Mobile Game Maker Predicts Death of Consoles

Mobile Game Maker Predicts Death of Consoles


Ben Cousins of nmoco claims that consoles will be killed off within the next decade.

"There's a potential for mobile gaming to kill console gaming," claimed Ben Cousins, general manager of iPhone game maker nmoco, while making a keynote speech at GDC Taipei. "I'm talking about a significant reduction of market share with no chance of return." Cousins thinks that mobile gaming in all its formats will outstrip consoles within ten years, though he also said that in the future "mobile gaming maybe won't be so mobile, and we may need a new definition for them."

He sees the move as part of a global trend. Mobile replaces console, replaces PC browser, becomes the means of choice for connecting to the internet and eventually dominates the global market. "I believe Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo won't produce dedicated hardware past the next generation," he said, going on to claim that "traditional game companies like EA will be purchased by existing digital companies, or close entirely."

Bold words from a man whose company's business model depends on the iPhone, but he does have some data on his side. Sales of dedicated hardware like mp3 players, point and shoot cameras and TVs are down, and while this can be blamed in part on economic woes, not all of it may be due to global economic concerns. Tablets and phones do pretty much everything an mp3 player used to do, as well as bring TV shows and movies to you wherever you may be.

Whether mobile will do everything Cousins claims is anyone's guess but, although it's easy to make predictions, sometimes even wild-eyed prophets get it right.

Source & Image: Gamasutra


News just in, Ben Cousins has no fucking idea what he's talking about.

Funny how I've never heard of nmoco, or this guy ever before. Doing a great job "taking over the market" there.

I think consoles will always be around, I think total eradication is probably a bit too wishful on this fella's part, but I do predict that mobile games are going to get even bigger, and consoles will definitely get problems cause of that, but I think there will always be a place for consoles. Just like PC-gaming has had some problems, but will remain present evermore.


Funny how I've never heard of nmoco, or this guy ever before. Doing a great job "taking over the market" there.

Good point.. From what I can see they've pretty much only made Farmville clones, and animal games.

"mobile gaming maybe won't be so mobile, and we may need a new definition for them."

Really? I agree that dedicated hardware will continue to decrease in popularity, but claiming that any particular format will triumph over any other sounds silly to me.
And if so, why mobile? Why not PC (in the 'personal computer' sense of the phrase), since it's basically a personal computer?

And if you argue that it depends on what it evolved from, consoles have every right to be the one on top, only instead of evolving into something "not so mobile" they end up evolving into something more mobile.

If I can ever do with a handheld what I can with a console and it can plug into TVs, maybe. Until then I don't handhelds with kill off consoles.

Ehh maybe. I do think this will eventually happen but I'm not so sure it will be as soon as he thinks it will. I guess it depends on how long the next console generation lasts and how fast technology has evolved.

Call me back when the capabilities and depth of a generic mobile game can rival that of of a demanding PC game. Or when a mobile/ipad screen can somehow rival a 22'' monitor.

As one or two of the comments said, statements such as this on the part of mobile/iOS developers are self-serving. People like Ben Cousins want to create the perception that they are the next big thing. Really, I think it's going to turn out to be a bubble.

I'm very sceptical that certain mobile devs know much about the state of gaming.

How many times must it be said?
Don't take the "Consoles will die!" statements seriously, when its coming from a no-name IPhone App developer whose sole source of income is dependent on said device, especially when they start spouting how everything would be much better being, or how it will all just end up becoming, Iphone device focused.

No. No it fucking won't you fucking idiot. Show me the phone that can run Skyrim like a PC or Xbox can. Show me the tablet that can allow you to connect on a server of 64 people and battle it out on Battlefield 3.

The most popular games people play on their phones is shit like Farmville, Words with Friends, Temple Run and Draw Something. They're little casual games you can spend 10 minutes on while you wait for the bus to come every day.

I just want to draw attention to this little bit here though: "mobile gaming maybe won't be so mobile, and we may need a new definition for them."

Okay, so what you're saying is that mobile gaming will replace console gaming and stop being mobile. You're saying console gaming will be replaced by console fucking gaming

Jesus Ben Cousins, you sure are fucking stupid.

Comparing consoles to mobile devices is like comparing movies to tv. there is room for both, even well into the future. gamers want full holsome blockbuster experiences from their games, yet at the same time want to have something to fiddle with on the bus. the main problem with AAA titles are that they are too expensive. if that issue were solved then consoles might actually receive an increase in revenue and popularity.

I can see where he's going with the idea.

Mobile devices (phones, tablets, etc.) are getting more powerful. Both Microsoft and Apple are moving in a direction where their desktops & laptops are running basically the same OS as their mobile devices. Laptops cannibalized the sales of desktop machines, and tablets are now cannibalizing the sales of laptops.

Let's imagine 10 years down the road where your phone/tablet can render games with today's state-of-the-art graphics, having 100 AI-driven enemies on screen at once. And let's assume that you'll be able to connect that device to your TV/Home Theater so that you can use a big screen, surround sound, etc. Let's also assume there are a wider range of input options available than the "swipe screen on finger" options we have now.

If you have a dedicated device like a console, you could probably have 10,000 enemies on screen at 4096p (or whatever they have then), or super-advanced AI based on neural networks, or something like that. But you'll probably hit the point of diminishing returns. A smaller and smaller percent of the game-buying public will care about having something that powerful, when their phone/tablet/whatever can do so much.

Then it just becomes a matter of economics. The costs to make games that complex will outpace the returns, since it will be targeting an increasingly niche market.

I don't know whether he's right that this will happen in 10 years. But it sounds like a reasonable guess to me.

Guy sounds a few bars short of a carrier.

Yeah, ill believe it when it happens. Then ill invent direct neural interface and blow all of it out of the water.

I wouldn't mind the concept of 'mobile gaming' that much if you didn't have to deal with the cut throat cell phone companies to get at it. Personally I think people paying for an X-Box Live annual subscription is bad enough, nevermind having to pay that annual fee (and sometimes more) monthly for your 'gaming' device.

you see i read this quote here "mobile gaming maybe won't be so mobile, and we may need a new definition for them." and think hmmm.....what will we cal non mobile mobile gaming platforms, then i realize we already have a definition for such a thing because it already exists, we call them CONSOLE GAMES YOU TWIT!

with one sentence he sort of shits all over his argument of the death of consoles, so long as people want to be able to see their games, without going blind, or play something more complex than farmville, there will always be a purpose built system to run them on.

Yeah. Totally. I love staring at a 3 inch smudged screen held in front of my nose. Totally immersive. Fuck having a 40" HDTV and 5.1 surround sound, amirite?

Really, I played a few mobile games for the novelty of it when I got my iPhone, but I literally can't recall the last time I wasted time doing that. If I'm going to play any games, it's because I've got some time to myself to relax, and in that case I'm at home and either on my PC or my PS3.

Well, he threw his lot in with mobile, of course he's going to toot their horn.

Nothing wrong with mobile, it has nowhere to go but up. However, there's still significant demand for on-the-couch, big-screen, high-performance experiences. (hyphens, hyphens everywhere!)

Games like Mass Effect, Skyrim, Battlefield, Starcraft, etc. Just wouldn't feel the same while sitting on a bus. If I'm sitting on the couch at home, why would I go mobile instead of my 50" screen with 7.1 surround? Never mind interfaces, that can be overcome with good design (see Mass Effect: Infiltrator for a decent transition from console). RTS would still be tricky on mobile, aside from tablets perhaps.

When we get to the stage where you can have the same experience by docking or somehow syncing your mobile with your home entertainment system, then we can talk about the death of consoles. Not saying it can't or won't happen, we just aren't there at this point.

I've always predicted that eventually phones will get powerfull enough that they will replace PC's and consoles entirely. Instead of a dedicated PC, you plug your phone into a dock with a keyboard mouse and bigger screen. I mean, we aren't there yet but I can see it coming with some products already available.

I also see the problem of battery life, 1 reason why I don't bother much with the latest and greatest mobile games. I mean its a case of wow pretty and 10 minutes later oh my battery died. Of course if the mobiles became a console it would be, get home dock it or whatever and have it run a high performance app making the device run hot and I'm thinking is this going to seriously screw up the electronics for running it like this?

So I could see phones possibly being able to kill off portable systems, but have some trouble seeing it against full blown consoles.
How is a mobile supposed to provide the same experience for a great AAA title when it suffers from the following problems.

1: Battery Life; as stated above it's no good have an awesome game that you can't play due to your mobile device running out of juice.

2: Small Screen; Would I like to play something like Skyrim on a tiny mobile or tablet screen? Hell no!

3: Dedicated controls; Whether it's a game pad or a keyboard and mouse for any decent gaming experience either option beats out what I often find to be frustrating touch controls.

4: Lack of tactile feedback; Maybe I'm a bit old-school, but I like knowing that I've actually pressed a button rather then feeling next to nothing when you click on a touch screen which leads to the next problem.

5: Dirty/Scratched screens: You constantly put your hands on it, it'll happen sooner or later.

6: Heat dissipation; It doesn't matter how far CPUs and GPUs have come in phones, if you want to use their full power then you have to accept the price of excess heat. And in the small (and mobile) packages they come in means they're far less efficient at dispersing that heat. For that you need space; space for air flow, space for heat-sinks and space for fans. Space that mobile devices just don't have.
So it doesn't matter how good the tech you put in is, without some revolutionary cooling system mobile devices will never be able to match the power of more stationary devices and therefore can never quite run the sorts of games that we generally associate with "top shelf" products.

This guy isn't the first person to predict that the next generation of consoles will be the last.

It's plausible that console gaming is going to die out, but I don't think they're going to die out to smartphones. I think it's more likely they'll die out to PC digital distribution.

I don't think he realises that Mr. Console and Mr. Tablet don't move in the same circles as one another and the friends that they invite to their parties aren't going to want to go to the other party. To put marketing terms into a poorly worded metaphor.

I have but one thing to say: "GAH THE STUPIDITY" That is all.

Call me back when the capabilities and depth of a generic mobile game can rival that of of a demanding PC game. Or when a mobile/ipad screen can somehow rival a 22'' monitor.

Or a 56" LCD TV with 7.1 surround-sound!


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