Next-Gen Hardware Won’t Likely Be As Ground-Breaking As The Switch, Says Atsushi Inaba

According to a new report, we learn that PlatinumGames’ studio head, Atsushi Inaba, has been “struggling” to get excited about Sony and Microsoft’s next-gen consoles (the PS5 and Xbox Series X). Inaba claims that the news on the upcoming two consoles hasn’t piqued his interest like past consoles.

If you have no clue as to what Inaba has worked on, his work spans across being a planner for the 1992 game Bomber Man World. He was also a programmer for Samurai Shodown, and later became Resident Evil – Code: Veronica X’s assistant producer.

Moreover, he also served as Devil May Cry’s technical cooperation and helped produce other titles such as Phoenix Wright, Ōkami, Vanquish, and Viewtiful Joe. And of course, he also served as Nier Automata and Astral Chain’s executive producer.

In other words, he’s been around for a while and has seen consoles come and go.

And on the topic of consoles, website nintendolife.com cites Inaba saying the following when asked if he changed his mind from last year when it comes to getting excited about next-gen consoles. Inaba’s response lies below:

“I felt like when I gave that response there was a little bit of a backlash online to me being perceived as a snob or something! What I was trying to say was… I played Final Fantasy VII Remake recently and obviously so much has changed since the original game, especially with the graphical improvements. I’m always happy to see these makers that are pushing themselves to make more visual enhancements and improvements in technology, and I’m happy that we’re able to do more with each console.

But the comparison than I’m making is that… if you think back to the generation between Super Nintendo and PlayStation, and how we went from pixel art to 3D polygons… nobody could have ever imagined that a few years prior. When that stuff started coming out people were just blown away: they weren’t ready for it, they weren’t anticipating it… it was just so new.

Whereas I feel that the announcements that we’ve had for recent consoles generations, while all good and interesting, and of course I’m happy for us as developers to have better technology to work on… it’s a ‘perceivable’ future. There’s not the extreme surprise or the unexpected quality that I felt from the leap to previous consoles. Now I see the announcements and I think, ‘oh, that’s cool’ and then the next minute I think, ‘hmmm… what should I watch on Netflix tonight?'”

Inaba continues:

“As an industry, it’s all very promising and I don’t want to be perceived as too negative. But to give another example of my point, the Nintendo Switch was very ground-breaking in how it was able to just to take a home console and make it portable. It’s something that you hadn’t seen a lot of people doing before: it took this wall, that perhaps a lot of people didn’t know even existed, and broke it down.

Switch opened up all these new possibilities. I think the Game Boy and the DS also did that: there were so many surprises in those. If you compare that to when you’re simply seeing graphical improvements or just ‘faster, bigger’… obviously it’s nice, but it doesn’t have that same inventive quality that really surprised me with past consoles.

We haven’t seen everything from next-gen at this point, I think, and it’s still very likely that there could be a quality like that in these consoles that’s going to kind of be a game-changer, that’s going to change how games could be played. And if that is the case, then maybe they’ll blow me away. So I don’t want to sound like, ‘hey, I know everything about the new consoles and they’re boring’. But with the information that I have now, I haven’t seen any extremely big surprises.”

Right now, Inaba holds his same thoughts from last year on next-gen news (regarding the PS5 and Xbox Series X). This means the current news out there of “pretty and fast” doesn’t pique his interest, but strikes an “oh cool, I’ve seen this before” reaction.

Moreover, Inaba feels that the Switch is more of a ground-breaking device since it allows folks to take “a home console and make it portable.” Inaba believes the Switch is doing something a lot of console makers haven’t done before, which has opened up new possibilities.

With all of that said, what do you think of Inaba’s thoughts on next-gen consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X? Do you think he’s right, or do you think he’s wrong?

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