Thursday, August 11, 2011

EA’s Moore: Wii U isn’t a “transitional’ console, uniqueness will win next gen race (again)

The Wii U is already beginning to be seen as a “transitional” console based on comments made by developers and even Shigeru Miyamoto himself. As more studios get their hands on Wii U dev kits and the new belief that consoles are reaching a graphical saturation point, that label is beginning to have less resonance. Unique console features will win the next gen race (again).

"People will start talking about it being a transitional platform. And I don’t think that’s going to be the case, and here’s why," EA COO Peter Moore told IndustryGamers. "I think the [tablet] controller [is huge]. This is not about specs anymore... This is about, as it was with the Wii, is the controller a unique way of enjoying a game experience, regardless of what the graphic fidelity is?"

Many game developers are beginning to share a common thought that the next generation of console is going to be less about graphic prowess and more about what that particular console uniquely brings to the table.

"Look, you saw Battlefield - how much better could this stuff look at some point? There’s a point of diminishing returns... I don’t even know if there’s anything better than 1080p. In the early days of our industry, this stuff was absolutely about how much better the games looked - shinier helmets, greener grass – but I’ve been around long enough to know that seeing your breath in a football game is a huge deal. But that’s no longer the case anymore," Moore said. "Now it’s about interfaces. Now it’s about building a community in a rich, powerful, way. And now it’s about, 'What is the way we can control the game?' You’ve seen that with Move, you’ve seen it with Wii MotionPlus more recently, and you’ve certainly seen it with Kinect."

Nintendo is placing its bets on tablet controller. Sony is rumored to be including a “Kinect-like” full body motion sensor in their next Playstation. Microsoft had a very successful launch with its Kinect and may expand on it with their next Xbox. Early reports have rumored that Microsoft may buck the graphical saturation point stance and may indeed make their next console a graphic powerhouse.

Moore disagrees, saying, "Nintendo’s job, quite frankly, is to build a better mousetrap with regards to the way that we use the controller. So I don’t know what Xbox and PlayStation’s plans for their next platforms are, but it’s not going to be hanging on graphic fidelity. I guarantee you that."


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