Microsoft has already confirmed it’s working on multiple new Xbox consoles, while Sony recently for the first time acknowledged it may make a fifth PlayStation console. It’s obvious and expected that Microsoft and Sony, as well as Nintendo, will continue to release new hardware as time goes on. Now, Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson has spoken up to say you’ll have to wait a while longer to learn about new consoles. However, he intriguingly suggested that new consoles could place more of an emphasis on streaming and the cloud.
«There are a few articles out there; a few rumours; and a little hearsay as to what [the new consoles are] and when they’re coming and what they might be,» Wilson said. «I don’t think we’re in a position today to have a conversation about that. But just know that we’ve worked with Microsoft and Sony and Nintendo for many, many years and we look forward to working with them for many, many years more, even if we all collectively seek to move—either some portion of or all of our experiences—to the cloud.»
That last line about Wilson believing that all platform-holders might be looking at streaming more seriously is particularly interesting. There are rumors that one of Microsoft’s new Xbox consoles is a streaming box, while Nintendo already has streaming support for games like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Resident Evil 7 (though only in Japan). Sony, meanwhile, has its PlayStation Now streaming service already running. Another player in the market could be Google, which recently showed with its own game-streaming tech that you can play AAA games in your browser.
Strauss Zelnick, the CEO of Rockstar Games parent company Take-Two Interactive, has said he believes streaming will help accelerate the industry’s transition away from «closed» systems. Bethesda boss Pete Hines recently talked about how he would like the industry to get to a place where you can buy a game and play it wherever you want. Wilson, the CEO of EA, said during the same presentation today that he sees a future where you can play games on any device you want, with streaming/cloud gaming help accelerate that shift.
Presumably companies like EA, Bethesda, and others are briefed on announcements before they are made public, so it’s intriguing to hear top executives at each company independently say much the same thing. EA itself is working on a game-streaming service as part of its ridiculously ambitious-sounding Project Atlas.
There is no word yet as to when Microsoft and Sony will officially announce their new consoles. Nintendo, meanwhile, is expected to release a new version of the Nintendo Switch in 2019.
Microsoft’s next big event is X018 in Mexico City, which takes place in November. If Microsoft has some kind of big announcement to make soon, X018 could be the venue for it.