The head honcho at Ubisoft doesn’t want to wait another seven years.
Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot made an appearance at the PlayStation Meeting last night to show off Watch Dogs, the upcoming title from Ubisoft Montreal. Guillemot shares the crowd’s excitement for the upcoming console generation, but he would have preferred to celebrate the news of the next PlayStation sooner. He recently spoke with MCV about the console release schedule, and how he thinks it should be changing.
“No we don’t want to wait seven years for the next one,” Guillemot said, referring to the PlayStation 3’s above-average lifespan. “The consoles have taken a long time, we’ve been saying it for a long time. It’s really once those consoles come that we can let creative people [take] more risk, and they feel they can take more risk because new consoles can be more open.”
If the PlayStation 4 is any indication, Guillemot notes, then each new console generation should provide a boost in creativity as developers are given new tools to build games with. “They have so many features that [developers] can play with. It’s easier to be a creative person with new consoles, because after four years of people using all the capacity, it’s harder to be innovative. With PS4, we will see new ideas and new ways to approach gamers. And that will excite consumers and excite creators.”
New technology does mean that developers will need time to learn the intricacies of fresh platforms. One of the PS3’s early problems was its unique hardware setup, which made it difficult to develop on. Guillemot doubts that Ubisoft will have the same problem with the PS4, thanks to its familiar PC architecture. “PS4 is a great machine, we’ll be able to make things look fantastic,” he assures. “Because the teams are working hard on their projects, I think we will see good things from the start. Sure, in two years engineers will figure out how to do a lot more. But these machines are easier to build on than before, so we should be able to reach their potential quicker.”
The new features of the PlayStation 4 do seem a lot more developer-friendly than Sony’s previous consoles have been. On the other hand, working within the constraints of fixed hardware is a huge motivator for developers to create great software. The difference in quality between any console’s launch titles and those that are released at the end of its life cycle proves how much the machine can be stretched, given enough time to understand it. Guillemot admits that the PS4 will keep his teams busy for a while, but from the sound of it, Ubisoft will be getting anxious for next-next-gen consoles in a few years.