GTA publisher doesn’t expect ‘challenging’ next-gen console shift

“Tech is pretty fluent at this point”, says CEO

Take-Two doesn’t expect the arrival of PlayStation 5 and the next Xbox to be “challenging” to its business, CEO Strauss Zelnick said on Monday.

Speaking during the company’s full-year earnings call, Zelnick said Take Two will be “mindful” of the arrival of new consoles but it’s confident its tech is “fluent” enough to overcome any hurdles that may arise.

“In terms of next-gen consoles, we certainly pay attention when new business offerings are coming,” he said. “However, we don’t really see the next generation as being particularly disruptive because tech is pretty fluent at this point.

“The last time we had a cycle that was challenging was the one before the last one,” Zelnick said, referencing the move to HD with Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. “That [disruption] didn’t happen in this past shift and I don’t expect it to [again].

“Of course we will be mindful of the change but it won’t determine what we will do [with game releases],” he added.

Zelnick’s comments echo that of EA CFO Blake Jorgensen, who said this month that unlike the costly transition to HD consoles, the move to PS4 and Xbox One was relatively inexpensive in terms of R&D, something the publisher’s hoping will be the case again with the next generation of consoles.

“If you go back many years, going from Gen 2 to Gen 3 was very expensive, but some of that was driven by it was the first time we went to HD versus non-HD in the games themselves, as well as going from still [being on] on very customised boxes”, he said.

“When we went from Gen 3 to Gen 4 our costs actually didn’t go up at all and that’s because the boxes were designed on more standardised chipsets. You didn’t have the HD problem, you were already there, and I think we just got better as we had better technology.

“And so our focus is on how we try to minimise the cost going to the next generation,” Jorgensen continued. “We’ll know more in the next I’m guessing two or three quarters as we get closer to exactly what’s going to be out there, but our hope is that there’s not a big impact.”

Sony recently announced the first official PS5 hardware details, with lead system architect Mark Cerny revealing that the system will be disc-based, include an internal SSD and support 8K graphics.

The PS5 launch date isn’t expected to fall before April 2020.