Next Gen?

I participated in the transition from the PS2/Xbox generation of consoles to the PS3/Xbox 360 generation we are in right now. It was a very tough transition for us. We pretty much threw out the old Madden engine and created a new one from scratch. There were some systems that stayed, but the whole art pipeline was completely changed, which included the animation system. The game play for modern 3D games are pretty much animation driven.

It is now 5 years since Xbox 360 debuted and there is no next generation of consoles in sight. However, there has been a lot of movement in mobile gaming. I remember when the nGage came out and everyone laughed. Now it seems they were just a little ahead of its time. The amount of games that are coming to the iPhone is staggering.

Now I’ve read this rumor on Gamespot that Apple might be planning TV-based gaming through their Apple TV product. Could Apple try and force their way into the space that has been pretty much dominated by Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft? We’ll see, but it’s an intriguing thought.

Of coarse, our philosophy at EA is to build games for any platform. However, it does make it very difficult when the hardware is vastly different from one another.

Switching to Android

HTC-EVO-b-300x504 I’ve always been an early adopter of technology. I have about six months left in my AT&T mobile phone two-year commitment and I will probably be switching carriers. I intentionally didn’t pre-order the new iPhone 4 and I will be switching to an Android based phone once my contract is up.

The main reason: I can’t stand Apple products. Their interface isn’t intuitive to me. Maybe it’s my long term use of Microsoft products. Let’s take iTunes as an example. I’m constantly fighting with that program and it never does what I expect it to. With the resent upgrade to iOS 4, I couldn’t figure out how to create a new folder. I was looking for the “New Folder” button. I had to find out from someone else that the way to create a folder is to drag another icon onto another. Their products are just not intuitive to me.

Another reason is that I have to buy a Macintosh computer if I want to write a program for the phone. Now that I mainly manage people and my job doesn’t include computer programming, I have to scratch that particular itch at home. With an iPhone, the requirement of only being able to create Apps on Macintosh is not practical. With the switch to Android, all I need to do is learn Java and the Android API and I can put self-authored applications right on the phone. This isn’t possible with the closed iPhone even if I did have a Macintosh. Well, I’ve already started plodding my way through a Java book looking at the differences between that language and C++.

Anyway, good luck to all the iPhone users out there. Don’t forget to hold your iPhone properly so that you don’t have any dropped calls.