EA Executive Calls For Unified Gaming Platform

EA Executive Calls For Unified Gaming Platform

image

Gerhard Florin, executive vice president at Electronic Arts, says he would like to see the emergence of a single unified gaming platform, because multiple incompatible consoles has made life much more difficult for both developers and consumers.

"We want an open, standard platform which is much easier than having five which are not compatible," Florin said in an interview with the BBC. "We're platform agnostic and we definitely don't want to have one platform which is a walled garden."

"I am not sure how long we will have dedicated consoles - but we could be talking up to 15 years," he said, suggesting the days of independent consoles are numbered as server-based games streamed to PCs or set-top boxes would continue to grow in importance. "You don't need an Xbox 360, PS3 or Wii - the consumer won't even realize what platform it is being played on."

According to the BBC report, EA currently develops and publishes games for over 14 separate gaming systems, including consoles, PCs and portables.

Permalink

That would be nice, in fact don't we have those? oh yea, we call them Personal Computers. :P

Seriously though, multiple platforms is a good thing in my book, save any other issues, if there were only one universal game system, it could cost whatever its creator wanted it to, since you'd have to have it to play all games. Now, if someone could find me a company that wouldn't rob everyone blind with such a monopoly on the market, I might change my mind on this one.. but I don't see that happening any time soon.

Xigageshi:
. Now, if someone could find me a company that wouldn't rob everyone blind with such a monopoly on the market, I might change my mind on this one.

Be prepared to keep that mindset for at least some time: The ultimate aim of buisness is to make money and so you'll always end up with that sort of thing if something like this happened.

TheDarkArchon:
Be prepared to keep that mindset for at least some time: The ultimate aim of buisness is to make money and so you'll always end up with that sort of thing if something like this happened.

Indubitably.

Yeah, I can't say we didn't see this coming. EA has had the power to make or break console platforms for a while now, and they don't exactly have a reputation for playing nice with their competitors or partners. A world in which EA publishes every game and there are no platform alternatives frightens me terribly. Although I think such a scenario is still way ahead of us.

I'd have one thing to say to this Florin bonhomme: fuck off.

Get one standard system, no competition, with EA in such power, and the consumers will be the first screwed.

When suits start talking about the direction of the game industry it becomes time to turn up the volume on your headphones, smile and walk away.

That would be nice, in fact don't we have those? oh yea, we call them Personal Computers. :P

I knew someone was going to bring this up eventually, completely ignoring different operating systems, different processors, different graphics cards, different mother boards, etc. etc.

If anything, computers are just as bad as console, if not worse. With consoles you only have to optimize for one to three hardware sets, not an uncountable combination like you must with PC's. In the end, the Xbox 360 is the easiest thing to develop for currently, as stated by several industry heads including John Carmack.

As for a unified console, I'm against it. However, the way I see it, three is too many. Someone needs to die this generation, and given how much industry members have been dying to leave Playstation, I'd say they'll be the first at bat to go.

A unified, open gaming appliance standard, where any damn company who pleases can make one, as long as it maintains a minimum baseline compatibility, could be quite impressive. You could even make a software version and run it on a PC.

Problem is that in order to make one of those, you'd have to force Nintendo, Sony, and/or Microsoft to the sidelines. Fat chance of budging one of those juggernauts.

Reminds me of an Adam Smith quote: "To widen the market and to narrow the competition is always the interest of the dealers ... The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order, ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted, till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men, whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it."

Gerhard Florin:
We want an open, standard platform which is much easier than having five which are not compatible. We're platform agnostic and we definitely don't want to have one platform which is a walled garden.

I agree with this, in theory. A unified platform would benefit developers at the expense of the hardware/platform companies, and my sympathies generally lean towards the game developers.

Look at DVDs - it's an open, standard platform. Players used to be hundreds or thousands of dollars, and of dubious reliability and quality. Now you can buy a $20 player from Walmart that's better than any of the early versions. Or one that costs thousands of dollars, if you're really into that. You can get a portable player, one mounted in your car dash, or one integrated with a TV or projector. All will play the same media equally well, and they're made by hundreds of different companies. Many other consumer products work the same way, and there's no reason to think that gaming consoles are somehow more special.

The open and standard parts are the sticking point though - unless the platform is both, it would never work. And that's pretty unlikely.

It's sure, this would make it easier for devs, but it's still the same ones who'll own the machine in the end.
Who's going to have the power to greenlight a game, and set its revenue shares?
In the end, I think it would simply work against the devs and the consumers.

I don't think it is a good idea to have one platform to control the market.
If this take place, I definitely do not feel the companies will not have the buyers
best interest. They will play the role to have us hype on it at first.
Then after the system was out for awhile change sides, and begin the price
rise.

I don't think having one dominate system is the way to go. In the end the customer will
always be the one getting screwed over. Then we will be wishing for the day that
multi-platform market still exist.

Concerning his letter:
One fact I notice, is he states the buyer will not know the difference of
which system he or she is playing. This tells me that if the possibility arise
they will try to raise the price when opportunity present itself, or any other
small change that they feel the customer may not notice.
Then eventually we'll be wondering how this happen.

I feel for the DEV's experience as well. I wish for them to have a easier experience
while developing games, but not at the customers expense.

Virgil:

Gerhard Florin:
We want an open, standard platform which is much easier than having five which are not compatible. We're platform agnostic and we definitely don't want to have one platform which is a walled garden.

I agree with this, in theory. A unified platform would benefit developers at the expense of the hardware/platform companies, and my sympathies generally lean towards the game developers.

Look at DVDs - it's an open, standard platform. Players used to be hundreds or thousands of dollars, and of dubious reliability and quality. Now you can buy a $20 player from Walmart that's better than any of the early versions. Or one that costs thousands of dollars, if you're really into that. You can get a portable player, one mounted in your car dash, or one integrated with a TV or projector. All will play the same media equally well, and they're made by hundreds of different companies. Many other consumer products work the same way, and there's no reason to think that gaming consoles are somehow more special.

The open and standard parts are the sticking point though - unless the platform is both, it would never work. And that's pretty unlikely.

Well Maybe that's it. All it needs to be is a standard disk reader that can be playable on machines from different manufacturers and computers.

so all we have to do is create a machine capable of playing ps3, 360, and wii discs and we'll own the market?

A unified console is bad for the industry, it removes competing. Nintendo got fat and complacent as king of the market. A 2 person competition is better- 3 person, not so much. But there's no real chance of Sony or Microsoft or Nintendo dropping out of the game, so...

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here