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Friday, December 03, 2004
Next-gen consoles to act as wireless hubs - Jenson

Latest comments from EA CFO give insight into future of networked consoles

Electronic Arts chief financial officer has told a US investment conference that the next-generation home consoles will feature wireless hubs, effectively putting wireless network access into millions of homes.

Speaking to the Credit Suisse First Boston Technology Conference, Jenson said that thanks to the next-gen systems, "in every living room, we'll have a wireless hub," which will create new opportunities for online gaming.

"You're going to start seeing increments of online-related revenue creeping into the revenue stream over the coming years," he commented. "As we get into the next generation of consoles and further globalisation, this becomes a much bigger deal."

Speculation has been rife for some time that the next-generation consoles would offer wireless connectivity, allowing them to tie in with the wireless LAN functionality of the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP handheld consoles as well as connecting to wireless routers or other consoles in the vicinity.

In terms of the new revenue streams offered by the boom in online gaming, Jenson was adamant that subscription services will only be one part of a wider overall picture, with additional content - both professionally created and user created - being another key potential income source.

"Ultimately what you'll see is a microtransaction environment where we'll be able to create additional content and sell it into these games," he explained. "Over the long term, you'll also have an environment where we'll build tools that allow the user community to build content and sell it into these games themselves."

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