Square Enix exec says long console life spans 'biggest mistake'

Publisher's worldwide technology director says Sony and Microsoft hanging on to PS3 and Xbox 360 for so long has driven devs to browsers, mobile, and other platforms.

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The lack of new console hardware from Microsoft and Sony will haunt the companies, according to Square Enix worldwide technology director Julien Merceron. In an interview with GamesIndustry International, the developer said "the biggest mistake they have ever made" is allowing the current generation of systems to stretch on for seven-to-10 years.

Square Enix has been thinking about next-gen, as evidenced by its E3 tech demo.
Square Enix has been thinking about next-gen, as evidenced by its E3 tech demo.

“This generation has been way too long, and I say this because you have a lot of developers that work on a new platform, and perhaps will not succeed, so they will wait for the next generation, and will jump on that platform," Merceron said. "You could not do that with this generation though. So these developers went elsewhere to see if the grass was greener. They found Web browsers, they found iOS, they found other things and a lot of them won't come back to the hardware platforms."

The Xbox 360 was launched four years after the original Xbox. It has been nearly seven years since the Xbox 360 debuted at retail, and Microsoft has yet to announce a successor console. The PlayStation 3 hit shelves in 2006, and Sony has similarly declined to officially announce a follow-up system.

As for Square Enix's next-gen plans, the company unveiled its Luminous Studio engine at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo. The publisher showed off its target capabilities for the new engine with a tech demo called Agni's Philosophy, viewable below.

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