Electronic Arts' chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen has revealed a few details from an insider's perspective about the next generation of consoles, affectionately dubbed Xbox 720 and PS4. And those hoping to play their current Xbox 360 and PS3 titles on the new machines should look away now.
Speaking during the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco, the EA executive revealed that they "will most likely not be backwards compatible". He also doubted that the software giant's current customers would be early adopters of the next generation: they will happily buy FIFA 14 and other EA Sports games for the existing machines, mainly thanks to peer pressure.
"An important thing to remember is that next-gen consoles will most likely not be backwards compatible," he told the audience during a question and answer session. "And if you [play] multiplayer on a game, you'll most likely not be able to play with someone on a different generation. And so if you're a FIFA player and, and the soccer season's starting in August, and all your friends are playing FIFA, you're going to want to be on the same box that they're on.
"So if they all go out and buy a gen-four box if it comes out at Christmas, then you'll most likely do it. If they all hold on and continue to play on third-generation, you'll probably not see that box purchase until after the soccer season's over."
Naturally, EA has been working with devkits for the new consoles, but Jorgensen didn't give away anything too detailed. "No one's really seen yet… I mean, we have internally," he said. "But no one externally has really seen what the look and feel will be like on the new consoles. So I'll reserve judgement other than to say that I think people are going to be pretty excited."
He did give away one nugget, however. "I think as well you're going to see a lot more integration between tablets, phones, and the consoles over time. You're going to see people playing on glass at the same time they're playing on the console. And there's going to be some exciting innovations around that."