EA advocating single open platform

Publisher's head of international publishing predicts standardized console will deliver games over the Internet in "15 years."

As one of its most popular and lucrative series, EA has made sure to reach as broad an audience as possible with its annual Madden NFL franchise. As of October, the game is available on 10 different platforms: the Xbox 360, Xbox, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Wii, GameCube, Nintendo DS, PC, and Mac. According to Gerhard Florin, EA's head of international publishing, life would have been a lot easier had the publisher only needed to make one version.

Speaking to the BBC, Florin said that the numerous incompatible consoles on the market are making things too difficult for both consumers and publishers. "We're platform agnostic, and we definitely don't want to have one platform which is a walled garden," said Florin.

The solution, Florin believes, is a single, open console. "We want an open, standard platform which is much easier than having five which are not compatible," he told the BBC. Though the change is still far off--"we could be talking up to 15 years"--Florin thinks that the future lies in "server-based games streamed to PCs or set-top boxes." "You don't need an Xbox 360, PS3, or Wii--the consumer won't even realise the platform it is being played on."

While a single platform might be ideal for publishers, console manufactures may not be so keen on the idea. Microsoft and Sony have invested heavily in recent years to secure and expand the market for their proprietary cutting-edge technology. Despite an unforeseen $1 billion hit due to faulty hardware in July, Microsoft hopes its game division will turn a quarterly profit this year for the first time since its inception in 2001. Sony, which made a tsunami-sized splash with the original PlayStation and PlayStation 2, is currently feeling the adverse affects of the console race with the PlayStation 3. The company's games division posted a loss of more than $1 billion after its first- and second-quarter financials, and analysts are fretting over the PS3's September sales.

Likewise, Nintendo is unlikely to so readily part ways with its cash-printing Wii, which has sold more than 9 million units worldwide in less than 12 months on the market. Nintendo is currently projecting more than $11.6 billion in revenue for the year, with some analysts pegging its 12-month stock price to top out at $870 a share.

However, games consultant Nick Parker believes that competition among console makers may no longer be necessary. "Competition was required to ensure the pace of technology was maintained," Parker told the BBC. "Going forward that is irrelevant. Gaming will just require potentially a [$100] box from Tesco made in China with a hard drive, a Wi-Fi connection, and a games engine inside. Games will be provided over the net."

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199 comments
KFrog
KFrog

Well I guess we all new this was coming!

Agermemnon
Agermemnon

One super uber console format with every devco under the sun ( unless they want to remain pc only ) would be the way forwards for me , after owning something like 13 console formats i would love to see just one console and the pc deliver all the gaming .

TriviumA7X
TriviumA7X

I have always been a console gamer, and bought every game console upon their hectic release dates. EA has a 'neat' sounding idea but, I like owning different consoles with different peripherals, all the little things that set each company apart, and it forces each consoles exclusives to get better and better because there is competiition from the other company. If all companies developed for 'One 'system 'One' game for them all then there is less drive to make games better therefore decreasing sales on all ends and less happy gamers....

car6racing
car6racing

Think about this. There is one common software code, but many different machines that conform to that one programing code. So, you still have your Wii, Xbox, or Playstation but they will all play the same code. Each different machine will give you a different way to play the games. Then, you will need to choose your console based on play style and not on what game MIGHT be coming out for it. Portables could use a downsized version of the same code. If you can only buy one box to play all games, then it is a bad idea that will kill all originality.

andrewhateme
andrewhateme

Anything EA says i take with half a grain of salt. I hate that company with a burning passion. Almost as much as terrorists hate the greatest country in the world....USA BAYYYYBAAYYY!!!

wiidominance
wiidominance

Hmmmm ... guys are confusing something, there is already an open platform, thats called " PC", I strongly consider it unified, however, the idea of an open platform console, I don't think it'll work. Those publishers are just money hungry , variation is what we need, open platforms won't provide us with variations. Just look at the difference of style you get from Wii to 360 to PS3 to Psp to DS, everything has its different taste to a certain degree.

Montrealien
Montrealien

FYI, EA tried to discretly release a console a while back. It was called the 3DO. Never saw a console with so many exclusives from EA and Trip Hawkins was the boss of 3DO, he left EA for that, hmmm. Although they will never admit it. 3DO was EA`s one and only shot at an EA Console. An open console would be the worlds number two game maker`s dream come true. Obviously....

ebookerd1
ebookerd1

By they way SOny makes more money than MS. Sony is partnered with Disney. Read a Book!!!

ebookerd1
ebookerd1

Hey can everyone stop compalining about EA making games for MS because they aren't really that great on 360 either. Don't blame MS for the fact that they pay people to make games for them so do you when you buy a system and other games?? Blame the lazy hog EA MAdden on PS3 was a travesty maybe if they put some time into there products we won't have this problem. EA is a corporate monster that would like to make it easy for everyone to just play the same game every year with a minor change and call it a new great concept. That is what a corporate company does not a game company. Game companies care about getting you a great new products. Think back when there was no competition for PS2 gmes really got stale remember. Then competition came and bame games started to heat up. Wether a few of the dumies making this about fanboy garbage need to realize is "Only 1 console = not need for innovation!!" You have to get past your ignorance to see the big picture. Trust me I have been pissed at how little the innovation was in Madden since 2001. It is just that fanboys are always too dumb to realize what happend after EA purchased the exclusive right to Madden THE GAME GOT WORSE!! Now they probably only have 10 to 15 developers producing the game in some slave labor camp in India!! Because this is how companies like EA make there money!! I hope you got the big picture Kids!! if the war ends we all lose!!!!

ebookerd1
ebookerd1

Anything indicated from EA will always make me want to vomit!! If everything goes the way EA states games will go back to the Atari days. Say goodbye to innovation!!! :(

powerframe8
powerframe8

... then what about portable games... i still find the fact of one console to be stupid. one controller, no innovation, nothing new. sounds like an EA game.

tclvis
tclvis

Pay attention to the message, not the messenger. This is not about EA, but about the future of gaming, and they're not the first to verbalize or espouse this philosophy. At Leipzig earlier this year, there was another discussion from Dennis Dyack on the same topic; EA is merely getting on the bandwagon and probably greatly influencing that direction. http://leipzig.gamespot.com/story.html?sid=6176973 &pid=928546&cpage=4 Think about it: instead of buying three consoles and a PC, theoretically (and having all those machines sitting around), or missing out on games for a platform you don't own, you buy one piece, or a download, and you can focus on the games themselves, rather than the hardware. Furthermore, if developers only have to develop one game for one platform/source code, imagine the time they'd save and thus be able to spend on developing other games. Uniplatform translates to more and better games. Less time and money on development and marketing and distribution means more for the creative side, and maybe less expensive titles for consumers--us. Besides, this sort of thing, what Dyack termed "commodification," happens in every industry eventually. The gaming industry is so relatively young that it hasn't really happened yet. How many companies make tissue, yet we call it all "Kleenex"? 50 companies make VCRs and DVD players, but in the same format. We learned from VHS/Betamax that there can be only one. Gaming is going to get there like every other consumer industry. Here's another interesting take on the future of gaming: http://www.pbs.org/kcts/videogamerevolution/impact/ future.html

DMC2677
DMC2677

In rough translation from EA..... "There should be one platform"... We're lazy and greedy and we want everything handed to us like M$ does" Makes you think......

decebal
decebal

MS and Sony will work together too put out Playstation 720 or some sh** like that. Fanboys will cry.

Lumenadducere
Lumenadducere

I don't see one console anytime soon, but I do see less exclusivity among them. I won't be surprised if all publishers start becoming like EA and put ports of their titles onto as many platforms as they can.

a__7__x
a__7__x

its called a pc+emulator

MichaelMorbid
MichaelMorbid

why not take it a step further. one console? all these games are made on computers anyway, that's the one console. eventually all these games will be roms on pcs anyway. that's sort of a bad move for EA though to propose one console. it might cost them extra to port a game, but it diversifies their products. putting all their eggs in one basket would be suicide.

bballstar23
bballstar23

The thing is, all EA is doing is complaining about created 1 game for 10 platforms, but seriously Madden is the only game they do that for. No one asked them to make a game for the previous gen consoles anyway. They're probably the only person still doing that, and I doubt they put much heart into it. If you look at EA's other games however, they mostly make them for the X-Box 360 or the PS3, so of course they want to create games for one console, because they won't make NBA Live or any other game for the Wii, where there's so much more money that could be made. Moreover, I haven't seen much of a difference between Madden 07 and 08. Just a few more features and controls that I will never need nor use. Basically, EA should stop complaining and actually put heart into its games before creating them.

Supernova_86
Supernova_86

Competition between consoles is a good thing. Do you think the Wii would cost $250 if there was no PS3 or 360 to compete with? I think not.

Bronson2k3
Bronson2k3

EA is a big ol bully buying out and trying to monopolize anything and everything to make $$$ :(

DMC2677
DMC2677

Now who's the real idiot behind this statement!?!?!? Anyone...anyone......? (ode to Ferris Bueller's Day Off..LOL) Can we say Peter Moore ... major M$ Fanboy ?!?!? I mean really...I don't get what the @%#@%#$ was so hard to make Madden 08 for PS3 run as 60 FPS like on the 360!!!! Look at Team Ninja when they did NG Sigma for the PS3 and it looks and plays just as good if not better for it.......AT 60 FPS just like on the 360, and on different hardware at that!!! No excuses EA!!!! You all are plain lazy and full of M$'s money lining your pockets. Anybody else see this or am I the only one? Oh..and just in case for any fanboy retaliation, without Sony creeping up on you, M$ won't keep putting out the games that it has, and vice versa! Competition brings forth the real winners...US!!!

v8nnwilder
v8nnwilder

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

D34DLY_V1P3R
D34DLY_V1P3R

also this idea heavily relies on people having highspeed wireless internet, modern-tech digital TVs and not to mention the complete cooperation of every hardware and software maker in the games industry lol.

D34DLY_V1P3R
D34DLY_V1P3R

the plain and simple fact is that this dream that EA is hoping to become a reality will never become reality because there is absolutely no way they (or anyone for that matter) could possibly control who decides to manufacture games consoles and how they do it. IT CANT BE DONE.

chazzx21
chazzx21

I think this is the very basis of why the Wii is succcessful. Could Nintendo have easily made a console just like the other two to compete with all the same types of games, sure, but they chose to go in the opposite direction which is why people on the average love nintendo and despise EA.

byrnzi
byrnzi

If it's an EA product, I won't buy it. Game, system, hardware, anything. They have lost all my confidence with their inability to create stable products and lack of customer service or care. Though I would not be suprised if they began construction of a "universal" console. Buying up a bunch of successful companies and deteriorating their flagship products, only a matter of time until they start pushing their employees 80+ hours a week to construct a console they can further profit over. Hell, and you can be certain it will be a planned obsolence console, having to buy a new one ever 6-12 months, just like buying a new Tiger Woods game. Okay, I think the general idea of a universal console is intriguing, but I know very well it is unlikely to happen... and if it does, I still don't intend to buy any EA games on it.

LordZeusSSGoku
LordZeusSSGoku

Guys trying to monopolize the software industry want a monopoly for the hardware industry... hmm.... how surprising?

Slash_out
Slash_out

What they are talking about is a pc under a TV. We don't need that. What we need is standard platform where all the game perform the same. So that we all have the same experience and not cry because your console is not powerful enough for this game. I think what EA want, is more like a single publisher/developer. Being them of course.

ajcali08
ajcali08

This is a stupid thing for EA to say, they want one platform so its easier to make games..thats all..once PC gaming becomes more accessible/ affordable you will see consoles becoming more and more like a desktop computer till there isn't a difference. Only time and the lack of computer literate users will speed or slow the process. I can see TVs with a mulit core CPU, multi-Touch screen, nvidia video and a Lunix based OS

markevens
markevens

Having a single console would stiffle innovation. As much as I'm opposed to the downfalls of capitolism, the upshot is that competition does drive innovation, and the console market is a perfect example of that. I can understand the feeling on behalf of publishers. It is hard enough to code a game to be multiplatform, especially on the PC (which has far superior capabilities than any console) where devs have to code for any number of combination of motherboards, chipsets, video cards, processers, etc. If there were any standardization possible, the PC would be the place to start, but then you still have to convince NVidea and ATI to cooperate, share corporate secrets, and stuff like that. Good luck.

siranikita
siranikita

me and my brother have talked about this same idea before, and although i think it would be awesome to only have to need one console...it is also unrealistic. Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo will (for once) unite and just won't stand fo it. There is just way to much money for them to lose. Which of course is fickle and selfish, but that is reality....damn.

ringuzi
ringuzi

an open platform already exists, it's called the PC. however, one of the main draw of console gaming is that they are standardized platforms and developers can make a game and you know it will run just as well as they intended to, you dont need to mess with system requirements. any way if ea want a single platform why dont they just make it for one console, if all ea games were exclusive to say xbox 360 then microsoft would have qutie the monopoly in the console market, and ea could focus on one platform

Josepiphus
Josepiphus

blame game BS. We're supposed to believe that if they didn't have to spend money porting games they would instead be innovating cool new ones? Hahaha... sure.

Nosnitsttam
Nosnitsttam

I think the concept of one console sounds cool, it would save everyone a lot of trouble in the long run. But didn't a company called infinium labs already try that with a system called the phantom? are they even still around? But how cool would it be to buy a sony game and pop it into the same console that you put your nintendo and microsoft games into? the 3 big companies would have to merge before anything like that would happen and that's pure fantasy since none of them want to part with their huge stacks of money.

funky_muzic
funky_muzic

This is an interesting thought, but what about the user input device...or in other words the controller(s). The controllers would all have to be the same as well. If not, you may be able to download any game and play it, but you may have to buy a new controller depending on the games you wanted to play. I honestly don't forsee this happening at any time in the near (or even not so near) future. The competition between the hardware manufacturers is STILL important. While the graphics can only get so good...just by looking at the Wii, it's easy to see that there are other things that a video game console can do.

Homerj
Homerj

The PC IS NOT A UNIFIED CONSOLE. Why do you think that almost every PC game released has patches released from the day of release? Because all PC's are different, with litterally millions of combinations of component specs and manufacturers. A unified PC console is....an XBOX360....PC archetecture with a specific spec and manufacturer on all components.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

First, I would rather have a hard copy of my games and a console that will work without the 'net 60 years from now. I can still play my NES and the games for that and it has already been 22 years. Next, I think that the consoles present a benefit to the industry by forcing the console manufacturers to continue to innovate and move things forward in order for them to get ahead. It's kind of like the NFL license B.S. that EA has control over. If it weren't for that deal and the lack of competitive NFL licensed games, Madden 06 and 07 would have been much better games. But instead, gamers continue to boost sales for two years worth of crappy football games. The console 'war' is actually a good thing in that each company gets to come up with it's ideas for how the hardware and the networks and everything else should be handled. PC's are great, but there are tons of reasons why people enjoy console gaming.

chakan2
chakan2

Yea, we have this console already. It's called a PC. It's taking off like mad all over the world. I wish I got paid to say random things like this.

cocomacoco
cocomacoco

Ea lazy counts, start doing your jobs and zero complaining, one console in 15 years?!, are they nuts?, that will hurt the market of gaming forever, no competition, no great games, each platform now wants to get the best, Sony wants MGS, Xbox wants GOW, Halo, then its like that, competition and exclusive franchises is good for gaming, and its not hard for consumers are all to make their choices, i did mine, and hundreds of millions did theirs.

therejectx
therejectx

one console would be really expensive.

Ted_Zanarukando
Ted_Zanarukando

Prices will decline on gaming consoles as time goes by. $2000 is how much the universal platform would cost if it were to launch at this time.

DMWhiteDragon
DMWhiteDragon

Untill we can stream ~60fps directly from the net with player input being uploaded without lag...One unit will never ever work and we are way more than 15 years off that kind of speed for every user (not to mention the server needed to play 10,000 instances of the latest game @60fps all at once lol)

DMWhiteDragon
DMWhiteDragon

I think this idea is terrible. One system and one spec?... who decides what is supposed to go in it? Who decides what it supports and how fast the cpu/gpu must be and how many cores and how much ram and what kind of controller support must it have? What happens what company-a wants to bring in something new? If it ends up like the Wii in specs hardcore players will be left wanting and some company will make a unit to fill the gap/need. If its highly expensive but ultra top end the casuals will be left wanting something cheaper... and a Wiimote! heh and someone will build something to fill the gap. We will be right where we are now. Besides a true 'open' platform would end up like the PC which is an ... 'open' platform ;) and we buy consoles instead of PC's for a reason. Now the other way is having multiple units at different spec levels and cost. the Dynamo 1000 and the Dynamo 3400 for eg... now soon as you do this you have to compile for both platforms ANYWAY and you have gained nothing. Cause if you make games only suit the 1000 then whats the point of ever buying the 3400? and you can't make it 3400 only as the 1000 people will be left out... with one being UHD and one only HD you would need different assets for both (not to mention differing ram requirements) so you would need 2 builds. And lets not even go to the handheld issues I think what they are really after is a single programming platform. Code used to load a resource "back_sky_Day.jpg" for eg: Int64Ptr ipBackground = LoadResource("back_sky_Day.jpg"); (this is high level code, but i am suggesting the low level compiled API calls and the CPU instruction set and OS supplied functions be standardized with optional extentions that can be loaded/not loaded) and have it work on every single platform... the OS would interpret the call to load it dynamically form the DVD/Blu-Ray/MemoryStick/HDD/Internet that it 'came from'. Now yes string literals are terrible idea in code... but it was only an example :p also by interpreted i dont mean the code isn't compiled only that the call itself (to say a system API) is interpreted Now for you people not following... it would mean that there is a baseline to 'Code To' which would allow a game to be played in any console while still allowing console extentions. eg, Baseline states a normal controller must be supported, but we want Wiimote controls aswell in this game... put the game in another console and it will work with the normal controller (the game would change to fit based on availabilty of said wiimote) all off the same compiled code Then you really can have 'one build' and then just decide on delivery

epsilonone
epsilonone

1 Gaming console thats going to cost up to $2000. everybody whating there pice of the pie.

MariusSE
MariusSE

The Microsoft iEA PlayBox 1080!

K_M82
K_M82

ID's tech 5 engine (will be used in the game Rage) can compile for PS3, XBOX 360 and PC automatically, without additional programming. Watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvuTtrkVtns or read http://au.gamespot.com/news/6175061.html?tag=result;title;0 if you don't believe me. If it's possible now to create a single game engine that can run on all platform with minimum (almost nonexistent) amount of time to port it, in the future it would be even easier. So maybe using game engine like ID's tech 5 developer can easily create games for all platform, then all third party games can come out for all platform. That is a good thing for us gamer.

MBII_Dolla_Bill
MBII_Dolla_Bill

An idea like this would definitely stifle innovation.

retwakm3
retwakm3

I think that would help. I hate looking at a game thats realy cool but then realize thatill have to buy another system to play it.

spelledarn
spelledarn

EA wants a single console in 15 years? No doubt they think it'd be "efficient" to just have a single publisher by then, too.