Needless to say, the folks at Electronic Arts are delighted about these latest developments in the console market. The company is confident that it can deliver games that will not only look great on current generation hardware (like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4), but will also take advantage of the increased horsepower of mid-cycle replacement like the Xbox One S and PlayStation 4 Neo along with further out hardware, like Project Scorpio.
Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson lauded the new consoles while talking to analysts during the company’s Q2 earnings call:
So, at a macro level, we’re excited about what Sony and Microsoft have announced. And what we’ve seen over the last decade or more with respect to PC gamers, is that community has continued to grow. And it’s growing in a world where the hardware refresh cycle has been disconnected from the software refresh cycle. And what that’s meant is that, irrespective of what kind of device you have within kind of a 7- to 10-year time frame, you are able to play with a much, much bigger global community.
He went on to indicate that Electronics Arts has plenty of experience with scaling its games to fit differing hardware demands:
We have been building a cross-platform, a cross-console, and the scalable architectures like PC for some time. So the notion that we would build once an experience that can scale up and down across an entire spectrum of consoles, whether the first phase, the second phase, or the third phase over time, is not something that’s foreign to us and something that we’re very energized about.
As for the PlayStation VR, the peripheral will add new experiences for gamers, and Electronics is more than eager to hop on the bandwagon.
On PlayStation VR, again, we're very excited about this. I think to your point, given its price point and modality of play, it's one of the more accessible forms of virtually reality play right now. We've got a great experience coming later in the year that I played, and it's super fun and super exciting…
I think that part of the reason people play games is to kind of immerse themselves in a fantasy and escape and fulfill these fantasies with their friends… And PlayStation VR I think is going to be a great step in the evolution of our industry and the evolution of how people play games. And we’re going to continue to invest there.
One of the first games from a major publisher that will take advantage of the PlayStation VR will be Electronic Arts’ Star Wars Battlefront. The game will gain the X-Wing VR Mission, which will of course be a PlayStation VR exclusive. The mission will be available as a free download later this year.
The Xbox One S is available now, and is priced at $299, $349 and $399 for 500GB, 1TB and 2TB bundles respectively. The PlayStation 4 Neo is expected to launch this fall, while the PlayStation VR will launch October 13th for $399.