As dev costs rocket, game creators need the â??core-marketâ?? consoles to hit â??PS2 salesâ??, says Miles Jacobson

360 and PS3 â??not completely mass-marketâ??

The games industry will suffer more staff cuts and studio closures unless its ‘core-market’ consoles begin to reach PS2-levels.

That was the warning offered by Miles Jacobson, studio head at Sports Interactive.

“At the moment I don’t think the Xbox 360 or PS3 are completely mass-market devices,” said Jacobson. “The Xbox platform has sold better than before, but the PS3 has not at all reached the levels that the PS2 did.”

Total lifetime sales of both the Xbox 360 and PS3 stands at a combined 55 million units, with Sony’s system approaching its third birthday and the Xbox 360 approaching its fourth.

The PS2 sold over 70 million units alone in the space of four years, eventually going on to hit record sales figures of over 125 million.

All the while, development costs are rocketing, with some well-regarded industry figures stating that budgets have ‘doubled or tripled’ since the PlayStation 2 era.

“Unless we can reach a saturation point of this-gen consoles that’s higher than last gen consoles, the result of this will be clear,” warns Jacobson, who also remained pessimistic on the opportunities that the Wii provides.

“The Wii has obviously done phenomenally well,” he said, “but publishers outside of Nintendo are having a hard time working with its user-base.”

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