Ken Levine, one of the key minds behind Bioshock
and its upcoming Infinite
prequel, disclosed during a recent podcast
that he isn't ready for the next console generation to begin.
""At this point I have no desire as a developer and zero desire as a gamer to see the next generation come out where I'm sitting right now."
This viewpoint echoes similar sentiments
offered by THQ
's Danny Bilson last month, when he threatened $100 games for next-generation consoles. Levine didn't go that far when making his comments, but his tone is pretty clear. It certainly seems as though developers and publishers are both on the same page when it comes to this issue.
Most console generations last about 5 years. 2011 will mark the sixth year for the Xbox 360 platform, which enjoyed its biggest year in 2010. The PlayStation 3 and Wii will be celebrating their fifth year this year. Sony has been committed to its self-proclaimed ten-year lifespan for the PS3 and Microsoft representatives have said that they expect the Kinect technology to add a few more years to the lifespan of the Xbox 360.
Hardware sales for 2011 will be important in determining how much longer this console generation will last. Nintendo has already slashed annual profit forecasts and hardware sales projections, and new software for the PlayStation Move and Kinect technology has been very slow out of the gates to maintain any serious momentum. If 2011 proves disappointing in hardware sales, it's reasonable to suggest that plans for next-generation hardware may be accelerated in order to spark interest in this area. If the next generation does happen sooner, rather than later, it could prove very interesting to see how publishers and developers react.