Epic: There has to be a big jump to the next generation of consoles
Epic Games' CEO Tim Sweeney has called on Sony and Microsoft to really step up their game with the next generation of console hardware.
Sweeney unequivocally wants a "dramatic" improvement in hardware performance over the PS3 and Xbox 360. He also described the extended life cycle of the current generation as a bit of a mixed blessing.
On the next generation Sweeney said, "With each generation, we think really deeply about what it's going to take to fundamentally distinguish it from the previous generation. We dont want it just twice as good. We want it dramatically better. We fight really hard with our partners to get there. We do our part on the software side. ... we do that with each generation. Some of the conversations you will hear about, but these are also going on the behind scenes. The conversations happen across the board, not just with the console makers."
"On the game side, it's been really great for our business," Sweeney explained about the current gen. "We have been able to ship three Gears of War games on the same generation of hardware, each one with dramatic improvements over the last and a two to three-year development cycle. So it's been a very good thing for a game business today. With each new title, there is a bigger and bigger Xbox 360 installed base of users, so the games can sell more. On the other hand, it gets harder to generate the same excitement from the same hardware. That is when the new hardware is justified. But then you reset the installed base to zero and it's a lot harder to sell a lot of games again."
Even though Nintendo's Wii U is out at the end of this year and rumours have pointed to announcements from Sony and Microsoft at E3 both platform holders remain insistent that there will be no new home hardware from them in 2012.