At the Nasdaq 35th Investor Program Conference, Electronic Arts CFO Blake Jorgensen praised the mid-generation console refresh being carried out by Sony and Microsoft and condemned the old console cycles as “painful”.
The executive pointed out that in previous console cycles investors always tried to identify the peak earning period, seeing as moving from a generation to generation involved huge expenses to upgrade.
The fact that consoles were also highly customized didn’t help matters — each iteration of the Xbox and PlayStation were very different mainly as a result of being built on customized chipsets that were difficult to program for in the early years of their release.
And then there was the issue of compatibility between between cycles, which forced gamers to stop buying games for the older consoles…
According to Jorgensen, EA cut down the number of game engines from 25 to only two in a effort to control the high costs of developing for drastically different platforms, but games were still not compatible across generations.
The situation is of course different today, with both Microsoft and Sony releasing micro-upgrades more often, allowing for more compatibility of games with previous generations.
That’s to say the market now looks a lot more like a traditional PC market than the specialized console market of yore, which Jorgensen believes is “great for the industry, great for their [Sony and Microsoft’s] production, great for software costs, and great for the consumers.”
Consoles will still continue to get more powerful, making older software less appetizing, but “the whole notion that investors had of the cycle is gone away.”
What do you think about the new direction Microsoft and Sony are taking with this console generation? Was it long overdue? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
New N7 Day Mass Effect Andromeda Trailer is Intense, See it
The new N7 Day Mass Effect Andromeda trailer that fans have been impatiently waiting for is finally here, and it’s intense.
We get to see more scripted and in-game footage of the game world, as well as ‘brother’ Ryder, his alien crew and what appears to be the main villain in action. It might have also confirmed the existence of Salarians in Andromeda.
The Andromeda Initiative recruitment page has been updated to coincide with the trailer’s release. It shows the user’s login details with the year 2184… the year just before the events of Mass Effect 2.
The Andromeda Initiative is scheduled to launch in 2185, the year Commander Shepherd returns from the dead (the beginning of Mass Effect 2). Three Ark ships, each containing three different species in cryo stasis, will leave the Milkyway for the new galaxy, with plans to wake up the occupants 600 years later.
Judging by the trailer, things don’t go according to plan.
Mass Effect Andromeda launches for the Xbox One, PS4, and PC in Spring 2017. Are you excited for the new adventure?
Microsoft to Challenge PS VR With $299 Virtual Reality Headsets
Microsoft has teamed up with several hardware makers to develop virtual reality headsets that are even more affordable than the PlayStation VR.
Laptop makers Acer, ASUS, Dell, Lenovo, and Hewlett Packard (HP) are among the companies Microsoft is working with. Their VR headsets are expected to release in spring 2017 and will start at $299 in the United States.
Despite their low price, the units will be the “first and only” headsets with “inside out six degrees of freedom sensors,” which is to say they won’t require extra accessory such as a camera sensor.
Microsoft says they will the the “first VR headsets capable of mixed reality,” and each one will work the Windows 10 Creators Update. Terry Meyers, the tech giant’s EVP of the Windows and Devices Group, specifically stated:
“Unlike every other virtual reality headset in the market today, there will be zero need for a separate room and complicated setup.
While the less immersive VR accessories today cost more than $500, or require a new expensive device, these accessories will start at just $299 and work with affordable laptops and PCs.”
Additional details on the headsets will be released closer to their release in the spring. Make sure to stay tuned to GameTribute for future developments.
What Can We Expect From Xbox Project Scorpio?
With the Xbox One S now out, what everyone is waiting for is the so-called the Project Scorpio, possibly a new breed of Xbox.
When it comes to console gaming, we always expect major technological progress every 3 to 5 years but are often disappointed with what little we get. Some games, even the big budget, triple A titles end up looking dated after just a couple of short years, whereas it seems PC gaming just keeps on progressing.
Why is this not about Project Scorpio? Although this particular console will have a set of hardware and is built to outpace both the Xbox One and Xbox One S in performance, it will still technically run the same games, so if that’s what you’re hoping to see when it comes, your money might be better spent just buying new Xbox Games from Harvey Norman or from your local game stop.
What’s this ‘new breed’ of Xbox?
By a new breed of Xbox, we mean the next proper generation of Microsoft’s console — a fresh start for the company, if you will, a system able to play games both the Xbox One and Xbox One S wish they could.
The Xbox One we have today has undergone several changes since the console was first announced back in 2013. If the system was released as originally planned, we’d have a console that required constant internet connection to play games, effectively undermining the pre-owned games market and requiring a subscription to Xbox Live Gold.
Also, it would’ve came bundled with a new and improved Kinect — something hardly any gamer wanted — and wouldn’t have been fully functional without the motion sensing input device.
Guy Cocker, a former game expert at Wired and T3, said that “Microsoft made many mistakes during the pre-launch period of the Xbox One.” The major ones include pitching a product that no one wanted (Kinect) and positioning the system as more of a living room entertainment box that mixed a DVR, a video streamer, an internet browser than a true gaming experience.
The decision to forcefully include Kinect made the console significantly more expensive than the PS4, plus it proposed some very draconian anti-consumer measures regarding the trading of pre-owned games that further left a bad taste in gamers’ mouths.
Microsoft, to its credit, listened to player feedbacks, critiques and video game blogs, and introduced new policies to make the Xbox One more appealing to its core audience, but a lot of damage had already been done to the brand’s image.
The Next Xbox: games focused
“I think the next Xbox will be a game-focused console, so it will unveil with high-spec PC hardware like the Xbox One, the difference being it will be cheaper at launch,” says Cocker.
Microsoft may have overlooked highlighting this in Xbox One’s original reveal, but it has since changed its tune thanks to the backlash from the gaming community. According to Cocker, there’s also a very good chance the next Xbox will ditch a physical disc drive as online services get better and better, but we have our doubts considering that a 4K blu ray drive is one of the main reasons why the Xbox One S has sold well.
What we know for certain is that the Xbox One Scorpio will be the most powerful console ever made when it goes on sale, handily beating the PS4 Pro and Nintendo Switch on all technical fronts. Unlike the Pro, it will offer true 4K gaming.
There are also rumors of VR tech to take on the PlayStation V3 and the reintroduction of Kinect. All this boils down to a console that’s expected to stick around for a very long time.
For now, us gamers can only hope for the best and placate ourselves with the Xbox One S. Holding on to your Xbox One? Check out the Xbox games from Harvey Norman to get your fix of the latest titles delivered straight to your doorstep. After all, awesome games are what always matter in the end, right?
What do you expect from the Xbox One Scorpio?
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