Incumbents get trapped in a cycle of sustaining improvements, just trying to improve on last year’s model. It’s called performance oversupply, and it’s why the DVD Audio didn’t take off, but why Napster and iTunes did. People were happy with the quality CDs provided – they just wanted an easier way of accessing CD quality content.
Ben Cousins, general manager of DeNA’s Scattered Entertainment, talking about TVs at GDC.
To this well-crafted statement we say bravo. The games industry is always propelled forward by the future, a belief that the best game is yet to come (as opposed to film, where many believe the golden age has long passed). Graphics have traditionally driven progress, but today an Xbox 360, or even an iPad, is “CD quality.” Even some Facebook games are looking quite respectable. There simply isn’t a widespread demand or excitement for improved graphics, when racing games look photorealistic and many action games look as good as a Pixar film.
The future is now more about “friction-free” access to games and fresh ways to interact with content than anything else, something even the horsepower-obsessed Sony now accepts. It’s unclear what Microsoft has up their sleeves (at least until May, apparently), but Apple’s plans in the TV space (and by extension, the games space) may render the word “disruptive” too soft. By the way, when is WWDC? Looking like the same week as E3.