Not according to Quantic Dream’s David Cage. The co-founder of the studio that developed Heavy Rain has recently stated in an interview with Develop that the next generation of consoles won’t be needed for at least five more years. “If we could continue with PlayStation 3 for another five years it would be fine with me,” the developer said. Although this statement comes from somebody who has recently shown a tech demo (titled Kara) demonstrating what his company will be able to do should they have a little more time, the developer does have an interesting point.
Quantic Dream has been exclusively developing for the PS3 for a few years now and Cage believes that there aren’t technical limitations with the console. The developer argues that the lack of creativity of developers is what limits what they can do with the PlayStation 3. I agree with this idea to a certain extent. Even if a new generation of consoles was to come out today, we would be playing the same type of games. We would probably be playing a Call of Duty with better graphics or probably a new Unreal title with a much more impressive graphics engine. But do you really believe that apart from better visuals the games are going to be any different? After all, most indie titles (which are usually the ones where developers take more risks) don’t make use of the most complex technological advancements of a given console.
Of course a new generation of consoles doesn’t mean that we won’t be able to play and enjoy titles like The Binding of Isaac, Journey, Fez or Braid, but if developers are comfortable making these games and players are comfortable buying them, do we really need new consoles? A couple of more years would force developers to take more risks and ultimately, be much more creative.
On the other hand, some people argue that some developers are just scared of the upcoming generation of consoles and that is the main reason why they want to keep developing for the current one. To be completely honest I don’t believe that a developer from the company behind innovative titles such as Indigo Prophecy (known as Fahrenheit in Europe) and Heavy Rain is intimidated by technological advancements. After all, we all know the next generation of game consoles is coming. Its arrival is both imminent and inevitable. Cage just wants more creative games that explore the hardware we already have.
In the end, new consoles mean more money to Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. Most consumers are already really excited about the Wii U, PS4 and Xbox 720 (or whatever Microsoft decides to name it) coming out really soon. But shouldn’t developers be allowed to explore the limits of video game design for a few more years? Maybe this is the right time for games to evolve through ideas and not just better technology.
What do you think about all this? Are you excited about the new generation of consoles? Do you believe that a faster processor will naturally translate into a better gameplay experience? Will we keep playing the same generic first-person shooters and role-playing games? Please, feel free to share your views on this matter in the comments down below.