Triple-A publishers have been torn over console upgrades like Xbox "Scorpio" and PS4 Neo. Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick views them as opportunities, while bigwigs at EA and Ubisoft feel traditional consoles have one more generational cycle left in the tank before one streaming box comes along to rule them all.
EA and Ubisoft's tones could best be described as optimism tinged with pragmatism. After this year's E3, though, both companies seem to be leaning toward confidence.
EA global publishing chief Laura Miele expressed enthusiasm over Sony's and Microsoft's apparent plans to roll out semi-regular refreshes along the lines of what Apple does with iPhone and iPad hardware. "The idea that we would potentially not have an end of cycle and a beginning of cycle I think is a positive place for our industry to be and for all of the commercial partners as well as players," she told GamesIndustry.biz (via GameSpot).
"We're thrilled with what Sony's doing, what Microsoft's doing, and we think it's phenomenal. I think that is good for players. It'll be great for us as a publisher about how they're treating it," she continued.
Speaking on behalf of Ubisoft, executive director Alain Corre views the backwards- and forwards-compatibility of both Neo and Scorpio as a positive. " The beautiful thing is it will not split the communities. And I think it's important that when you've been playing a game for a lot of years and invested a lot of time that you can carry on without having to start over completely again."
Take-Two's Zelnick agreed, likening the future of game compatibility to that of television shows. "The same way that when you make a television show you don't ask yourself, 'What monitor is this going to play on?' It could play on a 1964 color television or it could play on a brand-new 4K television, but you're still going to make a good television show. So we will for sure get there as an industry. We will get to the point where the hardware becomes a backdrop."