While the video game industry has become huge, one of the biggest expenses for developers has been the expense of developing for multiple platforms. Due to the differences in the three current systems, developers have had to pick and choose which platforms will receive their games. While it may seem like a benefit to allow any gamer to buy a game, it can also be a bit of a gamble for a company to do just that. Could this eventually cause the number of consoles to shrink?
David Reeves, the former president of Sony Computer Entertainment, spoke recently with CVG about the costs of development for various platforms, and he feels that at some point things will have to change.
When you’re on the first-party side, you realise how really, really expensive it is to develop a platform. Whether it’s PS3, or Xbox 360 or even Wii, they cost millions – maybe not billions, but absolutely millions. You don’t know when to put that stake in the ground of technology and move on. You know, say ‘that’s enough’.
Eventually, it may just become so expensive to develop [their consoles] that Microsoft and Sony say, ‘Okay, let’s get together.’ I’d say it’s between 10 and 15 years away. That’s how long I think it will take. I don’t think it will be the next console cycle, but probably the next cycle after that, where you might have something platform-agnostic.
He had me up until he mentioned the time frame he mentioned. Considering the speed with which game technology advances these days, I find it hard to believe we will be using singular consoles in 15 years. By then I would imagine we’ll have tech built into TVs or other devices.
Of course that doesn’t preclude the companies teaming up for something, but it does seem a bit of stretch to try to predict something that monumental in an industry that is so fluid.
What say you? Could the consoles/technology some day combine for the health of the industry?