In a recent interview, Blake Jorgensen, EA's chief financial officer, took some time to talk about plans for investing into the next generation of consoles.
He mentioned problems that had arrived during the beginning of the currents generations launch, noting how they had too many titles for the last transition of new consoles. According to him, the more titles you have the more expensive it becomes to bring them from one generation to the next. He said with assurance that they are now more focused with ten to fifteen titles compared to the previous instance. He also talked about staying within a $100 million budget for R&D that would last through to 2015 fiscal year.
As he continued, he made a bold, but believable prediction: "An important thing to remember is that next-gen consoles will most likely not be backwards compatible..." This is not much of a surprise seeing how many of Sony's original PS3s were eventually stripped of backwards compatibility.
Jorgensen also commented on the future of smartphones and tablets integrating with the gaming experience of consoles. He used the example of FIFA Ultimate Team allowing customers to download scores, schedule events, and trade team members further bringing the gaming experience on the go.
When discussing used games, Jorgensen gave a very unexpected answer. Describing the used game business as double-edged sword", he explained, "So if someone goes in and trades in a game, there's a good chance they're going to buy another one of our games." He feels that used game stores act as the best retail source than other stores since they specialize in selling games and consoles.
He also took time to explain how it's these retail stores that solve the problem of digital downloads. He said, "Bandwidths are a constraint,...[they] hold back the ability to do full digital downloads of some games." He concluded that stores such as Best Buy and GameStop are good for the gaming environment. He declined to confirm if he knew whether or not used games would be playable on next gen systems.