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Ubisoft 'extremely limited' by PS3 and 360

Developer hankering after next generation of consoles

Ubisoft is once again banging the drum for the arrival of next-generation consoles, claiming that its development options are left "extremely limited" by PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

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Company CEO Yves Guillemot said in April that the long console cycles being enjoyed by Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 were hurting industry creativity. UK boss Rob Cooper echoed his view, remarking that Ubi wanted new consoles "sooner rather than later".

Now Yves Jacquier, Ubisoft's executive director of production services at Ubisoft Montreal, had added his voice to the debate.

According to Jacquier, Ubisoft is investing $1 million over the next five years to help discover new ways of making games - with a major focus on procedural AI.

"AI has always been the real battleground, " he told GamesIndustry.biz. "The challenge is that, if you see an AI coming, you've failed. And that's a problem we have to overcome as we create the impression of flawless, seamless worlds."

That problem is apparently made all the more difficult by the limitations of 360 and PS3. He added:

"In general the industry expects that graphics will not be a strong feature any more... Obviously, graphics are better for marketing purposes because you can show things. AI you can't show."

"Our challenge with the PlayStation 3 and Xbox [360] is that we're extremely limited in what we can do. It's a challenge for the engineers to provide nice graphics and nice AI and nice sound with a very small amount of memory and computation time."

"We think that the next generation of consoles won't have these limits any more. Games might have more realistic graphics and more on-screen, but what's the value of making something more realistic and better animated if you have poor AI?"

Microsoft's Chris Lewis said last month that the company believes 360 is around "half-way through" its total lifecycle.

[ SOURCE: GamesIndustry.biz ]

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