Successive generations of console gaming have been, historically, defined by improvements in graphics. But Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg envisions a different future for the coming next-gen of gaming and it’s all about connectivity. As he told our own Ben Gilbert at Gamescom 2013 this week, “The same way that Xbox Live and PlayStation Network led to the big trend in this generation being multiplayer games, I think that some sort of connectivity and social amplification of games is probably something you’ll see a lot of creative activity around [in the next-gen].” Hirshberg offered up Destiny, Bungie’s upcoming hybrid FPS / persistent world game as a prime example of this trend, and referred to the title as being “born modern” — a video game and social network rolled into one.
Hirshberg’s aware that not all gamers are ready to jump ship from the current console generation. Which is why his company decided to invest in a new engine for Call of Duty: Ghosts to maximize the beauty of its visuals and audio, but still make it a multiplatform, cross-generational title. Activision’s even partnering up with retailers to offer gamers incentives (in the form of a minimal upgrade fee) to make the next-gen leap should they initially purchase the PS3 or Xbox 360 version.
As for where forward-facing virtual reality hardware like the Oculus Rift fits in, Hirshberg wasn’t as optimistic. He’s used the VR headset before, but primarily views it as a non-additive layer for gaming that’s better enjoyed in “small doses” due to its intensity.
For our full interview with Hirshberg and all his thoughts on the next-gen of gaming, click on past the break.