After Hours

EA hopes for open gaming platforms in the future

An executive at Electronic Arts hopes that future gaming platforms follow an open model, essentially simplifying the development process that goes into getting the next killer title to market.

An excerpt from

"We want an open, standard platform which is much easier than having five which are not compatible," explained Gerhard Florin, EA executive VP and general manager of international publishing. "We're platform agnostic and we definitely don't want to have one platform which is a walled garden."

The open-source model is a relic of the past, having been attempted by Microsoft and also by EA's founder, Trip Hawkins (Guardian). Microsoft's common home platform (BBC) failed due to a lack of major third-party support, and 3DO (started by Trip Hawkins) failed due to pricing factors (Ars Technica).

Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony, the leaders in the gaming console market, have pumped significant finances into their ventures to ensure that such a platform does not emerge in the near future. But the technology landscape today is quite different from what it was in the years of previous attempts.

Will a platform backed by major publishers with open standards and developed in collaboration with major hardware makers unleash the next wave of killer apps on the Internet?

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