After the Next Generation, Game Consoles Will Disappear

After the Next Generation, Game Consoles Will Disappear

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A game industry insider predicts a box that handles all your on-screen entertainment, and, hey, it also plays games.

I use my Xbox 360 and PS3 for way more than just playing games. Ever since the PS2 gained dominance for being a relatively cheap alternative to a DVD player, the extensive video and audio capabilities of the game console has delivered more entertainment than just games. Gene Hoffman is the CEO of electronic fund collection company Vindicia, and works with MMO companies like Cryptic and Blizzard as well as non-gaming entities like Boxee, the NBA and NASCAR to basically part customers with their money. Hoffman is at the forefront of seeing what works and what doesn't in the entertainment business, like saying MMO companies that don't launch enough content are forced to go free-to-play. He predicts that eventually we won't have distinct "gaming consoles" but components that handle all of of our entertainment.

At the Consumer Electronics Show this winter, Hoffman said that consoles were dead. "I think consoles qua consoles are in trouble," said Hoffman. "I don't think we have more than a single generation of game consoles ahead."

"It's not called a game console, it just plays games too," Hoffman told me later and he further predicts it will be the user interface that sets us free. "The Siri 4S effect and then the rumored Apple TV, Kinect getting real instead of being a cool CES demo previously. All of a sudden I just think you see all of this right in the living room and be adopted by a broad range of gamers, it's not core gaming anymore.

"That's the transition we're going through, I think what we're seeing is being a gamer is not being somebody special," he said.

Hoffman further proved his point by telling a story about his daughter to show how quickly the younger generations adapt to new technology. "I've got a five year old and a nine year old," he said. "We went to a place up in the country here in California and she walked up to this 1970's television set in this rental house and tried to swipe it like an iPad. It just tells you what that UI's are going to look like."

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Hmm. Well I was thinking of switching to computer gaming after either my Xbox conks out or the next generation console comes out, so this likely won't affect me too much. Interesting read though.

So, games consoles will continue, but they will have too many auxilary functions to be merely called games consoles anymore.

Makes... sense. I guess.

Yea, not a new idea and fairly predicable. Samsung have shoved "upgradable TVs" or 'smart TVs' onto the market which is essentially a PC combined with a TV that's much more harder to upgrade all of the individual components (like a laptop) with Kinect.

So, console gaming dying since 2012?

Soooo he's talking about the Xbox 720? I mean the Xbox 360 doesn't just play games anymore and if it had an internet browser like the PS3 does then I'm pretty sure it could be classed more as a media console than a games console anymore.

In other words, opinion is defunct. And theres always PC.

Captcha?: image Um what happened? Why do I have a bouncing 'exclaimation!' rather than the red box now?

So PCs and consoles will merge together at an unspecific point in time? Like, we'll go full circle and start seeing TV-Computer shit like the 80's had? (Can't remember the name of it.)

Fawxy:
start seeing TV-Computer shit like the 80's had? (Can't remember the name of it.)

Don't speak too soon, worlds implode that way.[1]

[1] added correct link to product

mad825:

So, console gaming dying since 2012?

This must be what PC gamers feel like. I think it is possible that consoles will stop being their own seperate gaming devices and the reason that I think there is some possbility that it could happen soon is the reluctance of Sony and Microsoft to release new consoles at the time in the console cycle that it would be normal for them to do so. I think the next consoles will have similar lifespans and by the time they reach their end it may not be profitable to create a dedicated gaming machine anymore.

Greg Tito:

Hoffman further proved his point by telling a story about his daughter to show how quickly the younger generations adapt to new technology. "I've got a five year old and a nine year old," he said. "We went to a place up in the country here in California and she walked up to this 1970's television set in this rental house and tried to swipe it like an iPad. It just tells you what that UI's are going to look like."

Or it could just be because your childs an idiot Mr Hoffman! Seriously do parents not teach their children anything anymore!?!

Hasn't this been the way people have been talking since like the SNES era?

Also, surprised this wasn't Michael Patcher.

mad825:

Fawxy:
start seeing TV-Computer shit like the 80's had? (Can't remember the name of it.)

Don't speak too soon, worlds implode that way.[1]

No, not like that. I can't remember the freaking name, but it was a keyboard-looking thing that was plugged into a normal television. It's driving me crazy. D:

[1] added correct link to product

putowtin:
Or it could just be because your childs an idiot Mr Hoffman! Seriously do parents not teach their children anything anymore!?!

It's not even like touchscreen TVs are ubiquitous and have replaced old tech, so I'm inclined to agree.

SO what would this mean? You would only be able to play games on a PC? Any console device that plays games will have a plethora of other functions? Console functionality will be built into televisions?

Forgive me if I'm somewhat skeptical with the idea.

Yes its called attaching a PC to your television. /Gasp.. the future is.... 10 years ago.

Basically thats what is going to occur. More and more people are attaching computers to their televisions because it is a logical extension thanks to the HDTV migration.

Right now I am typing this message on my PC that is currently attached to my 62inch LED 3d television. The PC in question has a tuner card installed so I can route my television signal through the PC. So quite literally I can watch live tv, Stream from sources like Hulu, Play games from GoG & Steam, and as I need to quickly switch between HDMI channels that route PS3 or 360 signals

However I think it is wishful thinking that consoles are going to die off after the next generation. The same sort of wishful thinking that the industry had when Sony thought the PSGO was a good idea. Im sure there were analysts like this guy promising sony that would pay dividends too.

Hoffman "proved" a point with an anecdote about a small child utterly failing to understand a piece of technology that was new to her? No, he didn't; in fact, he essentially undermined his point without realizing it.

And as others have said already, consoles do more than games now, and PCs hook up to televisions. Yes, there are often market trends toward consolidation, but we still have Macs and PCs and new rumors of Valve's interest in hardware, so I'm skeptical of this prediction or at least of the way it seems to have been worded.

Fawxy:

mad825:

Fawxy:
start seeing TV-Computer shit like the 80's had? (Can't remember the name of it.)

Don't speak too soon, worlds implode that way.[1]

No, not like that. I can't remember the freaking name, but it was a keyboard-looking thing that was plugged into a normal television. It's driving me crazy. D:

Maybe you're thinking of the old Atari 400 / 800

Hell, even an old Commodore 64 plugged into a TV, A dedicated monitor was only optional

[1] added correct link to product

Zachary Amaranth:
Hasn't this been the way people have been talking since like the SNES era?

Pretty much, yeah. And I still ain't buying it. Gamers aren't going anywhere. And we're always going to demand that our consoles be increasingly powerful, at least for the foreseeable future. So, console technology is going to continue to be (relatively)expensive.

Let's assume that new consoles going forward are going to be in the ~$300-$400 range in present dollars: any more than that and we won't buy them; any less and they won't be powerful enough to suit our ever-increasing appetite for graphical fidelity. The average consumer isn't going to be willing to pay that much (or that much extra) for a box they're only going to use for Hulu, NetFlix and Skype.

viranimus:
Yes its called attaching a PC to your television. /Gasp.. the future is.... 10 years ago.

Basically thats what is going to occur. More and more people are attaching computers to their televisions because it is a logical extension thanks to the HDTV migration.

Right now I am typing this message on my PC that is currently attached to my 62inch LED 3d television. The PC in question has a tuner card installed so I can route my television signal through the PC. So quite literally I can watch live tv, Stream from sources like Hulu, Play games from GoG & Steam, and as I need to quickly switch between HDMI channels that route PS3 or 360 signals

However I think it is wishful thinking that consoles are going to die off after the next generation. The same sort of wishful thinking that the industry had when Sony thought the PSGO was a good idea. Im sure there were analysts like this guy promising sony that would pay dividends too.

I so envy you, I want to do something like that with my PC >.<'

But yeah, this guy is right and I was about to say the same thing, a PC can do pretty much anything you want and you can use a 360 controller in many modern games today. So you can just relax in your sofa and start playing your favorite game with 60 fps, 1080p and play with your favorite controller. Or a wireless keyboard and mouse if you want, they're pretty cheap nowadays.

Also, no, console games won't die just as PC gaming won't die, simple as that.

Is it consoles are going to die out, or just that term 'console' will just evolve into what it's new function is.

Instead of a TV connected device solely / mainly for playing video games, it will be a TV connected entertainment device where one of it's functions is gaming.

Then again do even the 'consoles' of today fully fit within the definition of consoles, as gaming has not been the sole function of them for a little while.

The same way Microsoft's Windows used to be a PC operating system and it is now becoming a tablet focused operating system, if you look at the new preview of Windows 8 anyway.

How quickly we forget. This 'inside information' comes around every 5 years. First PC's get too expensive to maintain at 'Gaming Quality' level and consoles surge in popularity. Then consoles get old and PC's get cheaper and PC gaming becomes popular again. In another 5 years we'll be reading how the PC is dead. Again.

putowtin:

Greg Tito:

Hoffman further proved his point by telling a story about his daughter to show how quickly the younger generations adapt to new technology. "I've got a five year old and a nine year old," he said. "We went to a place up in the country here in California and she walked up to this 1970's television set in this rental house and tried to swipe it like an iPad. It just tells you what that UI's are going to look like."

Or it could just be because your childs an idiot Mr Hoffman! Seriously do parents not teach their children anything anymore!?!

thought the same thing. Except that he didn't specify which daughter if it was the 5 year old on it is an honest mistake because she might think that it works similar to the I-pad having not seen one. If it was the 9 year old however shes a moron.

Haha. Here we go again. More doom and gloom reports based on the fact that he lets his child play way too much on his iPad. The problem with this whole prediction is the same problem with the whole Android vs iPhone debate. The reason why so many things don't come out on Android devices is because there are literally thousands of devices that use Android. I love Android, but I have come to terms with the fact there will be a noticeable lag in quality applications for it. Even if I get it a year later, it was out on the iPhone for a year already. With iPhones you get two iteration a year, and then an iPad or two. These devices are mostly the same (iPhone 4 vs. iPhone 4S) and there isn't an instance where you are left behind with either of them. And any games that come out over the next two or so years will still run well on it. Because they have the same dedicated hardware.

I know what your thinking, what is this guy rambling on about? So here is the tie in: Games have reached the level and quality they have due to generations of dedicated quality hardware. There will be no single device that handles anything because there will be market competition in those devices. So, really what this guy means by saying what he is saying is that dedicated quality games will mostly disappear and we will be left with a million different versions of simple games like Angry Birds. It wouldn't be possible to have your Skyrim, your Gears of Wars, your Halo, your Resistance, your... you get it. I am chiefly a PC gamer, but I also have a PS3 I am enjoying a few new games on (Final Fantasy XIII-2, Asura's Wrath, and tomorrow will be Street Fighter X Tekken). I would honestly love if all of those companies would make good quality PC games more than anything, but I won't hold my breath.

The only thing I see disappearing is folks like him who think they have any idea of prediction and foresight. For years now people have been stupidly saying that PC gaming is dead or is dying, yet the PC gaming industry as a whole has seen $18 Billion of growth from 2011. Doesn't sound dead to me. Also, to further defunk what this guy is saying, video games are the largest entertainment industry in the world. You think there will be another 10 years tops of that. I seriously doubt it.

Jaeger_CDN:

Fawxy:

mad825:

Don't speak too soon, worlds implode that way.[1]

No, not like that. I can't remember the freaking name, but it was a keyboard-looking thing that was plugged into a normal television. It's driving me crazy. D:

Maybe you're thinking of the old Atari 400 / 800

Hell, even an old Commodore 64 plugged into a TV, A dedicated monitor was only optional

COMMODORE! THAT'S what I was think of. Ah, that was driving me crazy.

My dad and uncle have lots of fond stories about that thing, don't know how I forgot its name.

[1] added correct link to product

Fawxy:

Jaeger_CDN:

Fawxy:

No, not like that. I can't remember the freaking name, but it was a keyboard-looking thing that was plugged into a normal television. It's driving me crazy. D:

Maybe you're thinking of the old Atari 400 / 800

Hell, even an old Commodore 64 plugged into a TV, A dedicated monitor was only optional

COMMODORE! THAT'S what I was think of. Ah, that was driving me crazy.

My dad and uncle have lots of fond stories about that thing, don't know how I forgot its name.

The atari 400 came before the C-64 but if they are feeling that nostalgic about it they have a new and improved version for sale now

captcha: runny nose
for crying out loud, the first one of these that actually made sense

A kid swipes the TV and Hoffman calls touch UI the future? That's like a kid calling a cat a dog and we say cats are the future of four legged creatures. Kids recognize the world around them by generalizing shapes first - if the kid sees a Itouch she/he will think anything with a screen is an Itouch. There is no doubt touch UI is the future but that to me is a bad example.

Like the PC, consoles won't die out. They'll change form and function, that's all. Pseudo science like Hoffman make me rage.

I don't think consoles will disappear, but they'll become increasingly casual to the point that most hardcore gamers currently playing HD consoles will move to PC.

 

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