Platinum boss says next-gen consoles ‘more of the same’

Inaba finding it “hard to get excited” for next Xbox and PlayStation

Platinum Games studio head Atsushi Inaba has said he’s finding it “hard to get excited” about Microsoft’s and Sony’s plans for next-generation consoles, stating that the upcoming hardware feels like “more of the same”.

Microsoft announced Xbox Scarlett details at E3 2019, following Sony’s surprise PlayStation 5 reveal in May.

Both the next Xbox and PlayStation will feature CPUs and GPUs based on the latest AMD tech, ray tracing, backwards compatibility and high-bandwidth SSDs for super-fast load times.

Speaking to VGC at E3, Platinum’s Inaba said it’s this move towards ‘off-the-shelf’ architecture that has dampened his enthusiasm for new consoles.

Without the custom chips of previous hardware generations, new consoles are made up of “stuff that… already exists”, he said.

Asked for his reaction to the platform holders’ plans, Inaba said: “It’s OK. And by that I mean, I’m sure that things will move faster, graphics will be better and maybe it will be easier with less wait times… that’s good for the consumer.

“But it’s more of the same, quite frankly, compared to previous generations. It’s nothing that’s disruptive or super innovative, if you ask me.”

He added: “Game hardware used to be about custom chips that you couldn’t do on PCs. Now you look at it and they’re just grabbing stuff that already exists.

“The Switch, for example, is a Tegra which already existed and the other consoles are using very similar chips and graphics cards to what you see on PCs, but maybe slightly updated. None of it seems unique to that hardware anymore.”

The Platinum boss said he’s more excited about the “innovation” presented by cloud platforms such as Google’s Stadia.

“It’s hard to get excited about stuff that kind of already exists, but has been repurposed to a certain degree,” he said.

“That’s why for me, things like cloud platforms represent innovation and something very, very different – they’re platforms that excite me and where I feel there is a lot more innovation happening.”

Not unexpectedly, Microsoft is bullish about the potential of new consoles, with Xbox Game Studios boss Matt Booty claiming their arrival could be “as big a transition as when we went from 2D to 3D”.

Booty said: “We’re probably sitting on a pivot point in game design, when you add up the new console’s speed and performance, what cloud streaming will offer up… all that in combination with some of the hardware stuff could be as big a transition as when we went from 2D to 3D”.

Upcoming Platinum sequel Bayonetta 3 was absent from E3 2019. However, Inaba told VGC that Bayonetta 3 development is “going well”.