Twitch CEO Says Game Consoles Will Die with This Generation

The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 could be the last of their kind, if Twitch TV CEO Emmett Shear is to be believed. Shear, speaking to The Guardian at the Changing Media Summit in London, said that as the current console lifecycle is more prolonged than that of other technology, it will soon be abandoned.

“The problem is, the seven-year upgrade lifecycle doesn’t work in the face of the two-year upgrade cycles for every other hardware platform,” Shear said. “It’s so intrinsically built into how consoles get manufactured and made and the full business model, that I’d be surprised to see another generation.”

Twitch TV, the live video game streaming platform, was co-founded by Shear in 2011, and in that short time he has already seen console manufacturers try to accelerate the process.

“They’re going to have to change form,” he said. “You can already see this on both Xbox and PlayStation where there’s a tighter upgrade loop for both the operating systems and the games. This is the first step toward being able to iterate the hardware platform. I could imagine a version 1.1 product from both Microsoft and Sony which adds in slightly more speed and slightly more memory very similar to how phones and tablets work today. I think it’s going to look more like the mobile phone market over time.”

Shear’s opinion does not come from a sense of wish-fulfilment, though – he admits that game consoles have been a boon for his business:

“The consoles have been huge for us – they drive a tonne of broadcasting. We’ve seen the rise of a few games that have done very well because of consoles, notably FIFA and Call of Duty. The top end of broadcasting still tends to come from PC – if you want to produce high-end content you want more than is going to be prepared for you in any off the shelf set-up, but it’s gotten a lot of people started in broadcasting and that’s really important. It’s been a smashing success as far as integrations go.”

Shear, though, seems to have neglected poor Nintendo in this discussion. Only last week, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata revealed that the company was working on a new console, codenamed the ‘NX’.

Source: The Guardian

Microsoft Ready to Throw Down in Japan With Xbox One, 29 Game Titles at Launch

Microsoft plans to launch the Xbox One game console in Japan on September 9, and gamers will be able to pick from 29 different game titles.

The Day One Xbox One and Kinect bundle will include Kinect Sports and Titan, but gamers can choose just the console with no Kinect.  It will cost around £287, about £75 cheaper than buying the console, Kinect and games separately.

Gamers that have seen the full list of titles launching in Japan with the Xbox One seem a bit envious, with the following titles included in the fun: Battlefield 4, Minecraft Xbox One Edition, Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Titanfall, Wolfenstein: The New Order, and Halo: Spartan Assault.

The game list largely matches what is already available in North America, but Japanese Xbox One fans will be able to pick from an extensive list.

The Xbox One is lagging behind the PS4 globally, but that doesn’t mean Microsoft should turn its back on Japan.  However, the company will need to be realistic – just 1.5 million Xbox 360 game consoles were sold in japan from 2005 to 2011, so there is much work left to be done.

Microsoft will have to rely on an affordable price, extensive game catalog, and strong marketing campaign if it wants to compete in Sony’s backyard.

Thank you to Hard Core Gamer for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Restart Replay

Nintendo Says Wii U Has a ‘Very Long Life’ Ahead For Gamers

Game maker Nintendo doesn’t plan to throw in the towel on its Wii U game unit, and plans to heavily promote it moving forward.  Company officials hope the Wii U has reached its tipping point, battling through lackluster sales and difficult hardships, and can now appeal to mainstream gamers.

Nintendo recently said the company didn’t plan a Wii U price cut anytime soon – possibly saving a price reduction until the 2014 Christmas holiday shopping season.

When recently asked if Nintendo would consider shifting gears and a console refresh, Nintendo America Reggie Fils-Aime dismissed the idea:

“I say, ‘no.’  And the reason I say that is because we believe the Wii U has a very long life ahead of it.  It’s got great content coming that will help define the platform.  For us, we think the 3DS is a very illustrative example.  It wasn’t just the price cut.  It was having great content that started with Kart 7 and 3D Land and then progressed and created a larger and larger footprint.”

The Japanese game maker must work to improve the Wii U’s game catalog, because gamers have complained about a lack of appealing titles.  Mario Kart 8 is a solid step in the right direction, but much of the focus has been on Microsoft and Sony since the release of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, respectively.

Thank you Kotaku and Motley Fool for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Nintendo

Nintendo Doesn’t Plan to Cut Price of Wii U Game Console Anytime Soon

Nintendo is full-steam ahead promoting its Wii U game console, despite continued reports of disappointing sales throughout most of 2014.

The Japanese electronics company – unlike Microsoft and Sony which have other products and services – relies mainly on its video games and game consoles to generate revenue.  Following disappointing financial results over the past few quarters, Nintendo said it would provide new game titles to help generate interest in Wii U.

However, anyone looking for a price cut shouldn’t hold their breath, as that’s not currently something Nintendo is interested in, according to Nintendo America President, Reggie Films-Aime.

Here is what Fils-Aime recently told the media:

We don’t see a need to cut price.  Our value equation is quite strong for the Wii U.  I say that because we just launched the ‘Mario Kart 8’ Wii U bundle, premium price $329 (£194).  The product is selling with no issues.  The biggest challenge is retailers getting it out on shelf.  The challenges we’ve had with Wii U aren’t value based; the challenges are having the range of software that motivates the consumer to jump into the platform.”

To try to turn things around in the future, Nintendo hopes Zelda and other popular game titles will attract gamers to the Wii U.  It’s going to be a difficult endeavor, especially if no price cut is imminent, so Nintendo will need to step up and give gamers a reason to purchase its Wii U.

Thank you Seattle Times for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Nintendo.

Microsoft’s Next-Gen Xbox Wont Have Backwards Compatibility

Microsoft’s decision to switch to AMD’s chips for their next generation console to replace Xbox 360 may come at a higher price as reports coming in that the new generation console, rumoured to be called a “Xbox 720” does not have backwards compatibility with the older games.

The next generation console uses AMD’s ‘Jaguar’ x86 architecture inorder to allow smoother game development and to encourage more game studios to make their games available for their console. But at the same time, its effectively killing the backwards compatibility with the current-generation games. Earlier, Microsoft was criticized for its ‘always on’ method.

But Sony who will also be using AMD’s processor has already found a solution to circumvent this compatibility issue by using Gakai to stream the older games.

So far Digital Foundry’s Rich Leadbetter explained that the entirely different hardware configuration does not help when it comes to backwards compatibility. He added, “That said, you could say the same thing about the transition from Xbox to Xbox 360, where Microsoft made efforts to ensure that a significant catalogue of older Xbox titles designed with x86/Nvidia hardware in mind worked pretty well on the PowerPC/AMD combo in the Xbox 360. Indeed, some of them actually improved in the transition, with added anti-aliasing.”

“Given enough time and resources, a similar form of backwards compatibility could perhaps be implemented on Durango, but the sheer time and effort required to provide flawless compatibility with a handful of titles, let alone a whole library makes this rather unlikely.”

Microsoft is all set to announce the new Xbox console on 21st May and launch in November with the price tag of $500 or $300 with subscription. Microsoft didn’t make any official comments, except the apology that they issued sometime ago. But its also being said that Microsoft will be releasing a cheaper $99 version of Xbox 360 along with the launch of the next gen Xbox console.

Source: Euro Gamer 

Microsoft Ordered To Adopt AMD Chip For Its Next-Gen Xbox Console

Microsoft adopted AMD’s ‘Jaguar’ processor for its next generation Xbox game console as the company wishes to keep the overall cost of the console as low as possible and get developers to make more titles. Game publishers did complain that the current generation consoles which used different architecture came with a very steep learning curve, therefore shooting up their development costs.

AMD is benefitting from this chip, who also has its presence on Sony’s PlayStation 4, therefore in total the company a very large share of global video game market worth $67 Billion. This will also help AMD to rely less on PC industry.AMD’s Chief Executive Officer Rory Read aims to have more than 20% revenue from areas other than PC by Q4 2013.

Since AMD is making these chips, there’s lesser burden on Game develops as it uses the common architecture, both companies as their overall costs are decreased and AMD as they’re getting a very large size of the processing market for consoles practically on a silver plate.

The total retail sales for Video Games in U.S. fell down to 21% which amounts to $8.9 Billion whereas games downloading to PCs and mobile devices increased to 16% of $5.9 Billion.

Currently, Microsoft made plans to unveil its next-gen console at the E3 Expo or maybe a separate event during May or June. According to The Verge, Microsoft is planning to unveil this console by May 21st. As of now, no specification has been released. Richard Doherty, President of Technology Consulting Firm ‘Envisioneering Group’ said,“We’ll probably see many more titles because the console makers are saying the publishers are back in the driver’s seat. Smoke, shading and reflections for each machine and can essentially create once and port once, and be done.”

Source: Bloomberg