The launches of both Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4 were pretty successful since gamers had waited many years for the systems to arrive. While it remains to be seen how successful the XB1 and the PS4 will eventually be, Yves Guillemot, the chief executive officer of Ubisoft, believes that they will face strong competition from the PC and other devices, which will force platform holders to cut prices and shorten the life-cycles of the consoles.
“Both machines started fast, because gamers had been waiting for eight years for them,” said Yves Guillemot in an interview with CVG. “People were really anxious about having something different. I hope this gen will go more quickly also. My feeling is that because PC is growing fast and lots of people are trying to pick up the business on TV, that will put pressure on [platform holders] to not wait eight years next time. I think they will wait a lot less than that.”
Game publishers are interested in large installed bases of game consoles since it means that there are more customers potentially eager to buy their games. Therefore, the head of Ubisoft welcomes Microsoft’s move to remove the Kinect motion sensor from Xbox One’s packages and sell the consoles at lower price points.
“The good news is that Microsoft recently came with a cheaper machine, which is going to help the industry a lot because the competition between those two machines is now really good,” said Mr. Guillemot. “The more competition we have, the better, because it will increase the number of customers.”
Apparently, the chief exec of Ubisoft already expects Microsoft and Sony Computer Entertainment to develop more affordable versions of the new-gen hardware and make price-cuts. The latter are needed to attract attention of the so-called “non-core” gamers who do not buy expensive consoles, but still play games.
“First they need to make sure that they can sell the current machines at a lower price, so that there are enough games sold and enough extra content so that their platform is profitable,” said Mr. Guillemot. “This will help the market.”
At present neither the PS4 nor the XB1 compete against all-new devices, such as micro-consoles, small form-factor (SFF) PCs for the living room, etc. The new-generation consoles are more expensive than set-top-boxes, micro-consoles and similar devices, but they provide better quality of graphics, better video games and support for virtual reality (VR) headsets in the future. SFF PCs for the living room are more expensive than the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, but they will eventually provide better quality of graphics since they evolve every year. As a result, it is likely that eventually both Microsoft and Sony will have to lower the price of their new systems and introduce their successors in less than eight years from now…
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KitGuru Says: Traditionally, high-ranking executives do not like to talk about exact timeframes. Since at present both consoles are fairly successful on the market, they do not need any price-cuts. But it is obvious that Microsoft, Sony and Ubisoft have internal projections how the systems should perform on the market to be successful and profitable in the long run. Unfortunately, the companies will never share such information.