The next generation of consoles isn't just about increased computing power; a potentially bigger deal is the way those systems will be interconnected with other hardware and software platforms, said Activision's Eric Hirshberg in an interview with Edge.
Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, noted that many of the services and devices we use every day — Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, tablets, smartphones — didn't exist or were in their infancy when Microsoft and Sony launched the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, respectively. The way he sees it, the connections between next-generation consoles and those products will bring about innovation in games.
"Therefore [those consoles] weren't designed to particularly work well in those ecosystems — how could they [be]?" said Hirshberg. "Now the next generation of consoles is being designed to slot right in to be a part of that multi-device daisy chain that we all have. I think this will be the element, much more than improved graphics, that will lead to the creative new ideas in game design — the fact that there are multiple devices and much more of a social signature."
For Hirshberg, that's one of the main strengths of the video game medium, along with the way games can give people an interactive experience that they can't get in their daily lives. Asked if we might see more diverse types of games, such as romantic comedies, Hirshberg said the medium might not be suited to that kind of storytelling — or at least, that it wouldn't play to what games do best.
"I don't know if romantic comedy fits that model. I think that's something that movies and TV do well. There's this strange desire to morph games into movies or have them behave more like movies; I don't share that desire. Games are wonderful as they are and do different things better than other forms of media," said Hirshberg.