Console Upgrades Won't be Tied to Hardware After New Cycle, Says EA

Console Upgrades Won't be Tied to Hardware After New Cycle, Says EA

EA executive says the era of distinct console "generations" is over.

EA chief creative director Rich Hilleman believes that, starting with the PS4 and Xbox One, the evolution of gaming platforms won't be strictly tied to console-makers releasing new hardware. Speaking at DICE Europe today in London, Hilleman claims that the transition to Gen 5 gaming platforms - whatever comes after the current incarnations of PS4 and Xbox One - won't necessarily come in a new box.

"The platform of the future is now hardware," he said, "it is the network side, not the hardware side."

According to Hilleman, the influence of mobile and the evolution of "gaming granularity" - the average amount of time players spend with a game in a single sitting - will drive the evolution of game development. To create quality games for an increasingly varied set of platforms, which provide their own separate gameplay experiences, developers need more flexibility. Hilleman believes the tools and costs of game design will evolve meet that need.

Part of that evolution, apparently, will be a transition from hardware-driven console cycle to the continuous evolution of game machines powered by software solutions.

"This is a profound change. We're not changing every four years, we're in continuous change."

Source: Polygon

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Michael Epstein:
"The platform of the future is now hardware," he said, "it is the network side, not the hardware side."

...I'm sorry, What?

The Future is Hardware, Not the Hardware.
Also, I might be wrong, but I think Networking is Software...

This is more of that "The Future is the Cloud" bullshit, ain't it?

"This is a profound change. We're not changing every four years, we're in continuous change."

So basically, consoles will become PCs?

Diablo1099:

Michael Epstein:
"The platform of the future is now hardware," he said, "it is the network side, not the hardware side."

...I'm sorry, What?

The Future is Hardware, Not the Hardware.
Also, I might be wrong, but I think Networking is Software...

Nope. As far as gamers go, The Future is the Experience. You don't need powerful hardware for memorable experiences and fun times.

Diablo1099:

Michael Epstein:
"The platform of the future is now hardware," he said, "it is the network side, not the hardware side."

...I'm sorry, What?

The Future is Hardware, Not the Hardware.
Also, I might be wrong, but I think Networking is Software...

Networking is also hardware. The physical cables, routers, switches, etc.

Diablo1099:

Michael Epstein:
"The platform of the future is now hardware," he said, "it is the network side, not the hardware side."

...I'm sorry, What?

The Future is Hardware, Not the Hardware.
Also, I might be wrong, but I think Networking is Software...

My favourite bit was "This is a profound change. We're not changing every four years, we're in continuous change.". A profound statement in and of itself, to be sure.

I read the article and the first thing popping into my head was "The difference is drinkability!". Oy.

Right, because in the future, 7-8 years down the road when these are at the end of their life cycle, hardware won't be an issue right?
Actually, now that I'm thinking about it... in the future THEY want, where we license use of, instead of owning anything, and cloud-gaming makes playing games similar to watching movies on Netflix, where you don't own anything and stream it from them, all computing done on their servers, right from your advanced network capable entertainment system, on a presently impossible bandwidth network with no latency, okay, I can see what he's getting at maybe... but not in time for this generation to be the last. Plus this is coming from an EA exec.

Diablo1099:

Michael Epstein:
"The platform of the future is now hardware," he said, "it is the network side, not the hardware side."

...I'm sorry, What?

The Future is Hardware, Not the Hardware.
Also, I might be wrong, but I think Networking is Software...

Beat me to it. Yea that message has to be a misprint. Honestly, I am tired of this promise, mostly because it has absolutely terrifying implications that have made me grimace every time anyone tries to bring up cloud computing on a grand scale.

Yes, steam making back ups of my save files is a nice idea for when I ever re-install the game, but I HATE the concept of EVERYTHING being server side. I live in New York State, we have relatively speaking, good internet connectivity, and yet it is still no where near 100% uptime in any given month. I like having the power on my side of the lines, if for no other reason than because I don't trust corporations( and neither should you), they are the face of a group of people unrestrained by morals as they hide behind that face, whose only unified goal is to make money.

Just the last 15 years shows that anytime the opportunity to screw over the costumer is presented, the corporations will take it and ride it for all its worth, I'm just glad MS flipped their hand with the Xbone so early, but I can't help but feel that it was only due to them thinking so much less of us that they felt we wouldn't actually think about what they were saying.
You can call me paranoid, that there are good corporations that have souls, but history continues to prove me right.

I like how he said 'nothing' in as many words as possible.

Deathlyphil:
Networking is also hardware. The physical cables, routers, switches, etc.

Oh yeah, still "Hardware is important, aside from the hardware."
The fuck kinda quote is that?

Dr.Awkward:
Nope. As far as gamers go, The Future is the Experience. You don't need powerful hardware for memorable experiences and fun times.

I know that, I was just pointing out how implodingly stupid that quote was.

And what about those whose networks are for whatever reason are complete shit?

I also find a company releasing roster updates as full priced games talking of 'continuous change' hilarious.

i'm really sleepy atm but could someone perhaps explain what that means to me in plain English because i think it relates to something i've been talking about in a few recent posts (game streaming) but its so full of gobbledygook that i'm not actually sure.

"gaming granularity"?...aren't we supposed to all want a "dark, rich roast"...

...and someone should probably tell him we're actually heading into the "Gen 8" now...

Diablo1099:

Michael Epstein:
"The platform of the future is now hardware," he said, "it is the network side, not the hardware side."

...I'm sorry, What?

The Future is Hardware, Not the Hardware.
Also, I might be wrong, but I think Networking is Software...

Pretty sure that's a typo. Should probably be,

The platform of the future is not hardware, it is the network side, not the hardware side.

Networking however is more than just Software. The OSI 7 Layer Model Layers 1-3 are usually hardware: Physical, Data Link, and Network. Layers 4 - 7 are usually Software: Transport, Session, Presentation, and Application.

Honestly if he thinks that the PS4, XBone, and WiiU are the last of the hardware upgrades he's delusional. We all have to upgrade to IP6 in the near future, and there is no indication that these systems will handle it out of the box. Unless they think that gamers wont complain about the latency on Carrier Grade NAT, or the latency caused by moving layer 2 and 3 to software. I'm expecting to spend about 500 bucks upgrading my modem, and other equipment when my ISP starts offering IP6 at the consumer level.

IP6RD also doesn't count.

I like EA. They're not afraid to show they know absolutely nothing whatsoever about computers.

Truly, the most honest of companies out there.

Has any other company been this upfront about their lack of knowledge and, in other instances, their disdain for their customers?

Only Microsoft comes close to competing with them.

Best bit : We're not changing every four years, we're in continuous change, yea right coming from EA . Why not come out and be straight for once . We want all the games in a cloud and on our servers so we can change or remove any game we feel ppl are not giving us enough money for.

Dr.Awkward:

Diablo1099:

Michael Epstein:
"The platform of the future is now hardware," he said, "it is the network side, not the hardware side."

...I'm sorry, What?

The Future is Hardware, Not the Hardware.
Also, I might be wrong, but I think Networking is Software...

Nope. As far as gamers go, The Future is the Experience. You don't need powerful hardware for memorable experiences and fun times.

No, gamers will still need\want more powerful hardware, even if you discount the importantce of graphics*. More power creates the abilities to have better experiences and better gameplay. Yes, you can always have fun playing Super Mario Bros., but that doesn't mean a new AAA game isn't interesting too.

More power doesn't just mean more shinies. You can also get better AI, better simulation, better physics, more gameplay affecting objects on screen at once. You could only get zombie "hordes" in a playable fashion in the last generation. Why were they always zombies? Because they had to be really stupid hordes. Now we can look forward to having huge battlefields filled with somewhat intelligent soldiers, for example. That's a real difference in gameplay, not just graphics.

Stuff like that isn't going to change. At some point we might be doing everything on servers, but I'm not sure that's going to be here in 10 years. Especially not in the US with it's awful broadband.

* Graphics absolutely matter. Having things look good can make the experience better. The fact that Thomas was Alone is a good game doesn't mean that the graphics in Bioshock: Infinite don't add to the experience. GTAV on the PC will be a better overall experience than on consoles because of higher res textures and higher fps.

Yay... more cloud crap.

I love how companies keep trying to convince consumers to be happy with stuff they don't want.

They just play with words so much,it's ridiculous. It's also pretty funny that they were one of the most vocal groups about a new console generation so games can get better. Now, this being the epitome of what technology will ever be (note the sarcasm), we no longer will need to worry about things getting better. They have made the ultimate FPS, they no longer need to progress (once again, the sarcasm).

Edit: As the post above mine says, "Yay, more cloud crap". A perfect sentiment.

"We're not changing every four years, we're in continuous change"

An odd statement. You'd think this would have always been the case. It would seem that few actually do this. The proof is in the multitude of sequels and games following the same formula of any successful sale on the market. Innovation scares them. That is unless there's money to be made. Movie Bob has explained this with the development of movies, I think the same holds for games. They'll look at the numbers and run focus groups, but they'll not step out of their comfort zones. Just saying they're going to change isn't the same as actually changing

"Hilleman believes the tools and costs of game design will evolve meet that need."

It's this part the has me scratching my head. I can understand tools chainging, but aren't some companies throwing so much money at development already? Is he saying costs will go down? Or even higher? So when a game doesn't sell enough they still call them failures. All problems can't be fixed with more money.

So if i understand correctly: in the next years, harware will not be the most important thing for gaming. It's strange to see a company telling such sentences when it can't stop to tell to everybody how their new engine produce "shinny shinny" graphics with better hardware. Logic ?

They can speak about the "power of the cloud", if this kind of thing should be mandatory in the future, i prefer to follow Valve rather than EA on this path...

So a guy working for a company which does not make hardware says that the future of gaming is not in hardware. That's kind of like the Pope saying that the future of thought is not in scientific inquiry.

The difference being, of course, that the Pope is smart enough not to make any such statement.

Michael Epstein:

Part of that evolution, apparently, will be a transition from hardware-driven console cycle to the continuous evolution of game machines powered by software solutions.

Umm.... so a PC?

Kwil:
So a guy working for a company which does not make hardware says that the future of gaming is not in hardware. That's kind of like the Pope saying that the future of thought is not in scientific inquiry.

To be fair, hardware development (transistor based) is getting slow and will only continue to get slower. For god knows how long, the home market will be stuck with transistor based technology and the only way to provide heaps of new raw power are from dedicated servers.

Stop speaking out of your ass EA. Please, its for your own benefit.

Remind us how Simcity went EA.

I'll wait.

Captcha: get over it

NEVER!

Pretty sure he's talking about cloud computing there... games being a service, and to upgrade the experience, servers get upgraded to compensate for the increased load.

Just a few problems there... until actually high-speed broadband connections are in the home of every potential gamer in the world, his model falls apart. Also, there are those of us who would despise such a system. If he's right, I'm out. No more new games, I'll keep myself busy with my retro backlog.

loc978:
Pretty sure he's talking about cloud computing there... games being a service, and to upgrade the experience, servers get upgraded to compensate for the increased load.

Just a few problems there... until actually high-speed broadband connections are in the home of every potential gamer in the world, his model falls apart. Also, there are those of us who would despise such a system. If he's right, I'm out. No more new games, I'll keep myself busy with my retro backlog.

Not to mention it'd pretty much kill the modding scene outright and make franchises like TES pretty much useless... Not to mention awesome games like CK2 and EUIV would never get made with the capability to mod them into even more awesomeness. Just depressing.

Translation: they want to stream you games. Why are they already on that when the technology is just being developed? To kill used games and piracy.

Some of the tech actually works pretty well, but if they want to do this, then the future is shit. Why? We're heading towards 4K already and video streaming games in YouTube quality only means they can get away with cheap tricks they couldn't if the game was actually running on your hardware and you didn't have to bear with all the compression artifacts.

Sleekit:
i'm really sleepy atm but could someone perhaps explain what that means to me in plain English because i think it relates to something i've been talking about in a few recent posts (game streaming) but its so full of gobbledygook that i'm not actually sure.

"gaming granularity"?...aren't we supposed to all want a "dark, rich roast"...

...and someone should probably tell him we're actually heading into the "Gen 8" now...

once again everyone ignored you :(

What they are very poorly attempting to say is that the thing will slowly move to the internet side if they are allowed to get away with it. from processing on the server to full on streaming of the game. basically what they want is OnLive type of service, where you only need hardware powerfu lenough to stream the thing and thier servers does everything else.
So they want people hto have network capable of streaming it. as in upgrade your damn net connection.

beez:
Some of the tech actually works pretty well, but if they want to do this, then the future is shit. Why? We're heading towards 4K already and video streaming games in YouTube quality only means they can get away with cheap tricks they couldn't if the game was actually running on your hardware and you didn't have to bear with all the compression artifacts.

HOld your horses there. This console generation barelly went from 480p to 720p, the PCs still dont have 2K as their deal. Youtube offering 1080p already overshoots plenty of monitor/TV capabilities people have, and as you know they dont want to change that too often. were not there for 4k yet and wont be for some time.

Halyah:
Not to mention it'd pretty much kill the modding scene outright and make franchises like TES pretty much useless... Not to mention awesome games like CK2 and EUIV would never get made with the capability to mod them into even more awesomeness. Just depressing.

Notice something - none of the games you mentioned that "they would kill" are published by EA. as far as they are concerned its a competition to be killed.

Strazdas:
HOld your horses there. This console generation barelly went from 480p to 720p, the PCs still dont have 2K as their deal. Youtube offering 1080p already overshoots plenty of monitor/TV capabilities people have, and as you know they dont want to change that too often. were not there for 4k yet and wont be for some time.

Well, since the last console generation, we went 1080p from VGA and at least one of the manufacturers plan to extend the cycle to at least 10 years, it is pretty much a possibility down the line. Obviously, I'm not talking about 4k next week.

 

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