Hot on the heels of its announcement about the sequel to Assassin's Creed, Ubisoft has said that it expects to see a new generation of consoles by 2012.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said, "So we have now enough to help us to grow the company for not only next year but to get ready for the coming of the next generation consoles that are probably going to happen 2011, 2012. We have to be ready for that, we are already hiring people and buying some technology and looking at some brands as well." This makes Ubisoft one of the few game companies that is actually still hiring people.
But is Guillemot right? Well, the time scale is about right, with most console generations lasting around the eight year mark, but just because there is a precedent, doesn't mean that it is in any way certain. After all, Sony has made it quite clear that it is taking the long term view with the PS3, and we've heard nothing from either Microsoft or Nintendo to suggest they might be gearing up to release new consoles.
The current global economic situation will play a big part, as companies typically take a loss on consoles, at least initially, and it's not a great time for any company, game related or not, to be selling things at a loss. Whether that will be different in 2012 is anyone's guess.