EA Labels president Frank Gibeau has given perhaps the most reliable indication yet that Microsoft and Sony will release next gen consoles in 2013.
"We're into the sixth or seventh year now of this generation of hardware and so it's a mature market. In terms of [software sales] fatigue, I consider it more of a mature market, a stable market.
"[Sales] flatten out a bit towards the end [of a console cycle]. Typically a transition year before new hardware comes out you see that flattening effect inside of the business.
"The new hardware is going to be coming out in about a year's time, so we're right around this period in time when the market's going to slow down and then you have a new game changer coming with all new technology, all new hardware, and another growth period."
Asked if the new consoles will be called Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4, Gibeau responded: "I don't know what they're calling them, I'm under non-disclosure so I can't comment too much about what they're specifically doing."
He went on to say EA's relishing the prospect of a new console generation. "'Transition is our friend' is kind of the saying we have around EA because it gives you a chance to reset everything. And we've done enough transitions in this business that we know what we're doing, and we're going to go after this one in a big way. But it is a time where you see new companies emerge as leaders and some traditional companies fall away."
EA said in May it will invest $80 million in next gen games during the current business year ending March 31 2013.