Ninja Theory (Heavenly Sword, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, DmC: Devil May Cry) cofounder Tameem Antoniades did not hold back when speaking his mind about the Xbox One at the Slush conference in Helsinki recently, saying Microsoft is moving in the wrong direction with its next-generation console.
“So you heard the Xbox One announcement? TV, TV, TV. That couldn’t be further from the truth; it’s completely the wrong direction," Antoniades said, as reported by Edge. "It does seem like, despite the best intentions of Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, they’ve still got too much momentum to steer.”
He was also critical of the AAA business model, saying the barriers to entry for $60 games is too high for many new developers.
“The AAA games console model is a little bit broken," Antoniades said. "The platform holders control the platform and the distribution, the publishers control the marketing and the funding.” He also said for developers, creating a 15-hour AAA game is "crushing" and it "constrains creativity."
Antoniades spoke more positively about Valve's upcoming line of Steam Machines, which he said is most likely to disrupt traditional gaming if executed properly.
“One platform that does seem to be going in the right direction is the Steam Box. It’s an open development platform, fully digital and a media server, will doubtless integrate with mobile and tablets, and includes all the flexible pricing included from Steam," he said. "If I was to make a bet, I’d say that the Steam Box has the capacity to disrupt before mobile does. There are still technical limitations on mobile--bandwidth for streaming, processing and battery power that will just hold it back for a few years. After a few years, I fully expect mobile devices to be the dominant form.”
Home consoles like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 aren't going away anytime soon, Antoniades made clear. He said if Microsoft and Sony can incorporate lessons from mobile platforms, then traditional platforms will remain popular for the next decade.
“It’s not all doom and gloom for consoles. If they embrace some of those lessons, we will get there. I think consoles will be the main hub of entertainment for the next 5-10 years," Antoniades said. "To do that, they do have to adapt to what mobile is leading. They have to be fully digital open platforms, media servers for all their entertainment and integration with mobile.”