Resetting the Stage: New Consoles and the Next Generation of Gaming

Circle this day in gaming history – one we will all remember for the arrival of a long-awaited new era in console gaming.   Along with my EA colleagues, I was in Redmond today to see Microsoft unveil Xbox One, and based upon what they showed us, we should all be incredibly excited.

I’ve got some experience with console announcements, but I can safely say none have had more anticipation behind them than this new generation.  And without doubt, none have delivered this kind of increase in technology, graphic fidelity, social integration and raw power.

Two months ago, our DICE studio unveiled a stunning 17-minute demo of Battlefield 4 – we couldn’t say it at the time, but what players saw was a game designed for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 architecture.  Today in Redmond, Andrew Wilson went further with a detailed view of what gamers can expect from the next generation of EA SPORTS.   It was a spectacular showcase that included FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, NBA Live, and EA SPORTS UFC, all powered by the new EA SPORTS IGNITE development engine.  As someone that has been closely involved in sports console games for the past 14 years, I can honestly say that this is the greatest leap in the way those games look, feel and play that I have ever witnessed.

The next generation of console gaming has arrived; our greatest stage for interactive entertainment has just been reset.  However, the new consoles from Microsoft and Sony will launch into a gaming audience very different from eight years ago, so it’s time to acknowledge the question on a lot of people’s minds.

Smartphones and tablets have attracted tens of millions of new players in the past five years with different interests and expectations for games.  Make no mistake, in a short amount of time this has become a powerful gaming audience.   You’ve likely already read  or heard attempts to explain how the popularity of mobile games today spells disaster for the new consoles, and there will be more in the weeks ahead.  I simply couldn’t disagree more.  Just as TV, movies and YouTube coexist, consoles and mobile gaming will stand together as well.  In fact, our belief – and we’re not the only ones here – is that ultimately mobile and console will be complementary, not competitive. 

This is not an either-or proposition.  When new technology unlocks this much potential, we have every reason to be excited for the future of gaming, and what we can create.

Speaking of which, we’ve got so much to show you.  We will start at E3 in just a few weeks’ time, with EA’s press conference on June 10 at 1pm PT (live on SPIKE TV).  You’ll see new demos and footage of games from EA SPORTS, Battlefield 4, Need for Speed and more – games that our developers have been working on under wraps for almost one year.  We will also reveal what we’ve been already been working on with our partners at Disney.  For those able to attend E3, EA’s booth will feature playable demos of Xbox One and PlayStation 4 games. 

I’m convinced for many reasons that 2013 is going to be an historic year for gamers.  What Microsoft showed us today is just the start, come join us at E3 for what’s next.