In a recent interview, Electronic Arts (EA) have cast doubt on the future of consoles like the Xbox Scorpio and Sony PlayStation 5.
As EA’s Vice President of Investor Relations, Chris Evenden explained at the Deutsche Bank Technology Conference (via GamesIndustry.biz) that subscription services through smart TVs could be the future of gaming.
“I think it’s inevitable that the gaming entertainment world will move in much the same way that the music and video entertainment worlds have already moved, in the sense that people have moved from an ownership model to an access model,” he said.
“And you’ll see that in gaming, just as you’ve seen it with Spotify and Netflix in other media businesses.”
EA is already heavily invested in subscription based applications such as EA Access on Xbox One. Likewise, both Sony and Microsoft have launched subscription-based streaming services for their games; namely PlayStation Plus & Xbox Game Pass – all 3 are on offer for £7.99 a month or less.
“That infrastructure barrier is still there, but it’s shrinking very rapidly,” he continued.
“And we think in the next couple of years, you’ll see some major technological announcements that will prove to be commercially significant in the next three to five years.”
The EA chief see’s consoles as an expensive way of gaming and has a vision for the future which see’s games streamed through Smart TVs:
“Right now if you want to play FIFA in the United States, it will cost you $460,” Evenden added. “You have to buy the game; you have to buy the console.
“In a streaming world, it could be $9.99 a month. The commercial details have to be worked out, but whatever number it ends up at is very much less than $460. So that extends your market because all you need locally is literally a smart TV.”
NextGen is currently a fair way off
Shawn Layden, President of SIEA recently suggested that the PS5 would be a long time coming.
Layden said that it would “probably be some time” before the PS5 is released, which suggests that talk of a 2018 launch is premature.
He also addressed concerns that Sony would start releasing PS4 Pro-only titles.
“That will never happen!” he said. “With the PlayStation 4 Pro we have for the first time implemented this kind of innovation within the life cycle of a console.
“The Pro is really only to offer advantages such as 4K resolutions and HMD for players who can and want to use that.
“Add to this a more stable image rate and larger hard disk space. But [PS4 owners have] no real disadvantages. Each of our games will continue to run on the classic PS4 and possibly slightly better on the Pro.”
Can you see a future without consoles? I’m not so sure myself.
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