THQ: Next Gen Will be More About Services Than Graphics

The publisher's CEO doesn't think the next batch of consoles will be as focused on bleeding-edge visuals as previous new platforms have been.

 The PS3 and Wii have been out since 2006, while the Xbox 360 launched a year earlier in 2005.  That five to six year span would normally equate to a new home console(s) being on store shelves this November, but that’s not happening.  Nintendo plans to be the first to market next time around — although there is some debate as to whether they are jump-starting a new generation or just throwing out a placeholder — at some point after April of 2012.  With no official word on the PS4 or the next Xbox, gamers and third parties alike are left speculating what exactly the next batch of consoles will be like.

According to THQ, who may or may not have inside information from the manufacturers, the next round of systems will not be particularly concerned with graphical horsepower.  Instead, CEO Brian Farrell feels that The Big Three will put their efforts into competing with each other through unique services.  In an interview with Games Beat, Farrell indicated that first parties will target new ways to make their consoles widely accessible.

He also believes that they will, somehow, put an even higher emphasis on new ways to interact with games, such as inventive new controllers; of course, we’ve already seen Nintendo’s tablet-style Wii U controller.  And with Microsoft and Sony yapping about Move and Kinect left and right these days, MTB wouldn’t be surprised to see the two of them follow suit with strange new control methods of their own.  I doubt they’ll completely forget about power, however.  After all, one of Nintendo’s major talking points about the Wii U is that it’ll be the most powerful home console on the market when it launches.

Farrell also thinks that the first party pie will no longer be split into thirds. “We believe Apple is going to be there, Google is going to be there,” he said.  I doubt either of them have home consoles in the works, but you never know.  That being said, the two tech firms are clearly going to be ensconced in the handheld gaming market for quite sometime to come.

Getting back to the home console market, Farrell believes things could move in an entirely new direction; one that doesn’t include the hardware.  “Our view is that the next generation of consoles, if there are consoles, are going to be less about technology and more about service orientation of the gamer.”  That’s an intriguing notion that seems as plausible as anything else at this point.  No one would argue that the industry is in a state of flux right now, with the horizon looking too hazy for an accurate reading.  It’s a strange time for the gaming universe and it’s not likely that we’ll have a more accurate picture of what’s coming next until E3 2012 or beyond.

[Source: Venture Beat]

[Image via Rip Ten.]

Nick Santangelo
Nick Santangelo
Nick Santangelo

MASH Veteran

Nick has been a gamer since the 8-bit days and a member of the MTB editorial team since January of 2011. He is not to be interrupted while questing his way through an RPG or desperately clinging to hope against all reason that his Philly sports teams will win any given game he may be watching. Seriously folks, reading this acknowledges that you relieve MTB of any and all legal liability for his actions.

The Latest from Mash