EA’s CFO, Eric Brown, has said that because of the slow adoption of price cuts from the console manufactures coupled with today’s current HD technology, there will not be a quick adoption of new console hardware in the foreseeable future.
Therefore, current generation consoles won’t be going away anytime soon.
Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco, Brown said that next-gen hardware is not feasible at this time, as new development costs would run up into the billions and current consoles already suit consumers’ needs.
“Pricing has not come down as much as we would have expected at this point in the cycle compared to the last, [and there's] a long way to go with respect to pricing,” said Brown.
“Last cycle, approximately 48 percent of PlayStation 2 units were sold at a price point of $149 or less. Clearly at $299 we’re nowhere near that price point”.
Also, according to Brown, with the era of HD televisions at hand, new hardware would go beyond what is already not highly adapted in homes just yet, making it impossible for all consumers to enjoy the product.
“Today we have two of the three consoles that operate in full high-definition and are running games at 60 frames-per-second. If you step back and say if it’s a multi-billion capital dollar investment for the next generation, the question I would ask is if you were to produce that then what would you display it on?,” he said.
“There’s really nothing in terms of broadly available consumer viewing technology other than 1080p flat panel televisions and so you could upgrade in theory but you wouldn’t get the obvious graphical benefit that we saw really drove the sharp transitions in the prior cycle.
“I don’t think the console cycle is broken, but it’s fair to say that this console [cycle] is different to previous console cycles.”
Brown also believes that new developmental focus on online multiplayer, DLC, and Arc and Natal are other factors that will extend the current console generation.
These sentiments are echoed by developers such as Remedy, which feel that the consoles on the market still have loads of tech to tap into.
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