Sony made a surprise reveal of the PlayStation 5 in April, and Microsoft showed off what they’re working on with Project Scarlett during their Xbox conference this month during E3 2019. Both companies have been bragging about the next generation of console hardware, and both Project Scarlett and the PlayStation 5 will have state of the art CPU and GPUs from AMD, ray tracing, super-fast solid state drives, and backwards compatibility with physical media support.
What’s not to love, right? Well… In an interview during this year’s E3 with Video Games Chronicle, the studio head of Platinum Games Atsushi Inaba said that he isn’t all that head over heels for the next wave of consoles. Inaba isn’t a fan of the “off the shelf” hardware architecture that makes these performance improvements possible. Previously consoles were made with specific custom chips, and without them the next wave on consoles will just be “stuff that … already exists.”
Inaba told Video Games Chronicle that Sony’s and Microsoft’s console plans were “OK.” He went on to add, “By that I mean, I’m sure that things will move faster, graphics will be better and maybe it will be easier with less wait times… that’s good for the consumer.”
It’s more of the same, quite frankly, compared to previous generations. It’s nothing that’s disruptive or super innovative, if you ask me.
Expanding on the interest of custom chips in consoles, Inaba said that “game hardware used to be about custom chips you couldn’t do on PCs. Now you look at it and they’re just grabbing stuff that already exists. The Switch, for example, is a Tegra which already existed and the other consoles are using very similar chips and graphics cards to what you see on PCs, but maybe slightly updated. None of it seems unique to that hardware anymore.”
Platinum Games’s Inaba had a more positive impression of the upcoming cloud gaming platform, Google Stadia. “It’s hard to get excited about stuff that kind of already exists, but has been repurposed […] for me, things like cloud platforms represent innovation and something very, very different.”
Sony and Microsoft are confident about the next generation of consoles. Speaking to Eurogamer, head of Microsoft Game Studios Matt Booty said that this next generation of consoles “could be as big a transition as when we went from 2D to 3D.” Booty said that “we’re probably sitting on a pivot point in game design, when you add up the new console’s speed and performance,” as well as cloud streaming and the juiced-up hardware.
Platinum Games is currently working on developing Bayonetta 3, which Atsushi Inaba says is “going well” despite the game not being presented at this year’s E3. Platinum Games did show off their latest project, Astral Chain, which debuts for the Nintendo Switch this August.