Activision head uncertain about the future of PS4, Xbox 720

Activision on PS4, Xbox 720
Call of Duty's publisher warns against high expectations

Activision continues to break records with games like Call of Duty and Skylanders, but the video game industry's No. 1 publisher has concerns about next-generation consoles.

"We continue to face the uncertainties of the console transition," said Activision CEO Bobby Kotick in an earnings conference call picked up by Expert Reviews.

"There are still many unknown factors, such as pricing, launch dates and quantities, [and] the level of first-party support."

To that point, Microsoft has yet to announce the new Xbox, which is expected to launch this year, and Sony has unveiled only its initial plans for the holiday 2013-bound PS4.

The new class: smartphones, tablets

Kotick acknowledged that non-traditional video game devices from companies like Apple and Google have become a competing factor in the minds of buyers.

"[More] importantly, consumer purchase intent in a world where consoles are no longer just competing with each other, but also with new platforms, such as smartphones and tablets."

This echoes what video game analysts told TechRadar at the PS4 unveiling in February, citing "$.99 titles" as a reason Xbox 720 and PS4 may not meet expectations.

Kotick on Wii U

The Activision CEO only needed to point investors on the conference call to the Wii U, which launched last fall.

"In addition, the newest console, the Wii U, has had a very slow start," he said of the Nintendo console's struggling sales and lack of games.

"All of these factors further heighten our concerns heading into the back half of the year, particularly during the very competitive fourth quarter."

Kotick sees the PS4 vs Xbox 720 debate as too narrowly focused, especially in an expanding marketplace with smartphones, tablets and new devices like Ouya taking up consumers' time and money.

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Matt Swider