The next generation of consoles starts in 2013, if all goes according to developers’ plans. In an anonymous questionnaire, multiple industry professionals told IGN that they plan to release games for the next Microsoft and Sony consoles before January 1, 2014.
Multiple developers also intend to launch software for an unannounced platform next year.
The end is nigh.
To further signal the winding down of the current console generation, approximately 60% of respondents have no plans to release games for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, or Nintendo Wii after 2013. Of course, this means some 40% intend to keep at current-gen releases after next year. To that point, an anonymous developer told IGN, “I would not be surprised if something atypical cannibalizes the market, maybe even the Xbox 360 itself.”
From a hardware perspective, nearly 80% of respondents said Microsoft’s next console is the easiest to work with, and the overwhelming majority suspect it will be the sales leader over the next five years.
The ease of use compared to other consoles is assuredly attractive, too. By comparison, 63% of developers who spoke to IGN said the Wii U would be the most challenging platform to develop for. One creator went as far as saying, “we won’t be working on Wii U due to these complexities,” while another lamented the difficulty of moving innovative games unique to Wii U to other platforms. This poses the question: Will Nintendo once again need to rely primarily on first-party games to propel platform success? At any rate, the Wii U’s 2012 release window gives it a distinct advantage: time.