Ubisoft likely knows more about the next generation of consoles than we all do, thanks to working on games for them and stuff, and it sees them going in a social gaming-oriented direction. The company's earnings release features an outlook for the next year, in which Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot expects to see an increase of 25-61% in operating income.

Beyond that, Guillemot expects growth due to two trends: first, "the forthcoming arrival of the next generation of consoles which will be increasingly connected and will strongly boost the market thanks to a new qualitative leap and the integration of social games benefits and the item based model," and free-to-play games.

The "item based model" sounds like a trend bleeding over from free-to-play games, in which games are sold for free (or cheap) and microtransactions bring in revenue through the sale of in-game items. We have seen this outside of the free-to-play world in this generation, in the form of costume sales and the occasional weapon unlock; however, if Guillemot expects it to be a significant source of income on consoles, it's likely to be even more emphasized in the next generation.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.