Microsoft best positioned for next-gen hardware release, id CEO believes

Todd Hollenshead, CEO of id Software, sat down with the VG247 crew during QuakeCon and responded to a number of questions about Quake Live, Rage, Doom 4 and what was particularly interesting, his thoughts on next-gen hardware. But before we go on with that, in case you missed it, I’ll grind your gears at this very moment with a killing blow to your eyes: open beta for Rage, not likely.

Hollenshead believes, roughly, that none of the major players in this business are planning on releasing any kind of next-gen console anytime soon. He states that the Xbox 360 will soon be facing its fifth Christmas holiday, which should by normal standards be one of its final years of existence when compared to console longevity in the past. But because of the well known world recession, companies like Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo aren’t taking any risks. If we further deepen ourselves on this and add Project Natal coming to the Xbox 360 and the motion controller Sony is releasing for the PS3 next spring to the equation, then it’s somewhat obvious to see that Microsoft nor Sony are ready to go “next-gen” yet, but rather expand on their current consoles with significant hardware updates.

“But somebody’s going to do it,” says Hollenshead. “The player who’s in the best position to do so is Microsoft, because I do think they’ve recouped a lot of the costs of their console.” The Xbox 360 was the first of the “next-gen” consoles to be released back then, which we today can evidently see gave Microsoft the advantage needed to surpass Sony and its PlayStation brand. It would make a whole lot of sense for them to continue down that path and effectively be the first to introduce the next generation of gaming, again. To this, Hollenshead added that he thinks Microsoft is “already planning the transition now, and they have their eye on the ball as to what it is, because I think they see that there are some weaknesses that they can exploit with what’s going on at Sony.”