Exec sounds death knell for games consoles
A former Xbox executive has boldly declared that dedicated games consoles, such as the Wii, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, will become technological relics within 10 years.
Sandy Duncan, who worked in Microsoft’s European Xbox division before leaving to co-found an online gaming business, recently said that “dedicated games devices…will die [out] in the next 5 to 10 years”.
He blamed the convergence of other devices, such as set-top boxes, as part of the reason why the console will pass away. But he added that games are being increasingly "virtualised" into web services, meaning nipping into HMV to pick-up the latest videogame could become a thing of the past as titles are accessed online instead.
High speed internet connections, Duncan claimed, will be the backbone of an infrastructure where videogames are delivered to the user without the need for a physical disc and console. He identified cloud computing structures or resources like Xbox Live, which already has around 8m members worldwide, as possible rivals to physical gaming units.
For the time being though, sales of games consoles remain strong. Last month, gaming megapublisher Electronic Arts said that the Wii will be the highest selling games console in Europe and North America this year, with combined sales of 12-14m.
Market watcher iSuppli has also forecast that 10m PS3 units will be sold globally during 2008, while the Xbox 360 will only sell around 7.5m.
Desktop PCs will die first
Nowadays, paying big bucks for a fat box sitting under your desk doesn't make much sense anymore. Before, it was a must if you wanted to play online, but now that the vast majority of console games let you play online, it's not worthwhile to invest in a PC that you will have to upgrade every 6 month to be able to run the latest games. As far as business is concerned, sexy laptops like the MacBook Air will eventually dominate the market.
I believe that within a couple of years, most people will mostly use online productivity software like the very promising Google Apps instead of Gigabyte-hungry office suites, since this doesn't require much bandwith.
As far as games are concerned, the Playstations and Wiis are there to last since the games' size grows much quicker than the available bandwith.
264K IS ENOUGH FOR ANYONE !!!
My Original PlayStation is dead
It died at about 10 years old so the prediction is correct but hardly surprising. But people will by new hardware.
I think the concept of the games console is a device that can play games branded for it. There are several brands.
The PC on the other hand allows programs of all types to play on it. Anyone is allowed to write programs for the PC and the PC runs anyones programs.
The games console has one excellent advantage in that it is very simple to use. There is no reason why an open 'games console' could not be published. It would be just like any of the others only anyone could make them and anyone could write for them.
I think the hardware is mature enough that the only inovations required would be in software and peripherals. If hardware never got faster for 10 years we would probably see some real improvements in computing.