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Square Enix: Long console generation a 'big mistake'

8:00 AM on 07.10.2012

Jim Sterling

Former Reviews Editor

Square Enix's worldwide technology director, Julien Merceron, has accused Sony and Microsoft of making a "big mistake" by prolonging this console generation, claiming that iOS and browser games have flourished as a direct result of the Xbox 360 and PS3 hanging around too long. 

"This generation has been way too long, and I say this because you have a lot of developers that work on a new platform, and perhaps will not succeed, so they will wait for the next generation, and will jump on that platform. You could not do that with this generation though," he told GI.biz"So these developers went elsewhere to see if the grass was greener. They found web browsers, they found iOS, they found other things and a lot of them won't come back to the hardware platforms.

"So you could look at it that thanks to Microsoft and Sony and the length of this generation, it helped the emergence of other platforms and helped them get strong before the next hardware comes out."

I can't say I follow the man's logic on this. iOS and browser games would have succeeded regardless of what consoles were doing, because they're cheap and have a pre-built audience. If anything, the bloated development costs of games forced many developers to think smaller, and I think that a new generation will only make that worse, not better.

I can't see how new, more demanding consoles would be attractive to studios who fled to mobile and social games in a bid to survive the process of making games.

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