UPDATE - Blizzard Talking With Microsoft Over Next Xbox

UPDATE - Blizzard Talking With Microsoft Over Next Xbox

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Blizzard's Rob Pardo has confirmed that the popular PC developer is in talks with Microsoft about the successor to the Xbox 360 - in effect confirming that a new generation is under development.

Take that, Michael Pachter.

Speaking at the Luminaries Lunch at GDC 2009, Rob Pardo - Blizzard's Executive VP of Game Design and one of TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2006 - stated that his company was actively engaging in discussions with Microsoft for the next console generation ... but wouldn't elaborate further. Or rather, perhaps he couldn't elaborate further.

This tells us two things: One, Microsoft is moving forward with the development of new console hardware, and two, that the long-time PC developer might be looking to branch out. Thus far, Pardo said, Blizzard games had not appeared on consoles because the hardware simply hadn't been designed to support their genres of choice.

"There are are so many games like we make at Blizzard that we don't take to consoles because they don't support the input device and you end up with crappy ports. That's why RTS games never do well on consoles," Pardo said (truthfully, too - anyone ever play StarCraft 64?), adding that "If I was them, I'd be sitting around trying to figure out what's a cool input device that supports all types of new kinds of games."

However, other attendees at the luncheon had not spoken with either Microsoft or Sony about the next generation of consoles, which raised concerns that the hardware giants might not be concerned enough with software and gaming this time around. Warren Spector, the man behind Deus Ex and other classic titles like Thief and System Shock, believes that gaming is a secondary concern as Microsoft and Sony try to branch out into other forms of media:

I get the impression they're focusing on owning the living room.One device that lets you watch movies, television and play games and music and all that stuff. They're so focused on that that I'm not even sure they're thinking about the games that are going to come out. Which is kind of crazy.

So maybe Pachter was right - if there is another console generation, it might not be quite like we know it today.

Anyway, while the *Craft games and WoW might not work all that well on consoles ... Diablo III, anybody?

Update: Looks like GI.biz was wrong - a Blizzard rep has informed Gamespot that Pardo actually said "Microsoft occasionally bounces ideas off of us," but never in the context of any specific consoles - so people getting their hopes up for seeing Diablo 3 on the next Xbox might well be disappointed. Seeing that Blizzard is known for being a primarily PC-focused developer, having Microsoft touch base with them makes sense even if you take the consoles out of the equation, no?

(GI.biz)

(Update via VG247)

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And just the other Patcher was sayign their wasnt going to be another console generation. I bet someone is feeling rather foolish now.

Man, if blizzard gets onto the next xbox, goodbye sony! I hope the system doesn't cost 700$ like the 360 did when it first came out, cause I won't be able to afford it.

Rob Pardo stop wasting time with the console peasants and give my Starcraft 2 naow!!

Don't make a new console generation, IMPROVE THE ONE WE ALREADY HAVE.

Wow Blizzard should stick to the PC, Diablo 3 would be absolutely hideous if played on a console. I can't help but hate the direction that Blizz is going in.

The comment about Sony and Microsoft not caring about gaming is so true it almost hurts. Microsoft doesn't give a shit, and sadly I think that Sony stopped caring too.

So much for there not being a next console generation...MS better not rush it, or they'll lose another billion repairing the next gen consoles.

Cajt:
Don't make a new console generation, IMPROVE THE ONE WE ALREADY HAVE.

No joke!
How about some mouse support, Microsoft? You've got the USB ports! And it would probably be a quick patch! That way RTS games would actually be worthwhile! And other PC titles could make it onto the system!

Cajt:
Don't make a new console generation, IMPROVE THE ONE WE ALREADY HAVE.

Seriously. If we advance another technology level any time soon, we'll only have more gaudy games with worse gameplay.

Well since the PS3 and 360 are already PC computer by nature it is only until now that Blizzard could monopolize on this idea. The technology is there now for a lot of PC games to be installed onto the hard drives and be played like Steam games. If I am not mistake the processor used in the 360 is a triple-core, the downside is that ram is the most basic RAM used.

I can easily see Microsoft merging the 360 and PC together moreso to force consumers to invest in both the console and the PC. This will enable them to charge more microtransactions and force all PC users to have an Xbox live account when playing PC games. Basically force users to turn your PCs into 360s is what I'm getting at in the end.

I played StarCraft 64, before I played the PC version I might add since it, alongside Command and Conquer 64, were basically my gateway RTS games. Keyboard shortcuts felt a lot less intuitive than the C-button shortcuts the 64 version used and the 64 version had an 18-unit control limit instead of 12. To this day I almost exclusively use the mouse to play PC RTS games...

Or were you referring to the game having low sales?

Baby Tea:
How about some mouse support, Microsoft? You've got the USB ports! And it would probably be a quick patch! That way RTS games would actually be worthwhile! And other PC titles could make it onto the system!

And then it'd be yet another media PC that consumers would ignore on their way to the console aisle in their big box stores! Yeah! Oh, wait...

-- Steve

What games are available on a console is about 90% of my decision to get a particular console.

Almost everything I want is available on PC and for the few that aren't, there is still no keyboard+mouse attachment for any of the consoles.

So I've yet to buy ANY of this generation's consoles. Looks like I won't be buying any of next generation's either.

D'aww. Only a few years until we get a whole new generation of little fanboys for Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo all gnawing on each other's heels. The circle of life is a wonderful thing.

Cajt:
Don't make a new console generation, IMPROVE THE ONE WE ALREADY HAVE.

How so? Hardware or games?
Because the 360 gets revamped every so often; the new motherboards & such get designations like Zephyr and Jasper. The last one is supposed to be called "Valhalla".

I dunno about the other consoles, other than the wii going to the 1:1 format for the remote.

Anton P. Nym:

Baby Tea:
How about some mouse support, Microsoft? You've got the USB ports! And it would probably be a quick patch! That way RTS games would actually be worthwhile! And other PC titles could make it onto the system!

And then it'd be yet another media PC that consumers would ignore on their way to the console aisle in their big box stores! Yeah! Oh, wait...

-- Steve

Y'know, there are 3rd party peripherals already if you absolutely have to use a mouse and keyboard. As for me, I like rumble, cordless, and analog sticks, I can't lie.

Johnn Johnston:
D'aww. Only a few years until we get a whole new generation of little fanboys for Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo all gnawing on each other's heels. The circle of life is a wonderful thing.

QFT, made me laugh. The fun part is that the relevant fanboy arguments have to change each generation based on console aspects and relative strengths.

Baby Tea:

Cajt:
Don't make a new console generation, IMPROVE THE ONE WE ALREADY HAVE.

No joke!
How about some mouse support, Microsoft? You've got the USB ports! And it would probably be a quick patch! That way RTS games would actually be worthwhile! And other PC titles could make it onto the system!

That's the only way I'm buying an Xbox.

I want NATIVE support... not some third party product that allows me to fool the system into thinking a mouse is a controller, resulting in crappy performance (and also probably being banned for cheating).

Baby Tea:

Cajt:
Don't make a new console generation, IMPROVE THE ONE WE ALREADY HAVE.

No joke!
How about some mouse support, Microsoft? You've got the USB ports! And it would probably be a quick patch! That way RTS games would actually be worthwhile! And other PC titles could make it onto the system!

I hope Microsoft doesn't fall into the SEGA way of doing a console release...

oliveira8:
Rob Pardo stop wasting time with the console peasants and give my Starcraft 2 naow!!

There is always that

I think that this generation of consoles won't end as fast as previous ones. It just seems like there's so much we can still squeeze out of these two consoles. With DLC and hardware upgrades, there might not be another new console for some time. I'm actually fine with that. Remember how good people got for making PS2 games around the end of it's life? I don't think we've even come close to that for any of the consoles (except maybe the wii.)

 

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