EA wants 'open gaming platform'

Rival gaming systems should make way for a single open platform, said Gerhard Florin, senior executive at Electronic Arts, because incompatible consoles made life harder for developers and consumers: "We want an open, standard platform which is much easier than having five which are not compatible. We're platform agnostic and we definitely don't want to have one platform which is a walled garden. I am not sure how long we will have dedicated consoles - but we could be talking up to 15 years." EA currently produces games for more than 14 different gaming systems, including consoles, portable devices and PCs. Analysts predict a set-top box connected to the Internet could one day be used for all entertainment needs. Thoughts?

News source: BBC News

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Attacks exploiting RealPlayer zero-day in progress

Next Story

Halite BitTorrent Client 0.2.9 Revision 320

39 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I think this is a terrible idea...

Since when is taking away choice from consumers a good idea?

This is just another attempt by EA to monopolise gaming and spew out the same tired crap...Think about it... Where does innovation come from? From competition...

The Wii is a prime example of this. Nintendo HAD to innovate to get back into the first spot. Also the different consoles cater for different gamers.

EA should stop bitching about profits, expenses and ease of development, and get on with making games...

There was is was called 3DO. I have 2, a Panasonic and a Sanyo. EA made some great games for it, first version of Fifa in 3D I believe. It also has the best version of Another World, with painted backgrounds and a longer ending.

But it cost way too much and nobody bought it, and it was Trip the founder of EA that actually sateted 3DO. This idea is nothing new but $ony and Micro$oft work together, would ATi sit back and let Nvidia make the chipset.

Its not going to happen.

Also the PC is not a gaming platform, its multiple platforms and just as hard to make a game for. DX9, DX 10 different OS's, processors, soundcards.

The whole point in a console is that everyone will get the same gaming experience without any hardware or software confilcts. That is not something you can say of a PC.

Right, but even in the PC world you have many different standards, hardware architectures etc...it's a bit of a stretch to say that a PC is an open platform with specific specifications and rules to ensure a quality gaming experience. The only thing I think comes close to that is Games for Windows.

toadeater said,
An open gaming console already exists. It's called a PC.

That's what I was thinking after reading the article.

exactly... rofl, what the hell is EA thinking. Just need a PC with a HDMI video card and a low profile that will fit in a media center.

i think they are including the PC in the whole eqaution, and you area lso wrong on the PC being open as pure legend pointed towards windows is not a PC, there is linux, and even more now MAC as it is intel, is basically a PC, show me one game that natively plays on all 'PC' platforms.

EA are wanting a platform that works on all PC platforms, works on all console platforms, works on all handheld platforms, works on all mobile platforms. basically one set of code to play on them all, they don't want to keep writing the code 5 or six times over to meet the needs of all the platforms.

the same exists for PC software companies, if they want mac or linux users to use their applicatinos they have to write another set of code, it woudl be nice if that all got standardsed too, seeeing when it comes down to it you use the same actual programming languages to write the code, you just have to write it differently.

EXACTLY. Poor EA. They've bought up everyone and so now they are faced with the COSTS of owning everything and anything across 14 platforms. So, this douche wants to maximize profit by reducing the competition there are paying to develop for? Surprise...surprise.

We have to all start watching the machine that's in motion here (has been for years in fact); EA is setting up for a hardware launch of their own.

Of course they want a unified platform...with an EA logo on it.

morgan99 said,
I hope they do bring their own platform... because it will FAIL

That's what the uninformed PS fans said about the MS Xbox. Look who's laughing now? So don't dismiss ANYONE with pockets as deep as EA. But if they really want to play the big dog's game, it won't be just about the money. It'll be about execution and whether EA will have the cajones to go two or more rounds with Sony and MS. MS played the long game, eating the Xbox 1 in order to get it right with the Xbox 360. Can anyone else do the same?

excalpius said,

That's what the uninformed PS fans said about the MS Xbox. Look who's laughing now? So don't dismiss ANYONE with pockets as deep as EA. But if they really want to play the big dog's game, it won't be just about the money. It'll be about execution and whether EA will have the cajones to go two or more rounds with Sony and MS. MS played the long game, eating the Xbox 1 in order to get it right with the Xbox 360. Can anyone else do the same?

if you are talkign about the xbox, rather than the 360 then i think in terms off Money a couple of billion dollar loss is a failure

whocares78 said,
if you are talkign about the xbox, rather than the 360 then i think in terms off Money a couple of billion dollar loss is a failure

The Xbox 1 was part of the investment in taking over the market. Microsoft learned lessons with the Xbox 1 that they used with the Xbox 360. They've done this with every product release (hardware or software) that enters an established market. It's all the same to them. Part of a long term investment in a big picture strategy. To separate the two as you have fails to comprehend the way Sony and Microsoft see it.

excalpius said,

The Xbox 1 was part of the investment in taking over the market. Microsoft learned lessons with the Xbox 1 that they used with the Xbox 360. They've done this with every product release (hardware or software) that enters an established market. It's all the same to them. Part of a long term investment in a big picture strategy. To separate the two as you have fails to comprehend the way Sony and Microsoft see it.

which is why i said in terms of money it was a failure, however i agree to the long term MS plan it was a huge success. making them a dominant player.

Please. Xbox's entry into the market with its ultra powerfull console launched this industry light years ahead of where it would have been if left to the puny PS2, thats what free market competition does. Nintendo gets it..they've risen from the ashes twice now. This is a horrible idea and will stagnate the whole industry. Its called free market competition and nothing comes close to what that delivers.

Rival gaming systems should make way for a single open platform, said Gerhard Florin, senior executive at Electronic Arts, because incompatible consoles made life harder for developers and consumers: "We want an open, standard platform which is much easier than having five which are not compatible. We're platform agnostic and we definitely don't want to have one platform which is a walled garden. I am not sure how long we will have dedicated consoles - but we could be talking up to 15 years." EA currently produces games for more than 14 different gaming systems, including consoles, portable devices and PCs. Analysts predict a set-top box connected to the Internet could one day be used for all entertainment needs. Thoughts?

Really, Gerhard? As hard as you make it on developers by buying up all the creativity and snuffing it out? Look in the mirror dude, for you are the murderer of creativity and now you have your sites on full domination of everything gaming. Why do you hate gaming so much? Why are you killing it?

No, I don't think having three independently controlled systems helps the consumer. Personally, I hate the idea of these "exclusive" games that each console gets. The console makers pretty much control everything that gets released on their system, and that stinks. I mean, just look at their stupid "AO" ban.

The idea I posted previous to your post would really bring out the best competition, because then many different companies could design gaming systems. I think if my idea could ever get rolling, then it would become "the" console, and the proprietary systems would wind up like Macs (or less). The console would still advance at the pace needed by the industry. Just look at the PC, which is a fine example of that.

I see the gaming industry following the same path as Hollywood and how Independent studios became a select few mega studios that are afraid to innovate just re-releasing the same plots, while only a scant few independents are still around.

Good buisness compete and try and do well, big compaines that don't want try to throw there weight around and get other's to change to make there life easier.

Chugworth said,
No, I don't think having three independently controlled systems helps the consumer. Personally, I hate the idea of these "exclusive" games that each console gets. The console makers pretty much control everything that gets released on their system, and that stinks. I mean, just look at their stupid "AO" ban.

The idea I posted previous to your post would really bring out the best competition, because then many different companies could design gaming systems. I think if my idea could ever get rolling, then it would become "the" console, and the proprietary systems would wind up like Macs (or less). The console would still advance at the pace needed by the industry. Just look at the PC, which is a fine example of that.

How do you get there from here tho?

solardog said,

How do you get there from here tho?


Well, it's like I mentioned earlier. You need some sort of committee to come up with a console specification and SDK. I think the most likely way for that to happen is for the committee to be formed by a couple of different game publishing companies. Such an idea would need a lot of support to really get going.

I just hate proprietary systems, which force you to be stuck with one company. Just look at how it works now: This is the Xbox 360. It plays Xbox 360 games. This is the PS3. It plays PS3 games. This is the Wii. It plays Wii games. What if you could say, "This is my television on the wall. It has a disk slot on its side so it can play movies and video games."

Well then EA, you have the money. Do something about it. The problem with an "open platform" is that someone will still have to manage it in order for it to advance. Maybe they should form some sort of committee with other game producers to come up with a specification for an open gaming platform.

In my example, I'll just call it the "VG1" platform (video game generation 1). Their committee could come up with the console specifications, SDK, and even a small operating system for it. Any manufacturer could then produce a VG1-compliant system, and even customize the operating system and interface. And any game company could produce VG1-compliant games. Hell, make it compatible with PC hardware so we could even build our own VG1 compliant system.

Sounds like a good idea to me.

whocares78 said,
theres not a lot EA can do besides try and make all the hardware manufacturers agree on something

Just to be clear here, I'm not talking about Sony, Microsoft, or Nintendo. They're not going to agree on anything, and are out of the picture. My suggestion was that EA should try to agree on an open console specification with other game publishers and developers. Finding a few manufacturers to produce the first consoles is no problem at all. If it's an open platform, then any manufacturer will be able to produce a compatible system for it.

I agree with you that the software companies should get together, but you also need the hardware companies, and considering the hardware companies also own a decent amount of the software industry, i.e. sonys various gaming divisions, microsoft gaming divisions, nintendo even has it's own gaming divisions, so it is hard to leave them out of the picture and get a good result. and why do we need to bring yet another hardware manufacturer into it all.

nah it's not (in this case) , it's a nightmare for game developers to create games considering all types of differents pc specs and such ... it's never fully optimized, but i'm not saying pc-gaming doesn't have it's unique advantages

It is a cool idea but I doubt Microsoft would drop DirectX witch runs on there OS and Xbox360s. If anything Microsoft would want to license DirectX to the others witch I doubt they would pay.

Mac OS X and Playstation 3 use OpenGL for graphics. I have NO CLUE what Wii uses. Probably OpenGL but don't quote me.

PC and Mac use i386 (aka Intel/AMD)

While Wii, Xbox360 and PS3 all use PPC (but PS3 is far more complicated with its SPUs

It would be cool to see because well we would see better quilty ports but it won't happen for this generation because the hardware is already out, it could happen in the future but that means a whole lot of people agreeing on something.

Analysts predict a set-top box connected to the Internet could one day be used for all entertainment needs. Thoughts?

Yeah because I want to pay comcast even more money a month then I do now I'd rather own the game then rent it every single time I play it

So what EA is saying is we dont want to waste our profits on coding for multiple systems so we want to reduce evolution of technology and put a subsystem which translates calls into native system calls... humm where'd I hear this before... oh yea XNA!...

Well if MS put Nintendo and Sony out of the console business, (in which case I would be inconsole-able), they could make some sort of super X360+PC hybrid machine that would let you hook up keyboard, mouse, and controller...


Lame idea...

I've always wondered this. We have a similar system in place with films. There is a sudden divide and uproar over two film platforms. There are at least three gaming platforms and nobody batters an eyelid!

I feel that if games want to enter more of a mass market this might be the key.

Why would you even compare the two???

Two film platforms - I assume you mean HD-DVD and Blu-Ray. Consumer invests (heavily, at the moment) in one of the two, say, HD-DVD, only to have Blu-Ray become the dominant platform. Consumer's expensive player just went to waste, a la Betamax vs. VHS.

The console market is much more fluid, less costly to get in to, and games are bought and replaced at a steady clip. I know plenty who have all three, or at least two, and are ready to trade up when the time comes.

LTD said,
Why would you even compare the two???

Two film platforms - I assume you mean HD-DVD and Blu-Ray. Consumer invests (heavily, at the moment) in one of the two, say, HD-DVD, only to have Blu-Ray become the dominant platform. Consumer's expensive player just went to waste, a la Betamax vs. VHS.

The console market is much more fluid, less costly to get in to, and games are bought and replaced at a steady clip. I know plenty who have all three, or at least two, and are ready to trade up when the time comes.

i think the film industry could be used as a fairly good analogy, maybe not perfect for comparison but to emphasize the point.

The way it is now for game makers is they have to write the game numerous times for the different consoles they want to make the game for.

It would be like 'IF' the film industry had to make the movie multiple times, for the diferent formats. so they woudl spend a lot of money making a movie for bluray then spend a lot more making the movie all over again (of course beingable to keep 'parts' of the other one) for HD, and again for DVD, and if for some crazy reason they want a VHS copy then make the movie yet again.

LTD said,
less costly to get in to

Really? Because last time I checked both the player and media for films costed less than the player and media for games.

While a great idea for consumers, or even most video game developers, It causes major problems for system developers. A lot of the revenue generated by console creators like microsoft and nintendo are through licensing deals with game developers.

Nothing new or something people have not thought about before. For example, can anyone explain how this would make economic sense for companies like Microsoft?

i have thought about it a fair bit and it makes a lot of sense for everyone except the console makers, as it woudl be hard to have exclusive titles and such, if you could play any disk on any console (which is the end goal for any consumer really), but that can be solved by console makers desgining compilers that can basically port it to any system without loosing any quality adn have the copiler do all the system customisation. the console makers can still make deals for exclusive content and such.

it's good for MS because there game development arm can save $$$$$$$$$ writing games and in the end make more money per line of code

i definately believe the console is turing into a multimedia device rather than just a gaming machine, who wants a million and one devices all hooked up to their tv, when in reality all you need is one, all the consoles are missin is tv tuners and a recorder and they are pretty much there. and i am sure they will both show up in the next gen if not come out for this gen consoles.