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Former Xbox Boss Talks "Final Console Generation," Why Ball Is In Sony's Court

"What I'm saying is the questions are being asked, as they have been for the last 20 years."


In a new interview, former Xbox and EA boss Peter Moore has revealed his thoughts on the future of gaming and how the traditional console generation could be coming to an end. According to Moore, launching new hardware is both expensive and risky for even the biggest and most established companies in the industry, and with new advances in technology, companies might not be willing to risk billions to kick off a new console cycle. According to Moore, while Sony would likely be the trendsetter for new console hardware, other companies like Microsoft could look to cloud gaming to become more profitable.

"Sony is very much a hardware company, so I would say that that's your barometer company," Moore said to IGN. "Microsoft, not so much. Microsoft I'm sure would love it if everything moved into the cloud."

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Moore added that while there's always an element of uncertainty when it comes to developing the technology behind new consoles, he thinks that companies are asking tough questions behind closed doors when it comes to these multi-billion-dollar investments and convincing people to spend a substantial amount of cash on gaming hardware when more affordable options are available.

"What I'm saying is the questions are being asked, as they have been for the last 20 years," Moore said. "Are we ready to gird our loins financially for battle and all of the cost of development, silicon development? What is it that PS6 can do that PS5 can’t that would make people jump from PS5, or same with Xbox, same with Switch, right?"

According to Moore, companies will likely be looking to extend the current console generation, while looking at emerging technologies like cloud gaming and AI. Additionally, companies will be considering how to make games quicker, cheaper, and with fewer people.

Behind the scenes, the gaming industry has experienced turmoil in 2024, with mass layoffs at many companies. While Xbox Series X|S sales have reportedly lagged behind its rivals, Sony is predicting it'll miss its PS5 sales targets during its current financial year, and Nintendo has kept tight-lipped about its Switch successor. It's worth noting that while the US video game market is far from being dead, it will have to start thinking outside of the console box if it wants to achieve more growth, according to Circana analyst Mat Piscatella.

Sony and Microsoft have also readjusted their strategy toward console-exclusive games, with Microsoft recently announcing that Hi-Fi Rish, Pentiment, Sea of Thieves, and Grounded would be headed to other platforms. Meanwhile, Sony has regularly released PlayStation games on PC after a period of timed exclusivity. This month will see Horizon Forbidden West arrive on PC, and Ghost of Tsushima will follow in May. Related to that, Moore revealed how Microsoft once considered bringing Halo to PlayStation.

On the hardware side, Sony hasn't commented yet on a rumored PS5 mid-gen refresh, while leaked documents for Microsoft's mid-gen Xbox consoles hint at a digital-only future.

Darryn Bonthuys on Google+

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