The sheer power of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will open new doors for long-awaited innovation in games, though this may not be realized right away, Ubisoft SVP of sales and marketing Tony Key believes.
"There's so much more under the hood," Key said about the Xbox One and PS4 in a new interview with GamesIndustry International. "Give them just a little more time and you're going to see the difference start to build. The amount of innovation that's going to occur around these machines is really going to inspire the category. That's what we need: We need to bring excitement back to this industry."
Key's comments match up with what Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said in summer 2012, when he claimed that the length of the current generation of consoles was cramping creativity.
"We have been penalized by the lack of new consoles on the market. I understand the manufacturers don't want them too often because it's expensive, but it's important for the entire industry to have new consoles because it helps creativity," Guillemot said at the time.
Also in the interview, Key provided an explanation for why he believes launch titles for new consoles aren't always the most well-received.
"Right now, all publishers are transitioning their development resources. For a game like Assassin's Creed: Black Flag, most of the sales are still going to be on current- generation platforms. We can't make a version for PlayStation 4 or Xbox One that's so wildly different that we can't market them together," Key said. "So, for now, developers and designers are focused on making a game that works really well on all of the systems--but as we transition resources to the next gen, it's going to be more difficult to do that because the power of these machines is going to allow so much more creativity."
Sony president of Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida said last week that he was "disappointed" by the PlayStation 4's "low" software review scores, though he said the marks shouldn't impact the platform overall.
One of Ubisoft's marquee next-generation games--Watch Dogs--was recently delayed to spring 2014 after being originally scheduled as a launch title for Xbox One and PS4. Key said today that though it was "heartbreaking" not to be able to deliver the game at launch, from a business perspective, it was "not a difficult decision to make."
"Watch Dogs is designed to be a long-term brand for Ubisoft," Key said. "We won't launch it until we know it's equaling the vision it can achieve. We're playing the long game--and as a company, we know how important it is to get it right."