Former Xbox exec says ‘the words first-party and third-party may just disappear’ amid doubts about the next console generation

Peter Moore, Vice President of Microsoft Corporation shows the Xbox 360 game console.
(Image credit: Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images)

Peter Moore, the former vice-president of Microsoft’s interactive entertainment business division who oversaw both the original Xbox and Xbox 360, has offered some fascinating insight into the current gaming landscape and the potential future of the industry.

Speaking in a recent interview with IGN, Moore expressed doubt regarding the viability of another console generation after the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S. It’s no secret that console launches are incredibly expensive, incurring huge hardware costs that are often intended to be made up with later software sales. 

With a new generation of consumers that is, apparently, more interested in mobile gaming than traditional console experiences, it seems like a major shift in the industry could be on the cards.

“What you're now seeing and certainly hearing from a company like Microsoft is, does the cloud replace the need for bespoke hardware? Does streaming change the way we game to the devices that we're now used to, in particular smartphones? I don't think people are gaming less, they're just gaming differently,” he explained. 

“More and more you're seeing a generation coming through that is not about to sit down for an evening in front of the television with whatever the game du jour is this week.”

Moore draws some comparisons to the music industry, where dedicated music players have been broadly abandoned in favor of mobile streaming apps. “You think back now to music and gosh, Zune and iPod, and I go back to Discman and Walkman, bespoke devices that play music. Well, we don't have those anymore."

So now, whatever's streaming out of my phone on Spotify, or I listen to a lot of music on SoundCloud, but I don't have anything that plays music. Somebody gave me a DVD the other day, I have nowhere to actually look at this. Now the smartphone dominates. So gaming isn't immune to these changes in technology and viewing, listening, and playing habits.”

Later in the interview, Moore is asked whether he believes that this current console generation might be the last. “I think it's a real serious question that's being asked I'm sure in Tokyo, in Redmond, Washington, in Kyoto. That's what everybody's working on right now, because when you start off that next generation, you've got to be ready to absorb billions of dollars in losses,” he said. 

“Is the industry, given all the layoffs and everything we're going through right now, is the industry ready for that?”

If no new consoles are on the way, it would have huge ramifications on the way in which major titles are released.

“I think the words first-party and third-party may just disappear,” he argued. “It'll just be, we make great games and we deliver a phenomenal service on which you can play our games, and first-party and third-party, those are legacies of hardware.”

This overall trajectory definitely lines up with the imminent arrival of some former Xbox exclusive titles, including Hi-Fi Rush and Sea of Thieves, on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.

“I think they're dipping their toes in the water to see how all of this works,” Moore explained. “You do it a little bit tentatively and go, all right, let's test the ecosystem here. We're not throwing Halo out there.”

For some Xbox hardware recommendations, see our guides to the best Xbox Series X and Series S accessories and the best Xbox Series X headsets.

Dashiell Wood
Hardware Writer

Dash is TechRadar Gaming's Hardware Writer. Before joining TechRadar, he was a print journalist writing articles for some of the UK's biggest gaming magazines including PLAY, Edge, PC Gamer, and SFX. Now, when he's not getting his greasy little mitts on the newest hardware or gaming gadget, he can be found feverishly devouring the latest Nintendo Switch otome.