EA: Console 'Arms Race' Has Slowed, Relevance of Hardware Updates Has 'Subsided'

By Nick Breckon, May 05, 2009 3:10pm PDT Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello told investors today that his company is viewing the current console cycle as an "extended" one, and said that the need for racing to new hardware has lessened.

"I think that [console] arms race, while I can never say that it's done, the relevance of doing that faster.. seems to have subsided," said Riccitiello.

Riccitiello noted that while new platforms such as the iPhone are providing reasons for publishers like EA to invest in research and development, he doesn't expect the traditional console cycle to turn over anytime soon.

"Those big changes are not something we're seeing in the immediate term, nor are we expecting it in the immediate term," he added.

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6 Threads | 17 Comments
  • I think we are getting to the point with consoles that TV's have reached.
    It's just like the SD/DVD/720/1080 stepping. I feel like the current consoles would be comparable to a 720 HDTV, they look really darn good, and there is room for improvement, but the improvement won't be as dramatic as it was from the last gen. I'm thinking that after the next gen is released we'll see an even longer console life, which really is a good thing for everybody.
    A longer console life means that hardware manufacturers have time to get production costs below retail for a longer period. Consumers get to save money on hardware upgrades and instead spend it on software. The devs get more time to get comfortable with the system and make great games, and the console manufacturer really makes their money on the software royalties anyways so it's happy happy fun time.

  • Its slowed, but not because people arent willing to buy new hardware 2-3 years from now, but instead because Sony and MS have lost a lot of money on the hardware side. Microsoft lost tons of money during the xbox180 era, but that was the entry fee to get into the console arena. Sony loses money on every ps3 console sold and game sales havent been good enough to bring it back in the black yet. Microsoft has also lost tons of money due to fixing everyone's red rings for free. No, there wont be any new consoles from MS or Sony anytime soon. They would be rolling over and taking losses on their investment.