Square Enix’s worldwide technology director Julien Merceron says that Microsoft’s and Sony's insistence on extending the lifecycle of their respective consoles has ultimately hurt the industry. In a recent interview with GamesIndustry International he called this protracted life cycle the "biggest mistake ever made" and claimed that this move has ultimately damaged the overall console market. Those are fighting words.
"We have Sony and Microsoft talking about this generation lasting seven, eight, nine or even ten years and it's the biggest mistake they've ever made," he told Games Industry. "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 went on to say that this move drove some developers away to find greener pastures to develop and sell their games such as iOS, the web, Facebook, Android, etc.
"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," he added.
Of course Merceron fails to mention the most obvious reason why many develops have flocked to these platforms: cost versus profits. It is cheaper to make a game on many of these platforms and the reward from outright sales or micro-transactions can be monumental if successful...