A former president of Sony Computer Entertainment has predicted that a future with a single videogame platform is “between 10 and 15 years away.” Furthermore, David Reeves estimated that companies such as Microsoft and Sony may join forces to make said machine.
“Whether it’s PlayStation 3, or Xbox 360 or even Wii, [game consoles] cost millions [to develop] – maybe not billions, but absolutely millions,” said Reeves, whose experience with promoting first-party hardware makes his opinion more informed than most. He continued:
“Eventually, it may just become so expensive to develop that Microsoft and Sony say, ‘Okay, let’s get together.’ I’d say it’s between 10 and 15 years away. That’s how long I think it will take. I don’t think it will be the next console cycle, but probably the next cycle after that, where you might have something platform-agnostic. But it might be different players, of course. It might be Google getting together with, dare I say, Microsoft, or Google with somebody else.”
There’s a huge debate to be had about the benefit of a single platform to gamers, developers, and publishers. I can only speak as a gamer, and I can’t say I’m enthralled by the idea. Whether you love or hate the Wii and DS, Nintendo has proven that there is plenty of space in the market for rival machines that offer something genuinely different. Surely a single games platform would be less specialized and more homogenized?
Plus, I quite like the idea of Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo always pushing each other to come up with the Next Big Thing; I worry gaming hardware would stagnate without that drive to beat the competition. Am I way off the mark here?