John Riccitiello Bullish About Next-Gen Console Platforms

John Riccitiello, former CEO of Electronic Arts, believes that the next-generation of consoles will outsell its current-gen counterparts, surpassing the reach of its predecessors in terms of sales and popularity.

“I think they’ll be bigger than the last generation, actually,” said Riccitiello in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, in reference to the next-gen console’s potential user base.

“The last generation can be described as supercharged engines – they had super-powerful boxes. But the entirety of the online communication and being able to connect to your friends and all that stuff, a seamless, smooth, social experience, was just masking tape – barely put together,” he said.

Riccitiello believes that the rise of broadband and the full integration of online options will allow next-gen systems like the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 to surpass existing systems.

“Remember that this was eight years ago. Most people were just moving on from their 28k modems. Now these are fully functioning, fully integrated online computers connected to the best screen in your house,” he said.

“You put a super computer under your TV, plug it in with one connection and it works. It knows who you are, it knows what your games are and it’s unbelievably simple; it’s not like PC plug and play, it’s just plug and play. The next generation of consoles are going to be a massive improvement on user interface. So I think that’s going to matter,” he said.

John Riccitiello resigned from his position as EA’s CEO this past March. You can read about all his contributions to both EA and the game industry as a whole in our ultimate retrospective.

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13 Comments on John Riccitiello Bullish About Next-Gen Console Platforms

R.J.

On July 31, 2013 at 4:53 pm

The funny thing is I don’t really care that much about what he is claiming is so great. “Social” aspects are the least of my priorities when it comes to gaming.

Mr Flibble

On July 31, 2013 at 5:37 pm

It recognizes you? But the PS4 doesn’t… Ohhh, I see what you did there mister ex-EA guy.

I think it’s funny that the focus of this generation is so highly on the social aspects which us gamers don’t really care that much about. I agree with you, R.J. If I can play a game with a friend on my console, that’s about all the social interaction I need.

LTenhet

On July 31, 2013 at 6:01 pm

The moment he called a console a “Super computer” he lost anything credible.

gasmaskangel

On July 31, 2013 at 8:32 pm

Dammit Riccitello this is why I drink, because stupid shartbirds like you open your stupid fecking faces and let mindless drivel about “social features” tumble out of your festering gobs like so much watery bile.

You know what I want? Antisocial features. Something that actively mocks people for attempting to use facebook or twitter while gaming, something that starts with everyone automuted on the rare occasions when the planets align and I feel like playing with other human beings. Something that responds to skype calls with a pre-recorded message that says “If I wanted to talk to people I wouldn’t be playing video games you bastard.”

Also no more of this voice control crap unless you’re specifically trying to help out the disabled. I am not yet so lazy that I can’t be arsed to move three feet to pick up the damned remote.

Evernessince

On July 31, 2013 at 11:08 pm

@gasmaskangel

^^
this

He speaks as though people only game on consoles and want everything spoon fed to them by big corporations, “just give them your money”.

In reality, these new consoles provide features no better than what already available. In a way the social features and privacy invasion mirror the current situation in the united states. Is everyone so willing to give up a basic liberty like privacy to gain the ability to share your “achievements” with your friends.

DX

On August 1, 2013 at 2:14 am

The only time I ever play online is if there’s a trophy or achievement that requires playing online. If it’s a game that’s online by default and lets other players drop in, I usually turn the connection off. I play games to escape society. Social interaction is a good thing for those who want it and I’m not suggesting it shouldn’t be incorporated, but neither should a massive section of the audience be ostracised or compromised because of some desperate, insecure attempt by big publishers to force the industry in a direction that it doesn’t need to take because they think it makes videogames look more credible. You only have to look at Phil Fish and CliffyB’s faux pas on Twitter to know that social networking does NOT do us any favours.

Online should always be entirely optional unless the game explicitly states it’s a requirement.

JawaEsteban

On August 1, 2013 at 5:40 am

gasmaskangel for comment of the week, hands down.

Antisocial features, best idea I’ve heard this month. I’d go one further and suggest a system that actually delivers a mild electrical shock every time one of these egotistical special snowflake window lickers feels the urge to post what they had for lunch on Facebook or whatever other mindless drivel they need to share with the world.

Personally, one of my absolute favorite things about gaming is the ability to NOT have to deal with other people for an hour or so. It’s a beautiful thing. Seriously, at what point did being an antisocial gamer become a bad thing? When the corporate a**hats figured out that we’re not as easy to market and sell crap to versus the facebook generation, maybe?

I’m with GMA. This is also why I drink.

Chris

On August 1, 2013 at 8:48 am

You all realize that the majority of console gamers want this right? they WANT to be able to socialize while they game. they WANT to facebook screen shots and replays, or the WANT to use that second glass feature.

Those who dont are actually in the minority. They have done hundred of surveys both on the console and in the real world that show this. And not the usual 30 man focus groups. These reach into the 1000′s.

Not that i want either of these. Recent prices hikes at Games in Britain (games coming up to $80 US) and the non-modular nature of consoles keep me away. i MAY get them for well reviewed exclusives, but not till one shows up. Until then ill stick with 45 dollar games on steam.

Hell i think Xcom Declassified comes with Spec Ops: The Line and every Xcom game made prior including Enemy Unknown.

/end Master Race Rant

Pine Baron

On August 1, 2013 at 9:34 am

@Chris – Thing is, those surveys probably aren’t particularly in-depth. The question being asked could have been “do you have a problem with in-game networking” or “do you think it can be a positive thing.” Despite predominantly playing games offline in single player I would say the answer to both is no and yes, respectively. But that doesn’t mean I’m massively in favour of either of them, I’m at best apathetic or open-minded. As long as it doesn’t obstruct me being able to play the game in my way, live and let live. Besides, I do enjoy collecting trophies and achievements to compare with my friends.

The problem comes when people interpret such a response as meaning that I actively WANT networking in games, and more than that, that it has to be considered a priority when developing a game. That’s why surveys, while useful, aren’t always as clear as is first apparent. Now, if the question being asked was in fact “do you consider networking functionality to be one of the most important aspects of gaming” and the majority polled said yes, that’s clear-cut. But I doubt it would ever be phrased in such an absolute way because a lot of people would be inclined to say no just because they could think of things they cared about more than that. They could add the choice of whether you’re generally positive/don’t mind it/don’t have an opinion but that would split the vote and not really come up with a defined answer.

Like I said, I have no problem with this sort of thing being in games especially if people want it, even if it was just a significant minority of the audience it would be worthwhile. I just don’t want to see it take prominence over single player unless it’s specifically designed and marketed for that purpose.

Chris

On August 1, 2013 at 9:42 am

@Pine: Another thing to ask is what does this really take away from gaming? Microsoft/Sony have been building the infrastructure for Xbox Live and PSN for years, and are unlikely to change it in any significant way prior to the new consoles release. They also don’t develop the new games. Really nothing is being lost by them working on social features. No hardware loss, no time loss.

Pine Baron

On August 1, 2013 at 9:50 am

@Chris – true, for the time being. The problems will arise if or when they make them mandatory for all releases and/or push the burden on the developers to implement them, which will drive resources away from the main game in the same way as multiplayer so often does.

folklore

On August 1, 2013 at 10:58 am

@chris While microsoft and sony both have developed, and are making social features possible in their system. Unfortunately developers are going to be “encouraged” to put them in the game even if it doesn’t make sense. This will take away time from the actual game, and could result in a poorer product. I know for certain that it will becoming annoying after seeing this guy got this achievement on Facebook.

sep

On August 1, 2013 at 12:28 pm

HAHAHA Gasmaskangel +++

I wish someone would print that as a pamphlet and circulate it to all these morons.