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Ex-Sony head discusses PS4, next Xbox, says the future is services and free-to-play software

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Posted on July 21, 2011 AT 12:56pm

Speaking at Develop, former executive and head of Sony Worldwide Studios Phil Harrison made some interesting comments about where he sees the future going for the PlayStation 4 and next Xbox.

Harrison said the process of spending billions to develop new gaming hardware, and then trying to make that money by via a tax on any software produced for the hardware, is a game plan that is “over”.

“The new business model is going to become a combination of retail and services, and it’s going to be an interesting decision for the likes of Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, is the next console race about chips and CPU, clock speed and graphics, or is it about business models and monetization and discovery, and I think it’s probably going to be about the latter,” Harrison said.

Harrison stated that he believes one of the big pushed will be steaming game services such as OnLive. Another is the rise of free-to-play gaming.

In fact, Harrison himself was one of the people who had pushed for LittleBig Planet to be released as a free-to-play game.

“I think in some short period of time, if a Call of Duty game on the next PlayStation or the next Xbox starts life as free-to-play” Harrison said, “you’ve got hundreds of millions worth of product development open to the world to play. Then the industry will change overnight, instantly and forever.”

Source: Eurogamer (PS4, next Xbox discussion)

Source: Eurogamer (free-to-play discussion)

Nick Baumfeld
Bio: Nick Baumfeld has been involved in the video game industry for a good 12 years. He has seen the industry from all view points and has a background in websites, website integration and social media. Nick pioneered the online video game rental business back in the day, moved forward into online video game trading and then moved viral with the well received Video Games Application on Facebook. Today, he has joined up with EGM founder Steve Harris to create something truly unique and special; EGMNOW, a community dedicated to all manner of gamers.

Gaming MO: Nick is a first person shooter type of gamer and enjoys heated bouts of Halo with friends and family (even while being schooled by his children).
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