Square Enix Boss: PS3/Xbox 360 “Mismatched” To Today's Gamers

Yoichi Wada speaks out on development choices

Posted by Staff
Square Enix Boss: PS3/Xbox 360 “Mismatched” To Today's Gamers
Square Enix's chief executive, Yoichi Wada, thinks the high specs of the PS3 and 360 are currently alienating today's gaming market.

Speaking about next-gen systems to The Financial Times, Wada said, “There are too many specs – and you also need a high-definition TV, a broadband connection and a deep knowledge of gaming – these consoles are mismatched to today’s environment.”

Wada indicated that the gaming demographic has shifted, and developers have to adapt accordingly. “There is a new breed of gamers in the market – we have to make games for all kinds of people,” he said. “In the old days, we could just focus on the PlayStation or the GameBoy, but the environment has changed completely.”

Speaking about the decision to publish Dragon Quest IX on the DS, after the last few iterations have seen release on Sony's home consoles, Wada said, “We chose the Nintendo DS because the widest array of people use it, including people who previously did not play games before.”

Wada makes a good point. As well as attracting a more diverse audience than next-gen home consoles, the DS is in the hands of far more consumers. The latest figures suggest that some 40 million DSes have now been sold worldwide. By contrast the PS3, which would have been next in line for a Dragon Quest game had Enix not side-stepped it, has sold less than 4 million units. Why spend more money developing for an audience that's 10% of the size?

Wada is not, however, spelling out doom for next-gen platforms. “In a year or two years they will fare better,” he said.

†Source: VG Chartz

Comments

majin dboy 12 Jun 2007 16:32
1/12
this stinks.

this confrence release(or what ever it is),is saying.....the wii and DS are great machines so we will pick them to deveolp for and in the next sentance they condradict themselves,
hollywooda 12 Jun 2007 16:35
2/12
“In a year or two years they will fare better,” he said.
In a year or two we'll be looking for the next thing?...haha.

I think people in general are more switched on that this,
most people have broadband & have some HD knowledge.
Games consoles arent asking you to go out & buy a new lifestyle.
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tyrion 12 Jun 2007 19:05
3/12
Got to say, most people I know have, or intend to buy, an HD-ready TV at the least. That's 720p capable at the minimum. Almost everybody I know, including my parents, has broadband. And I don't see how "deep knowledge of gaming" is required to buy 360/PS3 games, but not Wii/DS games.

The guy is basically covering his arse instead of saying, "We brought it out on the DS because it'll sell more and costs less to make." He also refrained from adding, "Cha-ching!"
Joji 12 Jun 2007 20:24
4/12
Well he's entitled to his view on it. There's no denying that PS3 is not selling as it should, so creating DQIX for DS makes sense. The HD TV bit is perhaps jaded as japan has had HD for ages. Its only everywhere else that's now catching up. As for the broadband bit, they have to understand they are making games for everyone not just japan.

He can't sit on the fence really, either you want to support Wii and DS more or you don't. Very confusing message. If that's the case i'd love to see what else they have planned for Wii beyond FF.
OptimusP 12 Jun 2007 21:45
5/12
FFXIII confirmed not to be released in the next year or so, check. As it stands now, the Wii has a higher chance of getting a FFXIII-spin-off game faster then the PS3 getting it's.

Also this person was probably talking with dollar or yen signs in his eyes.
Smelly 12 Jun 2007 22:13
6/12
>"Also this person was probably talking with dollar or yen signs in his eyes."


Erm.. he's in business.. Businesses exist to make money..
Hypnotoad 13 Jun 2007 00:47
7/12
tyrion wrote:
Got to say, most people I know have, or intend to buy, an HD-ready TV at the least. That's 720p capable at the minimum. Almost everybody I know, including my parents, has broadband. And I don't see how "deep knowledge of gaming" is required to buy 360/PS3 games, but not Wii/DS games.

The guy is basically covering his arse instead of saying, "We brought it out on the DS because it'll sell more and costs less to make." He also refrained from adding, "Cha-ching!"

Couldn't have said it better myself. This is exactly the bottom line and has squat to do with nextgen consoles being 'mismatched for todays environment'. This is why I feel casual gaming being good is actually somewhat of a misnomer. Sure, it's better for the industry in terms of more money, but what about the actual gamer that wants more than some cheap mini-game trick from their gaming? Publishers are pulling teams off new games that finally have the chance to explore and express themselves in all new ways via this amazing new generation of hardware in favour of cheap cash-in trash. More specially I'm sighting Wii here - not being a hand held gamer I can't really speak for that.

Call it as it is Square Enix. DS = bigger install base with less dev time = more cash. We're not stupid and you just loose credibility for trying to slice it any other way.
DoctorDee 13 Jun 2007 07:59
8/12
Smelly wrote:
Erm.. he's in business.. Businesses exist to make money..

The idea, popular since the "Greed is Good" eighties, is that making money is ALL that business should exist for. It is fallacious.

Businesses should seek to improve the lot of their stakeholders (employees, clients, suppliers) and improve the economy and the environment generally. They should seek make the world a better place, not just their wallets a bigger place.

FoxtrotMike545 13 Jun 2007 09:35
9/12
The point is not about money or bottom line development costs in isolation. In order to achieve recognition, it is by units sold. You want to prove you have the best development house, produce the best games and win not only plaudits but loyal customers to your franchise? Ok, develop for the an installed user base of 40 million and achieve an attach rate of 15% - thats 6million units sold......or develop for a 4million user base and sell at an attach rate of 30% and still only sell 1.3million units.

Not only does it make industry sense, it makes business sense. Hardcore gamers need to also realise that there are studios that have designed great games with loving care....only to be outsold by the latest sporting release or movie cash-in. How many times have we seen great games being passed over and under sold, only to become classics years later?

Personally I think the more people being recognised as playing games, the better. More people = mainstream. This is our weapon over fear and censorship of the gaming industry - if everyone plays games, what's to be afraid of?
Rod Todd 13 Jun 2007 10:02
10/12
DoctorDee wrote:
Businesses should seek to improve the lot of their stakeholders (employees, clients, suppliers) and improve the economy and the environment generally. They should seek make the world a better place, not just their wallets a bigger place.

You are an hippy and I claim my five bucks.

Anand Modha 13 Jun 2007 11:52
11/12
This doesn't stink, it is just market forces in motion. Always side with the big bully in the playground and you'll be ok...so the theory goes. Sony, like all manufacturers before them, have shown that you are never invincible in this market. Without the backing of the studios who make the games, you are nothing, and i am not sure if they have the game making skills of Nintendo or the sickening amount of money of Microsoft to survive this (possible) failure.
Joji 13 Jun 2007 20:28
12/12
Square Enix aren't stupid, they will used for moving with the tide. I still remember the shock of them moving onto PS1 news with FF series. They know very well that development of anything big needs to be justified. DQ on DS is smart move. DQ on Wii might be a smart move, but I pray they don't make the game a weak walk over. FF couldn't return to Wii any sooner.

It amazes me that Capcom can embrace 360 so well, and get results for their hard efforts and yet Square are so reluctant to a degree. Yeah, they have to make money and every company is different, but it should be more about the games. While Wii will bring casual games and grow the market, its possible those same casuals may try 360 and PS3 eventually, once they feel comfortable with games.

A growing market is good for all. As for Wii, I know there's a hardcore gamer fear ( i have a little of that too) that Wii will be drowned in mini games, but I don't think that will happen. While we want more than Nintendo games and dumb film license chuff, I believe there are some developers that will support Wii with good solid games. They dont have to be a mass flood of games like with 360 and eventually PS3, just a steading enough waterfall. Some new Nintendo IP wouldn't hurt either. I do think Nintendo should let developers at ease about Wii controls, because many feel pressured to not use traditional control methods, when Wii can do that and Wii controls. Wii games should be marked on the packaging accordingly to let the buyer choose, which they can to use, when they get home.



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