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , May 4, 2011 1:15 PM
    on the 360 you have to by a card for enternet. the 360 break down ever year so you have to get it fix again and again. one u get sick of fixing it you had spent more money then you bought it.som pepol spend more money than 2 of them. that y evryone need to go to ps3becaus its better than a XBOX360!im tired of fixing my XBOX360
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 17, 2011 3:53 AM
    Playstation is the best. Eiffel 65 even made a song about it intitled "my console". The PS3 is just the upgraded version. I think if Sony made a PS4 I would buy it. :) 
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