We've heard various industry experts say the days of console gaming are numbered.
Some say this is the last round of home consoles while others, like Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter, believe this is the last "real" era of consoles, even though the Big 3 will make machines the next time around.
Speaking at DICE Europe (as attended by GamesIndustry.biz ), Pachter said this is a good thing, that the shift from the traditional console model will benefit everyone. He further cited the apparent stagnation of the console hardware market:
"The console installed base is as big as it's ever going to get. [This] generation is not going to be bigger than the last generation. We're going to be about the same.
The Wii U is going to sell 20 million units compared to 100 million for the Wii. The PlayStation 4 is going to sell 120 million or 130 million – that's great. The Xbox One will sell 100 million to 110 million – that's great. Add it all together and it's 260 million units, maybe, and the last cycle was 270 million."
Pachter added that he thinks "this is the last real console cycle" and he means that while Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo will each make another games machine, the shift will be in full effect the next time around. As he clarified:
"So when I say that this console cycle is the last console cycle, the reason is that console games shouldn't require a console. And I'm not talking about the cloud."
Basically, Pachter believes a game needs nothing more than a CPU, GPU, storage, controller and display. Eventually, we'll reach a point where we don't need a dedicated console to gain access to these necessities.
Do you agree? When do you think we'll see this shift Pachter is talking about? And are you currently embracing the digital revolution ?