Consoles “heading for extinction”
It seems a month doesn’t go by without someone claiming consoles are no more, the end is nigh and that the Higgs Boson will never be found. Oh wait. Anyway, someone has got in early this month with their prediction. The surprise is it’s David Darling (CBE), co-founder of Codemasters who believes “Consoles have become like dinosaurs heading for extinction”.
Writing an article on the website of his new mobile gaming company Kwalee, he labelled games consoles old fashioned with the future very much being digital. This he said, will end the console wars.
“Sony and Microsoft cannot let the retailers dictate game prices going forwards if they want to break free from the current over-priced model, their next consoles PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720 need to be digital only, or they will fail.
“Once Apple add an App Store to Apple TV they could take over the living room games industry like they have taken over the handheld games industry with iPhone with flexible pricing and no distribution costs.”
Darling adds, “[Consoles] must adapt to a new environment where platforms like Steam, Facebook, Apple and Android App Stores are pushing innovation.”
I agree that the future is probably Cloud gaming and certainly digital distribution. But will this kill the console? I very much doubt it. Prior to the original Xbox being released I recall the same final rights been cried for PC gaming. It was too expensive, consoles are cheaper and easier to develop for, no one uses keyboards and mice anymore. PC gaming is still very strong. It’s certainly no where near its peak years in popularity, but PC gaming has certainly increased in popularity over the last few years because it is becoming cheaper to play the very best games on half decent machines. PC gaming adapted, which is why it is still a format of choice for millions of gamers.
And I think 5 years down the line we’ll be gearing up for another generation of console wars. True, physical media will eventually become obsolete, but that doesn’t mean console gaming will die with it. Consoles will adapt and will eventually offer the future ways to access your games, and we could even see some of that in the next console generation.
Gaming has become more social meaning playing around a TV sitting on a sofa is a preferable method over huddling around a PC and monitor. It’s too big in terms of popularity and money to die. Consoles will adapt, they have to or this prediction will certainly come true, but do you really think Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo will sit back and let the future walk on by? Consoles in their current form won’t exist in 10 years, but they’ll certainly still exist.
You can read David Darling’s full blog post at http://kwalee.com/2012/07/03/jurassic-consoles/