Ed Fries, commonly called “the father of the Xbox” now sits on the advisory board for the Android-powered, kick-started mini-console, the Ouya. He believes that consoles creators need to look to Apple’s way of doing things for the future. No, he doesn’t mean by selling overpriced, underpowered hardware – but rather the way the company handles game certification; which is to say, by letting just about anybody make games for its platform.
“It’s getting harder and harder for the traditional consoles to ignore the Apple kind of experience,” he said to GameInformer. “Anybody can develop for the platform, certification is a relatively cheap and painless thing.”
He believes the gaming industry is still clinging to the fear of another market crash, caused “too much junk on the market,” something we saw in the early 80’s thanks largely to Atari’s lax policies on game development and certification.
“But now you’ve got guys who make games like Fez who can’t do an update to their game because it costs too much, if that game was on iOS that wouldn’t be a problem, but because it’s on XBLA it’s a problem,” he added.
“Those kinds of ideas have to go away in the next generation. They’ll go away in Ouya, they’ll go away if Apple brings some kind of product into this space, the console makers like Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, they have to respond to that, it’s just the future.
Fries, much like Crytek’s Cevat Yerli, also thinks that unless platform holders embrace the free-to-play market, they’re set for failure.
“Likewise they have to respond to the free-to-play game model, the world is changing, people want this free-to-play experience, game developers want to build free-to-play experiences and the console ecosystem has to adapt to that. It can’t just be $50 product in a box all the time,” he concluded.
While Sony’s already got a number of F2P titles available on it’s big black box of Blu-ray, Microsoft’s only just released its first Free-to-play game, the casual MMO Happy Wars.