The cost and turbulence caused by the transition to a new generation of hardware is not what the games industry currently needs, according to THQ president and CEO Brian Farrell.
Instead, the exec thinks that expanding the current console audience through expansions such as Kinect and Move is very much the correct strategy.
“Frankly, the last thing I think the industry needs now is new hardware,” he told IGN. “You look at the games coming out on PS3 and Xbox 360 now and they look stunning. If we were to have another $1000 box that the hardware guys have to subsidize and that software developers have to spend even more money developing, that model just doesn't work.
“So to have an extended cycle with a broader audience I think, strategically, is exactly the right way to go, and Move and Kinect are both designed to do that. The market will decide if one or both of those will work, but I love the concept of both hardware guys trying to broaden the audience beyond just the core consumer.”
Farrell went on to explain that it would only be logical to introduce new hardware when the high cost of entry could be justified by adding value to the consumer – and he can’t imagine what new features could currently do that.
“When you talk about games or consoles, I always go back to what's in it for the gamer?” he added. “What's the proposition for the person shelling out the $300-$400 for the system and the $60 for a game, what is value proposition for that gamer?
“And right now, I don't know what that is in the next console cycle. Better graphics? They're pretty darn good now. Better sound? No. Gameplay? Probably not. So I think the ways games are evolving now is really a direction we're going. Where it's going to be is in the play experience; richer stories, better characters, production values that are much more like movies.
“I think that's the direction, rather than technology and graphics. I think those days are over.”