EA Founder Predicts Consoles Coming To a Close

August 11, 2010Written by Ray Conley

It’s hard not to admit that a heated battle currently exists behind the walls of the gaming industry among the hardware giants.  We’ve all witnessed the tug-of-war shared between the big three – Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony – as they fight over our wallets to claim the bigger slice of the pie chart in sales.  One of the tactics used to entice gamers towards brand dedication is through the marketing of console exclusives.  Microsoft flexed their guns with Halo, and Sony answered back with the Killzone franchise and many others.  As entertaining as it is to see the competition, one significant industry figure believes that this console war will come to an end.

Trip Hawkins, one of the founding fathers of Electronic Arts, shared his thoughts about the future of console gaming with an online episode of Game Theory.  He said that developers will need to build games for multiple platforms to sustain themselves within the evolving industry.  Such a direction will bring an end to console dominance and exclusives as well.  Instead of consoles, gaming will be performed via a Cloud network on multiple devices.

“For much of the history of the industry, it was a winner takes all, single platform model.  Clearly it’s never going to be that way again.

“In the future, any kind of game company will have to have a technology approach that gives them agility across platform boundaries. That’s going to play into where gaming needs to go, which is to become like SAS – or Software as A Service – where customers are going to the Cloud, where they have an account and where they have virtual items and they can play.

“But they might come in from a variety of different devices. It’s going to be about simplicity and convenience and making that model work.”

Hawkins words may seem novel, but he isn’t the only person that shares the same opinion.  A few months ago, well-renowned game developer, Hideo Kojima, had voiced the same belief.   Although when Kojima had shared his remarks, not many shared enthusiasm for his outlook.  However, a quick peek into the entertainment biz already shows that more content is becoming available to people’s homes via digital streaming (i.e. movies and music).  Perhaps, this is the direction that Hawkins and Kojima are seeing within the evolution of gaming.  Now that two major players of the business have come forward with similar ideas, perhaps this means this change in the industry may come sooner than we expect.