Chief financial officer at EA Games, Blake Jorgensen, has said that he doesn’t think the next-generation of home consoles from Microsoft and Sony will be backwards compatible with the current generation of games, during a talk at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco.
He thinks there won’t be a need for this as a feature, since current-gen machines will continue to sell well into 2014, especially with existing franchises like sports titles continuing to be popular.
“An important thing to remember is that next-gen consoles will most likely not be backwards compatible,” said Jorgensen. “If you [play] multiplayer on a game, you’ll most likely not be able to play with someone on a different generation.”
While the XBox 720 and PS4 are expected to be cheaper than previous generations at launch, they still won’t be cheap, meaning the uptake rate won’t be exceedingly fast. With that in mind, people will still continue to buy games for their existing console before upgrading.
“Fiscal year 2014 will still be a fairly large gen-three if there’s a console business that comes in at the tail end of the year, mainly because a lot of our titles are built around sports calendars… And if a next-gen console doesn’t come out until next Christmas, most people won’t wait. They’ll want to be involved in getting those titles early, because their friends are all playing those titles,” Jorgensen explained. “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.”