Former Sony Exec Believes Sony and Microsoft Will Join Forces

Tom Goldman

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Aug 17, 2009
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Former Sony Exec Believes Sony and Microsoft Will Join Forces



The former president of SCEE strongly believes that the rising costs of hardware development will encourage the big three to share resources.

Developing a next-generation videogame console is expensive. So expensive, in fact, that former Sony Computer Entertainment Europe president and current Capcom COO David Reeves thinks that the major players in the console business will be driven together within the next 15 years.

It seems like an impossible scenario for Sony and Microsoft to team up, but Reeves feels pretty strongly about the possibility. He revealed his thoughts on a possible one console future in an interview with CVG.

"When you're on the first-party side, you realize how really, really expensive it is to develop a platform," he said. "Whether it's PS3, or Xbox 360 or even Wii, they cost millions - maybe not billions, but absolutely millions."

Making those millions back has become more challenging than ever with competition in the market coming from digital distribution, and worldwide economies taking a plunge. Reeves feels that someday, Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo will get sick of splitting the industry's profits between them.

"Eventually, it may just become so expensive to develop that Microsoft and Sony say, 'Okay, let's get together.' I'd say it's between 10 and 15 years away," he continued. "That's how long I think it will take. I don't think it will be the next console cycle, but probably the next cycle after that, where you might have something platform-agnostic."

Reeves added that there could be another player by then, such as Google, joining the fold to team up with one of the big three. He paints a future where Mario can someday become a secret character in Super Smash Bros. [http://www.amazon.com/God-War-III-Playstation-3/dp/B000ZK9QCS/ref=sr_1_2?s=videogames&ie=UTF8&qid=1290107001&sr=1-2] 15 years is a long time, but does anyone else actually think this is remotely possible?

Source: CVG [http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=276488]

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Tom Goldman

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Aug 17, 2009
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i wouldn't say its impossible. Sony and Nintendo were actually working on a console, yet Nintendo went paranoid and booted them out, along with the tech that was made during it. That later became the Playstation.

The big issue would be the two staying together, not coming together. IF they do join up, it would be interesting to see.
 

Simalacrum

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Apr 17, 2008
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I think that could be fantastic, although I question the possibility of there even being two more generations of consoles - with the rising production costs, on top of the fact that we're coming damned close to life-like graphics, I honestly doubt that the industry can continue this 'generation' idea for much longer.

However, I do think that joining forces would be a very good thing.
 

Crimsane

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As long as it doesn't end up with another terrible Games for Windows Live-style system to play their games, I'm not opposed to the idea. I have a few reservations about it, but... I'm curious.
 

Weaver

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Apr 28, 2008
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The thing about capitalism is that it's designed around competition. The 360 dropped it's price to try to sell more and be more in line with the wii, which meant sony had to drop it's prices to compete, etc.

If there is just ONE console they'll be able to charge outlandish amounts and never need to drop the prices. It will absolutely have a subscription fee to go online because hey, what are YOU going to do about it?

At least I'll always have my PC <3
 

capacollo

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Tom Goldman said:
Reeves added that there could be another player by then, such as Google, joining the fold to team up with one of the big three. He paints a future where Mario can someday become a secret character in Super Smash Bros. [http://www.amazon.com/God-War-III-Playstation-3/dp/B000ZK9QCS/ref=sr_1_2?s=videogames&ie=UTF8&qid=1290107001&sr=1-2] 15 years is a long time, but does anyone else actually think this is remotely possible?
I can see the reason for this from a manufacturing point of view. In the semiconductor industry fab-houses (which actually make the chips) incur huge amounts of costs and partner together to help alleviate some of the burden and the intent is to share revenue but keep costs down. Currently, I don't know if the console development is on that path but even if its not I believe that the focus will be more on delivering quality content (whether it be via digital, console, TV, etc.) in the future as that is where the big money is going to be (in my opinion of course).
 

Jack and Calumon

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Dec 29, 2008
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I see Microsoft and Sony teaming up, but Nintendo is STILL printing money through the Wii and the soon obsolete DS after 4 years. Sony meanwhile have been throwing money into a fire until recently when they got enough water to put it out and Microsoft has been relying on having guns fire money at them, and while good, the guns aren't exactly firing full auto.

Don't judges me on that, I needed some kind of analogy or I would have exploded.

Calumon: And I would have had a mess. XS
 

Liudeius

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It would be nice for all games to be on one platform rather than having to choose just one if you are on a tight budget (yes, OnLive will allow just a TV, but it also requires absurdly fast internet)

mogamer said:
There is already a universal platform Sony and MS can use. It's called the pc.
The problem with the PC is that they are extremely expensive. If you bought a PS3 for $500 (a cheap computer) when they came out, you will be able to play the latest games 10 years and all you need to pay for is the game.
If you use a PC, you have to spend $1,000 or more to begin with, then have to update your hardware periodically if you want to play the latest games (and if you don't constantly upgrade, you have no chance of being able to play new games with full graphics.)
Also the PC doesn't have all games currently, and making it have all game would technically be Microsoft and Sony joining forces since it is made by Microsoft.
 

laryri

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Liudeius said:
mogamer said:
There is already a universal platform Sony and MS can use. It's called the pc.
The problem with the PC is that they are extremely expensive. If you bought a PS3 for $500 (a cheap computer) when they came out, you will be able to play the latest games 10 years and all you need to pay for is the game.
If you use a PC, you have to spend $1,000 or more to begin with, then have to update your hardware periodically if you want to play the latest games (and if you don't constantly upgrade, you have no chance of being able to play new games with full graphics.)
You can make a PC that is better than the current consoles for the same prices as the current consoles and it will last just as long.
 

manythings

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DTWolfwood said:
Government might drop the antitrust hammer down on that idea.
Agreed. It sounds like an idea that is from the "very, very" region and the illegal side of the line.

The problem with this idea is there is one pie and they all want the biggest piece. Does anyone think for a second they will settle for one-third when they could kill the other two and have it all?
 

Gladion

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Simalacrum said:
[...]on top of the fact that we're coming damned close to life-like graphics[...]
True, but there is still a lot of work to do in the physics- and especially the AI-department, both heavily dependend on a console's strength. Apart from that, the new consoles showed us how much level- and enemydesign are improven by stronger machines (e.g. Uncharted 2's moving levels). I think two or even three generations are still possible - but the time spans between them will probably get bigger and bigger, and I suppose there might be more console addons in the future...

And don't forget, there is still virtual reality ahead of us when we've finally got conservative gaming out of our systems. God I'm gonna be the first guy ever who will hook his brains up to a gaming system.

Oh yeah, OT: Sure it's possible. It's probably even likely. Is it a desirable scenario? Not sure. No competition could mean less quality but it could also mean greater quality. Even though "no competition" is very strange to say because there are hardly any exclusives anymore anyway, especially if you count the PC in.
 

Amethyst Wind

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Competition fuels consumption. They might enter a merger but only if they had some other company to compete against.

Say......Apple.
 

fgdfgdgd

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I, for one, welcome our new one console overlord and hope they feel welcomed and loved by fans world round, then we can put our collective mind more onto games and software rather than fighting over who has the biggest virtual wang of a console.
 

Tom Goldman

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Aug 17, 2009
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I really dont see there being another 2 generations of consoles to be fair. Costs of production are ridiculous for a start. Plus, everything seems to be moving towards motion controls, something that around 95% of gamers are dead set against.
Games are becoming too lifelike as well. I dont know about you lot but I play games to get away from real life. Not to be thrown into some photo-realistic world with a sepia hue to everything.

Its not a case of the "Big 3" maybe joining forces, they HAVE to. Unless there is a merger of some sorts the industry is gonna collapse or 1 company is going to take everything (hardware side Im talking about here). Im pretty sure thats a monopoly there. I mean, if Sony and Nintendo were to suddenly announce they are filing for bankrupcy, that just leaves Microsoft left with the weight of the gaming world on their shoulders. Having competition is the best way for the industry to grow.
I know that sounds contradictary to what I said about them joining forces but thats a different thing. If they join forces and make one console that runs titles of all genres then people are not gonna be confused with what console to buy. No more "I like Halo, I'll buy an Xbox...But...Super Smash Bros I really like as well...ARRRGH!!!".

I bet my life that anyone here would be overjoyed if a merger was announced
Its the only way the industry is going to survive in my opinion
 

super_smash_jesus

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and everyone will have their own personal rocketpacks, and the moon would be a destination resort...

this will never happen, I would expect one of the two (MS or Sony) to step out of the console race before they join forces. And Nintendo seems content doing what they do, considering they are the only console that makes money on the console purchases.