What will the future of gaming look like?

Interview: Former Sony boss, now Capcom COO, David Reeves glances forward...

When David Reeves tells you something "isn't rocket science", you'd best believe him.

Before he was deputy president of Sony Computer Entertainment worldwide, and before he took the job of Capcom's global COO in March this year, Reeves boasted a Ph.D - and fruitful career - in Chemical and Astrophysics.


He joined Sony in 1995 and spent 14 hugely successful years at the platform holder. Having overseen the launch of PlayStation and PS2 across Europe, he became president of SCEE in 2004 - and Kaz Hirai's global deputy in 2006, a joint role he held for the next three years.

So whether it's the finer points of aerospace engineering or video game hardware trends, Reeves is a man who knows what he's talking about.

Thankfully, when CVG catches up with him, he's in the mood to discuss the latter, having just debated gaming's 'new power base' on stage at the excellent London Games Conference.

And as he explains, seeing where the humble games console is headed certainly "isn't rocket science" - but it is very intriguing indeed...

You talk of gaming's 'new power base'. But how is a relative dinosaur like Capcom going to survive it?

It's safe to say we're going to stick to what we're good at. We're going to stick with the people with the same DNA developing the games and we're going to 'place the chips' on the platforms that we know well.

But at the same time, you'll see us expand into the digital era - as we've done with Dead Rising 2. We had a Prologue, the game and then an Epilogue. The Prologue, Case Zero, was, in fact, monetised. That was somewhat of a first, but it was very successful, because it meant that the people who really wanted to play actually paid for it.

We take hold of this digital era, as I have done before in a previous life [at Sony], but try to move it on even further. We don't just want to join it, we need to improve on it. All of the people at the top of Capcom are looking at this - ways to interact with retail and different ways to monetise digital content.

What do you think we'll be playing video games on in five, 10 and 15 years time?

Why can't consumers just put a game on their iPad, or tablet, play it, put it down and then go upstairs and continue it on their TV - where it's completely multiplatform? I think that's a little bit unrealistic in the next five years because so many people have got commercial interests at heart. But it will probably only take two or three of the consortium to get together and say: "Okay, if it's worth our while, let's do it."


When you're on the first-party side, you realise how really, really expensive it is to develop a platform. Whether it's PS3, or Xbox 360 or even Wii, they cost millions - maybe not billions, but absolutely millions. You don't know when to put that stake in the ground of technology and move on. You know, say 'that's enough'.

Eventually, it may just become so expensive to develop that Microsoft and Sony say, 'Okay, let's get together.' I'd say it's between 10 and 15 years away. That's how long I think it will take. I don't think it will be the next console cycle, but probably the next cycle after that, where you might have something platform-agnostic.

But it might be different players, of course. It might be Google getting together with, dare I say, Microsoft, or Google with somebody else.

What do you think of the idea of TV-based gaming - whether that's a Cloud-based gaming service on your telly or a physical chipset inside your TV?

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