Pachter: No New Consoles Before 2013

Pachter: No New Consoles Before 2013

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Industry analyst Michael Pachter says he doesn't expect a new generation of consoles to appear before 2013, primarily because game publishers don't want to invest in new technology before they've had a chance to fully capitalize on the current generation.

"We do not expect a 'new' console in 2010 (other than the long-rumored high definition Wii, which is likely to upgrade the Wii to current console technology)," Pachter said in a recent industry newsletter. "We do not expect the 'next' generation to begin before 2013, if at all. We remain convinced that the publishers will resist the introduction of any videogame hardware technology that requires a refresh of software, as the publishers have as yet to capitalize on the immense investments made in being competitive in the current cycle."

Pachter's statement comes on the heels of investor concern that videogame sales for the current generation have peaked and will now begin to slide as anticipation for new hardware builds. He said declines in NPD numbers are actually the result of tough-to-beat figures from 2008, which saw the release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl in March and Grand Theft Auto IV in April.

"We therefore think it is likely that the 'next' generation will begin after 2013, meaning that software sales are likely to grow by a compounded annual rate of 6-10 percent for another five years," he continued. "Because R&D costs are likely to flatten out with the benefits of a learning curve, we expect earnings leverage as the publishers are able to exploit R&D investments. In brief, we think that investors have it wrong so far this cycle, and think that investment in videogame publishers will bear fruit for many years."

But his advice flies in the face of a statement by Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot, who suggested last week that his company was already gearing up for the next round of console releases. "We need to get ready for the future generation of consoles," he said. "In the next few years, there will be new home and handheld consoles, and if you don't invest... you will not be able to cope with both [current and next-gen consoles]."

Source: Gamasutra

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Handheld consols, maybe. Base consols? I somehow doubt I'd be buying one if it came out in 2013. Hell I haven't even had my PS3 for a year yet. I think that maybe after deveolopers get over the "OH WOW GRAPHICS!" moment, we might get some good games that will increase sales that keeps everyone happy.

I'd really like to see a huge improvement on the PSP though. Has so much potential...

Changin' your tune now, eh Pachter? First, you say there won't be another console generation. Now you're just delaying it.

Maybe a little Ubisoft initiative has given you pause for thought, hmm?

People are still "enojying" the console wars for this generation, also, there doesn't seem to be anything a new generation can offer besides better graphics.

If Sony and MS stick to their plan. any ne wconsoles released in the next couple of years will probably just be more powerful with the addition of added media player functionality.

The Shade:
Changin' your tune now, eh Pachter? First, you say there won't be another console generation. Now you're just delaying it.

Maybe a little Ubisoft initiative has given you pause for thought, hmm?

Saying there will never be a new console generation is kind of foolish, but a new console is not necessarily a new generation.

EDIT: sorry about the double post.

2012 is when it all happens

If this is true, PC gaming is gona dominate (due to small hardware limitations)

Frizzle:
Handheld consols, maybe. Base consols? I somehow doubt I'd be buying one if it came out in 2013. Hell I haven't even had my PS3 for a year yet. I think that maybe after deveolopers get over the "OH WOW GRAPHICS!" moment, we might get some good games that will increase sales that keeps everyone happy.

I'd really like to see a huge improvement on the PSP though. Has so much potential...

PSP is not realy that limited hardware wise, what it needs is software.

Good, maybe I can get one of this gen. consoles before they come out with an XBOX 9000!!

Going to be interesting how they manage to stretch console lifespans out that long.
The PS3 seems to be doing fine, but room for improvement in comparison to PC games. The 360 is having DVD issues, and the wii is having quality issues, not to mention it's tech was pretty much outdated before it was released.
Should be very enlightening to see how sales figures are until 2013.

Mazty:
The 360 is having DVD issues

Have you got a source for that? I've seen you say it loads, just wondering where you got it from.

Hahaha, first I thought he finally found a clue but then he talks about an HD Wii. Like Nintendo would throw away their 50 million userbase (the Wii's software is statically linked to all the drivers and such so it's not possible to make an HD Wii without requiring entirely new games to be made) and start anew with a system that does absolutely nothing new for their audience.

You know what? Nintendo is already releasing their high definition Wii. In 2009. It's called the Motion Plus and adds high definition to the Wii's primary selling point, the motion controls and does so with a 20$ upgrade. The Wii's graphics aren't its selling point because graphics don't sell much anymore so why would they bother making them more powerful and expensive?

Mazty:
Going to be interesting how they manage to stretch console lifespans out that long.
The PS3 seems to be doing fine, but room for improvement in comparison to PC games. The 360 is having DVD issues, and the wii is having quality issues, not to mention it's tech was pretty much outdated before it was released.

Nobody cares about the improvement anymore. Nobody gives a fuck whether a console is topped out or has potential left (never mind that a console is NEVER topped out, there's always some new method that gets found to squeeze a bit more out of it). It doesn't matter if they improve the graphics throughout the generation because they've got good enough already, people stopped caring about further increases while increases cost a ton of money.

Rusty Bucket:

Mazty:
The 360 is having DVD issues

Have you got a source for that? I've seen you say it loads, just wondering where you got it from.

Yeah, ID games have had to scale Rage back significantly due to the 360 & thats also putting it on 2 DVDs. Then they also commented on saying the problem with that is production costs increase significantly the more discs you use, leading the 360 to become a rather unattractive console to develop for.
With games always getting larger, by 2010, I can't see there being many more games for the 360. It may be ignorance, but I'm not actually aware of many large upcoming exclusives for the 360 this year.

KDR_11k:

Nobody cares about the improvement anymore. Nobody gives a fuck whether a console is topped out or has potential left (never mind that a console is NEVER topped out, there's always some new method that gets found to squeeze a bit more out of it). It doesn't matter if they improve the graphics throughout the generation because they've got good enough already, people stopped caring about further increases while increases cost a ton of money.

I'm pretty sure that's not the general consensus of both gamers and developers. Considering graphics are a very long way off being photo-realistic, I don't think anyone would mind better graphics.
But it's not just graphics, it's also game size. To have a larger world, you need more memory simply. And I think almost everyone would prefer large games with good graphics as opposed to large games with last-gen graphics.

I really hope my 360 makes it that far, but alas, the noises that come out of that thing sometimes echo like a death rattle. Good thing I have my trusty DS!

Mazty:
I'm pretty sure that's not the general consensus of both gamers and developers.

Not what they say but what they do.

Considering graphics are a very long way off being photo-realistic, I don't think anyone would mind better graphics.

Wouldn't mind, no, but also wouldn't mind less. Turns out people will buy games even with less than HD graphics just fine and the 2.5 times cost increase in making the graphics better yields only a neglible increase in sales.

But it's not just graphics, it's also game size. To have a larger world, you need more memory simply.

Depends. Most "huge" games only have a tiny fraction of the world in play at a time so it doesn't matter how much the system can hold in memory as long as the immediate surroundings fit.

And I think almost everyone would prefer large games with good graphics as opposed to large games with last-gen graphics.

Except for the people who foot the bill. There's a noticeable trend among HD games to be fairly short on content (often using padding like copy-paste level design/repeating older levels in reverse order) since the necessary detail for a given amount of world has increased MASSIVELY. A huge game with great graphics cost a LOT more than one with weaker graphics and while people would go for the prettier one with all things being equal few would refuse to buy if only the less pretty one was on offer and many would go for the less pretty one if it's better in other ways (and if it's just the price).

Given the choice between two pretty games and five less pretty games, which would you take?

Makes sense to me. It feels like the PS3 has been around for a very short space of time.

Mazty:

Rusty Bucket:

Mazty:
The 360 is having DVD issues

Have you got a source for that? I've seen you say it loads, just wondering where you got it from.

Yeah, ID games have had to scale Rage back significantly due to the 360 & thats also putting it on 2 DVDs. Then they also commented on saying the problem with that is production costs increase significantly the more discs you use, leading the 360 to become a rather unattractive console to develop for.
With games always getting larger, by 2010, I can't see there being many more games for the 360. It may be ignorance, but I'm not actually aware of many large upcoming exclusives for the 360 this year.

That's fair enough. I wouldn't say it makes it unnatractive to develop for though. Sure, you can't do the same stuff on a 360 than you can on a PS3, but there's games out now that fit fine on DVD, are fun to play and have sold well. It just means you can't do as much with it, which would be a problem if 90% of game developers weren't scared of trying new things.

KDR_11k:
-Snip

All I'll say is that Rage has had to be scaled back due to DVD limits, so that shows game length has suffered for graphics, but for PC and PS3 it wasn't necessary.
Plus with costs having increased meaning less profit isn't a true reflection as the market is much larger, and game sales are much larger this generation than previous generations.
Plus large worlds do need a large memory as they need more textures, but to clarify I'm talking varied open worlds, not repetitive concrete levels, for size.
Also price isn't reflected in game costs. I've never found large titles e.g. Killzone 2, to be more expensive then other titles e.g. Motorstorm 2.
Overall though, it is gameplay over graphics, but I think if a game can't deliver on both, the devs aren't doing their job right.

im sick of my 360 bring me some reliability and something like motion control

I'm glad, personally, because that means my Xbox 360 will actually be worth something for a long, long time before I have to spend $300-400 on a WHOLE NEW FRAKKIN' SYSTEM. And people have been saying this might be the last cycle of consoles....I can only hope so.....

KDR_11k:
Nobody cares about the improvement anymore. Nobody gives a fuck whether a console is topped out or has potential left (never mind that a console is NEVER topped out, there's always some new method that gets found to squeeze a bit more out of it). It doesn't matter if they improve the graphics throughout the generation because they've got good enough already, people stopped caring about further increases while increases cost a ton of money.

So, you don't care if story telling can be improved? What about content? What about visual aesthetics? Amount of content? Characterization? Animations?

There are plenty of other things to improve besides graphics, that's something many people seem to forget when talking about internal improvements in the media. And even if we were only talking about graphics, what's so bad about that? If we can improve graphics/visuals, why the hell should we be against that? We should be encouraging people to make improvements on anything, even if it is as "useless" as graphics/visuals. Why are we all so against the improvement of graphics/visuals, it's not like every single developer concentrates only on graphics to sell the game. Sure, there may be a few Crysis-s and Killzones out there, but those show how amazing you can push the hardware to further improve on other games.

I'll never understand why some people are so vehemently against improvement on anything really, even if it is slightly prettier visuals.

Anyway, for the topic, 2013 is four years from now. By then, the PS3 and Wii will be about 5, 6 years old (both released near the end of 2006). That doesn't seem too old to me, I'm sure they could stay until 2016. And don't any of your dare talk about PC gaming being highly advanced by then, we're not talking about PC gaming here. We're talking about consoles, those are a whole different bag of fruit here.

Mazty:
Plus with costs having increased meaning less profit isn't a true reflection as the market is much larger, and game sales are much larger this generation than previous generations.

Are they? Company fiscal statements speak a different language with revenue remaining constant. There's no significant growth in the core market and especially not in levels comparable to the cost increase. The beacon of misinformation that is VGChartz claims Halo 2 did 8.5 million while Halo 3 did 9.5, that's insignificant. I don't have total numbers for the game industry (and especially not for the part that is the core market since it's hard to argue that your HD blockbuster will sell more if the growth is mostly in other market areas that don't care about it at all) at hand so if you have any feel free to post them.

Plus large worlds do need a large memory as they need more textures, but to clarify I'm talking varied open worlds, not repetitive concrete levels, for size.

And it still depends only on what's in view simultaneously. You aren't going to need your desert textures while the player is in a forest.

Mazty:
Also price isn't reflected in game costs. I've never found large titles e.g. Killzone 2, to be more expensive then other titles e.g. Motorstorm 2.

I don't mean to you although games did get more expensive on the HD consoles for the consumer too. The development costs increased by the factor 2.5 on average. That's 2.5 times the sales needed for the same return on investment. Our Halo example there would see an ROI reduction of 46% (I'll assume a 20% higher price for Halo 3 than 2 there). About half as profitable!

Jumplion:

KDR_11k:
Nobody cares about the improvement anymore. Nobody gives a fuck whether a console is topped out or has potential left (never mind that a console is NEVER topped out, there's always some new method that gets found to squeeze a bit more out of it). It doesn't matter if they improve the graphics throughout the generation because they've got good enough already, people stopped caring about further increases while increases cost a ton of money.

So, you don't care if story telling can be improved? What about content? What about visual aesthetics? Amount of content? Characterization? Animations?

At what point did I say it's about me? Never mind that I think most stories could be improved by liberal application of a paper shredder none of the things you mention need HD graphics. I'm not saying games cannot be improved, I'm saying graphics improvements don't matter to the people at large. Improving stories, content amounts, etc can be done without caring much about the hardware at all. It doesn't matter whether the system has untapped hardware potential or an HD upgrade or whatnot, it has no influence on improving the non-graphics parts of the game appreciably.

Patcher doesn't know anything anyway - he's been wrong about a decent number of events...

Meh if Microsoft don't bring out a RROD free 360 then I think this gen I'll be screwed when mine breaks.

I would expect to see a new Microsoft console in 2 years... xbox was released in 2001(NA) xbox360 released in 2005(NA), only 4 years in between. Things are slower now, for a few reasons, but Microsoft will want to get their next console released before the next Sony console, so they can increase their market share.

KDR_11k:

Mazty:
Plus with costs having increased meaning less profit isn't a true reflection as the market is much larger, and game sales are much larger this generation than previous generations.

Are they? Company fiscal statements speak a different language with revenue remaining constant. There's no significant growth in the core market and especially not in levels comparable to the cost increase. The beacon of misinformation that is VGChartz claims Halo 2 did 8.5 million while Halo 3 did 9.5, that's insignificant. I don't have total numbers for the game industry (and especially not for the part that is the core market since it's hard to argue that your HD blockbuster will sell more if the growth is mostly in other market areas that don't care about it at all) at hand so if you have any feel free to post them.

Halo 3 made 35 million more than Halo2. I would have thought that would be considered a significant increase in revenue (see last paragraph).

Plus large worlds do need a large memory as they need more textures, but to clarify I'm talking varied open worlds, not repetitive concrete levels, for size.

And it still depends only on what's in view simultaneously. You aren't going to need your desert textures while the player is in a forest. [/quote]
Doesn't work quite like that. Regardless of what's on screen, you still need a medium to store those textures unless you are in only one environment, which then means a small game environment as opposed to a large one.

Mazty:
Also price isn't reflected in game costs. I've never found large titles e.g. Killzone 2, to be more expensive then other titles e.g. Motorstorm 2.

I don't mean to you although games did get more expensive on the HD consoles for the consumer too. The development costs increased by the factor 2.5 on average. That's 2.5 times the sales needed for the same return on investment. Our Halo example there would see an ROI reduction of 46% (I'll assume a 20% higher price for Halo 3 than 2 there). About half as profitable!

Maybe, but depends if the games a sequel or brand new. Something like a Halo sequel can use the same models and engine, but slightly tweaked, saving a lot of costs, meaning less sales doesn't mean less revenue in comparison to dev costs of the first. Halo 2 wouldn't have been built from scratch (I'd have thought) as they already have a lot of designs and ideas in the works. I don't know if any models could be carried over, but more than likely they could/would have, again saving time & money. As most games are sequels in one way or another, costs won't be 2.5x higher for every game made - the figures for costs just don't add up unless devs enjoy burning cash.

Frizzle:
I think that maybe after deveolopers get over the "OH WOW GRAPHICS!" moment, we might get some good games that will increase sales that keeps everyone happy.

Keep waiting - been waiting for that day for 10+ years and counting. There are, of course, the odd exceptions, but really, once publishers saw 'Better Graphics == $$$++$$$++$$$" they basically said 'Fuck anything else!' - the failure in terms of sales of really good games like Pyschonants probably proved that too.

KDR_11k:
At what point did I say it's about me? Never mind that I think most stories could be improved by liberal application of a paper shredder none of the things you mention need HD graphics. I'm not saying games cannot be improved, I'm saying graphics improvements don't matter to the people at large. Improving stories, content amounts, etc can be done without caring much about the hardware at all. It doesn't matter whether the system has untapped hardware potential or an HD upgrade or whatnot, it has no influence on improving the non-graphics parts of the game appreciably.

Sorry, it came off to me as if you were including yourself in the "Nobody cares about improvements". Point still stands though, we should all be encouraging improvement no matter how small or arbitrary it is.

Jumplion:
Sorry, it came off to me as if you were including yourself in the "Nobody cares about improvements". Point still stands though, we should all be encouraging improvement no matter how small or arbitrary it is.

Yeah, graphics improvements just take disproportionate amounts of effort since graphics are already highly developed. It takes much less effort to improve the underdeveloped parts of a game, e.g. games with "good stories" still tend to be far behind other media but in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king. With some effort (say, a quarter of the additional 15 million you'd spend on improving graphics assuming the average 10 million USD budget for the main game) put into developing storytelling for the game medium (and I don't mean just taking a book story and ducktaping some game elements to it, developing a way of storytelling that naturally meshes with the gameplay) you could have a title that's so head and shoulders above the rest that it's a massive selling point if advertised correctly. Yet all the easily improvable areas get ignored and instead they try to keep pulling that one trick their pony does in more and more elaborate ways, having to push harder and harder to make people actually notice the difference.

good, because i dont want to have to spend money on them to keep up. also, what about that one comming in winter? i forgot what it's called, but it's the one that lets you stream games off of a server, and you have to pay a subscription to use it.

Mazty:

Rusty Bucket:

Mazty:
The 360 is having DVD issues

Have you got a source for that? I've seen you say it loads, just wondering where you got it from.

Yeah, ID games have had to scale Rage back significantly due to the 360 & thats also putting it on 2 DVDs. Then they also commented on saying the problem with that is production costs increase significantly the more discs you use, leading the 360 to become a rather unattractive console to develop for.
With games always getting larger, by 2010, I can't see there being many more games for the 360. It may be ignorance, but I'm not actually aware of many large upcoming exclusives for the 360 this year.

So...
I'm fairly certain that id has been very specific that Rage was not cut for the 360, although they are pretty clear about the need for more aggressive compression given targeting a 2 DVD release. If you want to chalk that up to damage control by Microsoft, or id trying to avoid a lawsuit for slander, so be it, but at least qualify your facts.

At the same time, it was not production costs that kept them from going to 3-discs, but Microsoft per-disc royalties (which sounds an awful lot like Microsoft is trying to discourage companies from being idiots about space allocation and reasonable compression, but which seems to be biting them on this one).

On the subject of where I'd rather developers invest their time and energy:
1. Better games (better gameplay, new genres, new genre-hybrids)
2. Larger, more dynamic worlds - I don't care how big it is, if its still 100% static, it is dull and lifeless.
3. Better graphics.

And, as far as hardware companies go, unless Intel, AMD, and nVidia start dedicating more of their process improvements to heat reduction, the next iteration of consoles, whenever it is, is going to cause 3rd degree burns at 10 feet.

Geoffrey42:

So...
I'm fairly certain that id has been very specific that Rage was not cut for the 360, although they are pretty clear about the need for more aggressive compression given targeting a 2 DVD release. If you want to chalk that up to damage control by Microsoft, or id trying to avoid a lawsuit for slander, so be it, but at least qualify your facts.

At the same time, it was not production costs that kept them from going to 3-discs, but Microsoft per-disc royalties (which sounds an awful lot like Microsoft is trying to discourage companies from being idiots about space allocation and reasonable compression, but which seems to be biting them on this one).

http://www.fragland.net/news/Rage-content-cut-due-to-Xbox-360-size-limit-uhh-no-its-not/19736/
It does seem that ID changed their tune, most likely as you said for damage control, as the interview is clearly saying that the 360 has changed the game overall. Honestly no matter how good compression is, when you can't guarantee a HDD & are limited to <9GB while having to use HD textures, space is going to be real pushed.
Royalties/production costs, same thing in terms of overall cost as DVDs themselves are going to be less than 1p considering the scale they must be made at, but it does seem odd that MS aren't passing on those low prices to the customer, or increase the revenue of developers. All very weird.

Makes sense, how much more significant improvement can be made? Maybe there will be a new generation when we perfect virtual reality gaming (and sex).

Why the dogshit are people talking about new consoles? They're just starting to make really good games for the current ones.

2013 isn't quite as catchy as 2012... I think they'll probably go with the second one.
This guy already proven himself a twit by previously stating that there will be no more consoles, I really don't think this guy is a good source of info.

 

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