THQ Exec Says New Console Generation Would Be "Horrible"

THQ Exec Says New Console Generation Would Be "Horrible"

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A new generation of consoles from Microsoft or Sony would be "horrible," in the words of THQ Vice President Danny Bilson, who said that any new hardware launch within the next few years would just put the screws to everyone.

The launch of a new console is always exciting stuff. Sexier graphics, better performance, hugely improved capabilities all the way around - what's not to like? The expense and hassle of shifting development to a new platform is one thing, Bilson told Eurogamer, and the resulting higher cost of new releases is another.

"It would be horrible," he said when asked about a hypothetical new generation of consoles. "It still costs us a fortune to make games on this platform. If they're going to up the scale, up the art, up the content, I don't know how to make that and sell it to anybody for under $100 a game. Who wants to do that? It's bad for everybody."

Bilson pointed at the recently-released World of Warcraft: Cataclysm as a prime example of a game that continues to impress despite its obvious age. He started playing the game again after a year away and said that his initial reaction to the dated visuals were quickly pushed aside by the great content. "It's so polished, it's fantastic," he said. "That's the great thing about Blizzard."

"Stability of technology allows for the fruition and the growth of creative. We're not having to invest all of our focus, and, oh my god, how are we going to deal with that new technology? We understand it," he explained. "We still have guys trying to squeeze it to do cooler stuff, but it puts the weight of the mission under creative, which ultimately should get us more interesting and more creative stuff."

Fortunately for Bilson, both Sony and Microsoft seem determined to squeeze more life out of their current platforms. Sony has often touted the planned ten-year lifespan of the PlayStation 3, while Microsoft said in June 2010 that the launch of Kinect will keep the Xbox 360 around for at least five more years.

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He makes a good point.

I do really like THQ. (gush)

I think our current tech can last for a few more years still.

Well, if the PS3 has the lifespan of it's predecessor, it'll be around for a loooong time, and since Kinect is supposed to keep the 360 going, it'll likely last a while too.
The only one that might not be affected by this is the Wii.
It still prints money, but after the 3DS, who knows what the next big Nintendo thing is.
Aside from that, the Wii is the only one of the big 3 that still falls in the last generation in terms of horse power.
It could stand to get an uprgade, and I have a feeling Nintendo won't wait 5-10 years to do it.

He's missing the point. All this Move/Kinect BS is the next generation. As much as we may not like it, they've launched all new SKU's, and even Microsoft is now denouncing their console as a strictly "gaming" device.

It's happened. It's already here.

...God I can't wait for the next one... Hopefully there's less jumping about and shovelware.

Can't we just update what we have now? I'd like to be able to run Crysis at a resonable pace without clearing half my hard drive.

This generation does seem to be lasting longer than the last couple. Though I don't know if the PS3 and XBox 360 could last 10 years without an upgrade. Comparing a PS2 and a current day PC you can really tell the difference.

I'm honestly wondering if Sony can get that 10 years they want from the PS3 considering it's been cracked wide open now. If they can't fix it, what do they do?

Next gen consoles: Nintendo Wii-lite, Xbox 365, PS 3.2.

I'm okay with how things are right. Current top level of graphics blocked by console performance is more than satisfying on PC. Optimize performance and thing about gameplay, devs.

A minor hardware revision would be nice, like doubling the amount of RAM in the consoles to make games more stable with less pop-in and a larger viewing distance.

However, even that would be problematic as creating games that would take full advantage of the extra memory (if present), while still remaining compatible in multiplayer with inferior consoles, would make the development process more a more complex process, which ultimately would increase production times and costs.

I remember when I had an Amiga, which was essentially a early gaming PC more akin to a console, few games would actually recognise and use the extra RAM and floppy drives I had.

It's a shame, because games of this generation have reached a plateau, with most new titles pushing the consoles to their limits, so with very little scope left for graphical and performance improvements the only really innovations in the next 5 years are going to be gameplay wise.

Andy Chalk:
Fortunately for Bilson, both Sony and Microsoft seem determined to squeeze more life out of their current platforms. Sony has often touted the planned ten-year lifespan of the PlayStation 3, while Microsoft said in June 2010 that the launch of Kinect will keep the Xbox 360 around for at least five more years.

I was gonna say, isnt it abit soon to release new consoles?

besides, if the PS3 can hold up as well as the PS2, we wont have a PS4 till Nintendo releases whatever unappealing and uninspiring casual gamer sponge it wants to put out after the Wii and the Wii's successor and Microsoft releases its 540 or 720.

What he's really saying, "We don't want a new console because we don't want to learn a new format and new programming! *cry*"

A new console generation can only truly equal profit. In the next 2 years, once the Kinect/Move hype has totally died down, I think it'll be time for a new console. By 2014, the 360 will be 9 years old and it will be time for it to pass it's legacy onto its son, the ...720?

I had this discussion the other day with a few game tests and regular gamers. They want a console that handle the demands of an MMO. They want more improved graphics and newer, better online services for all consoles.

I'd like to see a PS4 that doesn't require that I HAVE to download the game before I play. If I wanted to download a game before I played, I'd go to the PC. Sadly, waiting for games to download is something I hate about my PS3. Console games should be playing as soon as I buy them, that's the beauty of the console.

I'm really liking THQ and this Bilson guy recently. They're making some great games and saying some things gamers want to hear (unlike those OTHER publishers). Do I want to pay $100 for a game? No. Do I want to buy my cutscenes on DVD? No, Kotick, you fucking retard.

Jamash:
A minor hardware revision would be nice, like doubling the amount of RAM in the consoles to make games more stable with less pop-in and a larger viewing distance.

However, even that would be problematic as creating games that would take full advantage of the extra memory (if present), while still remaining compatible in multiplayer with inferior consoles, would make the development process more a more complex process, which ultimately would increase production times and costs.

I remember when I had an Amiga, which was essentially a early gaming PC more akin to a console, few games would actually recognise and use the extra RAM and floppy drives I had.

It's a shame, because games of this generation have reached a plateau, with most new titles pushing the consoles to their limits, so with very little scope left for graphical and performance improvements the only really innovations in the next 5 years are going to be gameplay wise.

You say improved gameplay like it's a bad thing.

Well THQ.... Homefront comes out in a couple of months....

VanityGirl:
What he's really saying, "We don't want a new console because we don't want to learn a new format and new programming! *cry*"

A new console generation can only truly equal profit. In the next 2 years, once the Kinect/Move hype has totally died down, I think it'll be time for a new console. By 2014, the 360 will be 9 years old and it will be time for it to pass it's legacy onto its son, the ...720?

I had this discussion the other day with a few game tests and regular gamers. They want a console that handle the demands of an MMO. They want more improved graphics and newer, better online services for all consoles.

I'd like to see a PS4 that doesn't require that I HAVE to download the game before I play. If I wanted to download a game before I played, I'd go to the PC. Sadly, waiting for games to download is something I hate about my PS3. Console games should be playing as soon as I buy them, that's the beauty of the console.

He's the VP at THQ. I think I know what he's talking about regarding development and cost. And if it was all about money, he would be demanding new hardware. These people are artists, they want to be creative. They finally can be because they know the hardware, and you want them to throw that away?

Do you really think Microsoft would let Kinect hype die down? Has Wii hype died down in 5 years? No.

I don't think a console is the best place for an MMO. Possibly a reason why there isn't one on console? Then again, what is an MMO? Massive Multiplayer Online. Don't Halo and CoD fall into that?

How much more can you improve graphics? GT5 has cars with a poly count of 200000+! They look fucking REAL!

(Who are these people you are talking to about these things?)

Official name: Playstation 3 Computer Entertainment System <-- It says 'computer.'

HankMan:
Can't we just update what we have now? I'd like to be able to run Crysis at a resonable pace without clearing half my hard drive.

Eh? Crysis isn't that big an install, and uninstalling stuff won't improve it's performance.

OT: *sigh*

As a PC gamer, this is disheartening.

vxicepickxv:

Jamash:
A minor hardware revision would be nice, like doubling the amount of RAM in the consoles to make games more stable with less pop-in and a larger viewing distance.

However, even that would be problematic as creating games that would take full advantage of the extra memory (if present), while still remaining compatible in multiplayer with inferior consoles, would make the development process more a more complex process, which ultimately would increase production times and costs.

I remember when I had an Amiga, which was essentially a early gaming PC more akin to a console, few games would actually recognise and use the extra RAM and floppy drives I had.

It's a shame, because games of this generation have reached a plateau, with most new titles pushing the consoles to their limits, so with very little scope left for graphical and performance improvements the only really innovations in the next 5 years are going to be gameplay wise.

You say improved gameplay like it's a bad thing.

I didn't intend for it to sound like a bad thing, although for some people it's all about shiny graphics at 60fps, while things like gameplay and innovation are a secondary concern.

Personally, I found a game like Cysis to be stale and boring, but I've spent months enjoying Mount and Blade.

Innovation came be a risky venture for game developers though, especially 6 years into a generation.

While the AAA titles and sequels are producing similar games that are basically just improving the graphics and trying to visually one-up the competition, a misjudged innovation and break from (the easy money of) the established norm can spell death for a developer.

RUINER ACTUAL:

He's the VP at THQ. I think I know what he's talking about regarding development and cost. And if it was all about money, he would be demanding new hardware. These people are artists, they want to be creative. They finally can be because they know the hardware, and you want them to throw that away?

Do you really think Microsoft would let Kinect hype die down? Has Wii hype died down in 5 years? No.

I don't think a console is the best place for an MMO. Possibly a reason why there isn't one on console? Then again, what is an MMO? Massive Multiplayer Online. Don't Halo and CoD fall into that?

How much more can you improve graphics? GT5 has cars with a poly count of 200000+! They look fucking REAL!

(Who are these people you are talking to about these things?)

Official name: Playstation 3 Computer Entertainment System <-- It says 'computer.'

Actually... The hype of the Kinect could very well die down. I think you're forgetting WHY the Wii sold so well for so long.
The Wii was the ONLY motion controlled console on the market. All of its adverts targeted young kids and stay at home moms. If you don't believe me, go back and look at the advertisements again.

Honestly, MMO's can work on consoles. DC Universe is great and it's on the PS3. Why deny people the chance to play MMO's on a console just because you don't think it'll work?
But when we think of an MMO, we think of a massive multiplayer game where we can interact with hundreds of players at one time. That means a game like WoW in which hundreds of players can be inhabiting the same area at one time. This is what a lot of people want on the console.

And Gran Turismo has flaws. Besides its beautiful cars, they couldn't incorporated proper car damage... I wonder why that was? I believe the creator of Gran Turismo even said the PS3 wasn't powerful enough to allow them to put everything they wanted into the game.

The PS3's name doesn't stop if from being what it is, a console. This is a console. It should be able to play games as soon as I shove that BluRay disk in the drive. Regardless of what the PS3's official name is, the point of a console is to be quick and conventional. Perhaps this is something Sony should work on. Maybe the PS4 should be a quicker machine.

This is the opinion of myself and others I've talked to. The game testers I know have been testing Bulletstorm, Gears and DC Universe. I'm not sure what difference it makes knowing who they are, but there you go.

One last thing, I know he's a THQ Executive, but I'd rather hear good reason from the console makers themselves. I know for a fact Sony, Microsoft and Wii want their consoles to have a 10+ year lifespan, but sadly this is not always in the cards.
In fact, the recently release of the new motion controls is not just a money grab for the companies, it's a way to ensure console longevity. This will give the companies at minimum a year or two before they need to look ahead, hence why I said in my OP "in the next two years".

But, this is just my humble opinion.

Im no expert far from it but if they want to make games with really great graphics but still be affordable maybe they could try re-using assets.

I mean how many different variations of tree do you really need? with graphics as good as theyre going to be stop making new ones for each game if you have 30 or 40 different tree models who is really gonna notice? if theyre the same 30 or 40 for all the games out there?.

how about game actors ... no no not voice actors I mean literally game character actors. movies teach us to not care that a character in one movie is suddenly a whole different one in another despite looking identicle. re-use the character models from game to game much like movie actors. at most youd have to model new outfits.

if the graphics are good enough improvement from one game to another becomes a none issue so reuse what you have.

thenumberthirteen:
This generation does seem to be lasting longer than the last couple. Though I don't know if the PS3 and XBox 360 could last 10 years without an upgrade. Comparing a PS2 and a current day PC you can really tell the difference.

yeah but you may not have noticed we have sort of come close to the graphics plateau, to improve it further you would require a great deal more resources or processing power, so much so that its uneconomical to do it. There are very few mainstream games nowadays in which the graphics is even an issue. Hell to my eyes certain games from last generation still hold up graphically. I could easily see this generation lasting that long primarily due to how long it takes for 3rd party developers to actually get the most out of their machines ( i hesitate to say we may not of seen it yet).

ryo02:

how about game actors ... no no not voice actors I mean literally game character actors. movies teach us to not care that a character in one movie is suddenly a whole different one in another despite looking identicle. re-use the character models from game to game much like movie actors. at most youd have to model new outfits.

if the graphics are good enough improvement from one game to another becomes a none issue so reuse what you have.

I'll start off by saying your first point is totally true, however the point i quoted is completely off base.
the major reason to not do this is that games like to use different engines, it allows their characters to act in different ways, from over the top super jumps in crysis to the uber realistic movements of heavy rain. A lot of a games feel comes from the physics and motions that the creative team add to the player character. This is why i believe that your second suggestion would be bad for the industry.

This is why I am a PC gamer. Most of the remaining PC devs put in all the nice stuff that they want to in a game without being restricted like on a console and can get away with it due to the great flexibility of the computer as a platform. Also, community fixes. That is all.

Mircosoft doesn't need a new console just make a add on blue ray player and the 360 will last as long as the ps3.

Mircosoft doesn't need a new console just make a add on blue ray player and the 360 will last as long as the ps3.

bahumat42:

ryo02:

how about game actors ... no no not voice actors I mean literally game character actors. movies teach us to not care that a character in one movie is suddenly a whole different one in another despite looking identicle. re-use the character models from game to game much like movie actors. at most youd have to model new outfits.

if the graphics are good enough improvement from one game to another becomes a none issue so reuse what you have.

I'll start off by saying your first point is totally true, however the point i quoted is completely off base.
the major reason to not do this is that games like to use different engines, it allows their characters to act in different ways, from over the top super jumps in crysis to the uber realistic movements of heavy rain. A lot of a games feel comes from the physics and motions that the creative team add to the player character. This is why i believe that your second suggestion would be bad for the industry.

technically my first point was that Im not an expert hence why some of my points may not have been all that pointy.

but you make a good point although I dont think I ever actually mentioned the games engine just what goes over it graphics wise.

ryo02:

bahumat42:

ryo02:

how about game actors ... no no not voice actors I mean literally game character actors. movies teach us to not care that a character in one movie is suddenly a whole different one in another despite looking identicle. re-use the character models from game to game much like movie actors. at most youd have to model new outfits.

if the graphics are good enough improvement from one game to another becomes a none issue so reuse what you have.

I'll start off by saying your first point is totally true, however the point i quoted is completely off base.
the major reason to not do this is that games like to use different engines, it allows their characters to act in different ways, from over the top super jumps in crysis to the uber realistic movements of heavy rain. A lot of a games feel comes from the physics and motions that the creative team add to the player character. This is why i believe that your second suggestion would be bad for the industry.

technically my first point was that Im not an expert hence why some of my points may not have been all that pointy.

but you make a good point although I dont think I ever actually mentioned the games engine just what goes over it graphics wise.

correct you didn't mention engine, but engine needs to be considered when debating graphics mainly due to the fact the graphics have to match what the engines doing. It isnt feasible to create a graphics model capable of that full range. Especially when only specific games will be using the extremes on either end.

I'm glad to hear a videogame company talk about this. I've been thinking for a while now how much I would hate having a new expensive gaming console to buy in order to keep up-to-date with gaming. As far as I'm concerned, graphics looks as good (maybe even better) as they need to so let's start focusing on exploring the limits of consoles with new gameplay and story ideas.

Using WoW as an example is retarded, its on PC, your normal gaming comp is not what it was in back 04

..honestly, this is just the strangest kind of debate I ever hear.

There's (..very obviously) not anyone forcing developers to spend more time on film-studio motion capture, decades worth of animation, or.. if we're really going out there in fantasy-land.. a skilled and overpaid writer working with the design teams..

Is the argument really that the nice hardware is forcing studios to make bad games? As the director of the company - it's such a courageous view. Really puts everyone in their place here. Marvelous example..

mjc0961:
I'm honestly wondering if Sony can get that 10 years they want from the PS3 considering it's been cracked wide open now. If they can't fix it, what do they do?

The PS3 hasn't been cracked that badly :/ They've only just managed to run homebrew stuff and even that isn't working too well.

Could be a while before any retail games can be cracked, and even then Sony just need to focus the piracy protection on the games instead like they did with the PSP. The PSP is pretty imfamous for piracy, but the PS3 has the advantage of being a much more online-orientated platform.

I don't see how games becoming even more expensive is good for anyone. Sure they may LOOK prettier but I was expecting the gamer community would have grown out of their love for the bling by now and start embracing TRUE qualities in games.
Unlike good story or gameplay, good graphics won't always remain good.

dryg:
Using WoW as an example is retarded, its on PC, your normal gaming comp is not what it was in back 04

It's actually very apt. WoW is over six years old and it shows. It can't compare technologically with any new game that hits the market. But it continues to succeed, not because it's the New Hotness but because Blizzard has refined, polished and used the tools at hand to create a compelling experience.

Same thing with consoles. Bigger hard drives, faster processors and flashier graphics are nice but they don't necessarily add up to better gameplay. In fact, it's rare that they do because devs are so focused on the tech that the actual game becomes secondary. And I don't think it's reasonable to suggest that there's no expense in transitioning to new consoles, or that the costs wouldn't be passed on to you.

Why change things?
Consoles are handily milking their markets pretty strongly already.

I concur with THQ, we do not need another 4 year generation with consoles. Besides, developers have finally become comfortable with the current platforms and while I don't know about the 360, none of the games that have come out for the PS3 come close to pushing the console to its limits. I know some people think games like Uncharted 2, Heavy Rain and God of War 3 used up everything the system had to offer but they didn't. The PS3, as well as the 360, have a lot of untapped potential. Also, once developers have reached a graphical plateau, they will be able to focus only on creative mechanics since having the best graphics will not even be an issue.

 

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