Next Generation Consoles (Durango, Wii U) Scaring Developers Out of Innovation

Wii U And Next Gen Consoles Stifle Innovation

Doublesix CEO points out flaw in next-gen consoles: Higher specs, less innovation

Next-generation consoles will stifle innovation, forcing indie developers to call PCs home

Its easy to forget about what developers are going to actually to do with higher specification consoles when the next generation arrives. This generation was the transition into high definition, giving developers more freedom in the kind of games they wanted to produce and more varied artistic styles. However, some people think that improved specs this time around won’t reap such benefits.

Over at gamesindustry International, Doublesix CEO – James Brooskby, speaking at Westminster Media Forum – says new home consoles will cause innovation to decelerate.

He said at GDC earlier this year that there was excitement and trepidation among attendees. He reasons that high costs will cause publishers and developers to invest more in the established franchises. This mentality has already been seen this generation with Kickstarter helping more niche titles – such as adventure games – gain funding.

He says publishers will probably stick with “proven development houses” too. Microsoft is taking a similar line, it seems, as they are setting up a new trilogy of Halo titles as we transition into next-gen consoles.

Consoles will lack innovation

Brooskby also commented on the amount of ways games can be distributed now: “We’re almost spoilt for choice,” as the rise of mobile platforms such as iPhones and iPads and digital platforms such as Xbox Live Arcade allow discless games to become more prominent. This generation has seen big indie hits, with Limbo and Braid being standout tiles. On digital markets, Brooskby said “these markets have changed and change very quickly.”

He says that independent developers creating innovative titles will be the “exception” on consoles, and not the rule, with mobiles devices and the PC offering a greater audience to these titles.

Steam has promoted indie bundles, which numerous games packaged together for incredible value. On Xbox Live, however, the Indie Games section of the dashboard seems to be requiring more and more button presses to access.

Perhaps Brooskby is right about tablets also, at least more casual games that don’t rely on a controller. Apple sold 3 million new iPad units last week, so the audience is certainly there in a market that is in its infancy.

Published: Thursday, March 22nd, 2012 Last Modified: March 22, 2012

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