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Plans for Xbox Scorpio and PlayStation 4 Neo – the mid-cycle console refreshes with more graphical grunt – are being welcomed with open arms by EA which sees the move as a way to ensure a bigger global community of players to sell products to.
“We’re continuing to be excited about the growth of the overall console business,” Blake Jorgensen, EA chief financial officer said during the publisher’s Q1 earnings call. “And I think the plans that were announced at E3 around both Xbox and PlayStation were viewed in the industry as very positive. I think moving beyond the notion of – or jumping into the compatibility issue head-on and trying to stop the notion of having consoles that are not compatible will help the software side of the equation dramatically over time, and I think that’s a big plus.”
CEO Andrew Wilson also offered his thoughts on the new systems.
“At a macro level, we’re excited about what Sony and Microsoft have announced,” he said. “The reality for us is, again, in a networked world, liquidity of players is really, really important. And what we’ve seen over the last decade or more with respect to PC gamers is that community has continued to grow and it has grown a world where the hardware refresh cycle has been disconnected from the software refresh cycle. And what that’s meant is that irrespective of what kind of device you have within kind of a seven to 10-year timeframe, you’re able to play with a much, much bigger global community.”
He continued: “What we see now with the things that have been talked about with the mid-cycle refresh is only going to enhance the size and engagement levels inside the communities.”
And Wilson believes EA is well positioned to make the most of this opportunity.
“For us as a publisher, we’re in a very strong place,” he said. “We’ve been building across platform and across console and for scalable architectures like PC for some time. So the notion that we would build once an experience that can scale up and down across an entire spectrum of consoles, whether the first phase, the second phase or the third phase over time is not something that’s foreign to us and something that we’re very energized about because, again, I think we have strength in a networked world and we have strength where there is a requirement to build these scaled experiences that keep players connected.”
He concluded: “So on balance, we think this is great for the industry. It will almost certainly extend the console cycle almost to an infinite level if we get to a point where there’s just constant hardware upgrades and constant software upgrades but we are able through the scaling of our games to keep the community always together.”
Meanwhile Microsoft has launched the Xbox One S, with the new 4K capable system selling out in the UK.
Source: Seeking Alpha