Ubisoft boss Yves Guillemot believes this console generation has lasted too long, leading to a dearth of innovation thanks to the poor performance of new properties mid-cycle.
“The transition has been very long,” Guillemot told Polygon
The executive said the industry is used to console cycles of about five years, whereas the Xbox 360 has been in action for seven years now.
“We need new consoles and at the end of the cycle generally the market goes down because there are less new IPs, new properties, so that damaged the industry a little bit. I hope next time they will come more often,” he said.
Guillemot said that content creators are inspired to “take more risks and do different things” during a hardware transition, whereas when a console starts to age, new IPs don’t sell well even if they’re good. Although the core is still keen on new experiences, he argued, companies can’t take the risk.
“Everybody who is taking risks and innovating is welcome because there are lots of hardcore gamers and those guys want new things, where the mass market will be more interested in having the same experience,” he said.
“It’s not aware as much of what is going to change its experience. So, the beginning of the machines is always a good time for innovation.”
Retail sales figures have been gradually slipping for over a year now, with many major publishers and platform holders posting losses or declines. A growth in digital sales and the rising popularity of alternate business models may negate much of the drop in the market, but Ubisoft – always happy to jump in on a new console – isn’t the first to call for new hardware to give the games industry a boost.
Microsoft and Sony are strongly tipped to reveal new hardware in 2013; VG247 learned recently that new PlayStation 4 development kits were doing the rounds.