John Riccitiello, the former CEO of Electronic Arts, is confident that the Xbox One and PS4 consoles will surpass the reach of their predecessors.

"I think they'll be bigger than the last generation, actually," Riccitiello told Games Industry in reference to the next-gen console's potential user base.

"The last generation can be described as supercharged engines - they had super-powerful boxes. But the entirety of the online communication and being able to connect to your friends and all that stuff, a seamless, smooth, social experience, was just masking tape - barely put together," he argued.

Riccitiello says the rise of fast broadband internet and its deep integration, combined with seamless user interfaces is what will help propel next-gen machines above their current counterparts.

"Remember that this was eight years ago. Most people were just moving on from their 28k modems. Now these are fully functioning, fully integrated online computers connected to the best screen in your house," he said.

"You put a super computer under your TV, plug it in with one connection and it works. It knows who you are, it knows what your games are and it's unbelievably simple; it's not like PC plug and play, it's just plug and play. The next generation of consoles are going to be a massive improvement on user interface. So I think that's going to matter," he said.

Riccitiello shares the notion of Microsoft senior vice president of Interactive Entertainment Business Yusuf Mehdi, who has suggested that the multi-functional capabilities of both next-generation consoles could help them attain a user base more than three times as large as the current generation.

John Riccitiello resigned from his position as EA's CEO on March 30, 2013. Since his appointment in 2007, Riccitiello had helped modernise EA from a straightforward triple-A publisher into a jack-of-all-trades company that delivered goods across social networks, mobiles, consoles and the digital PC space.