THE BUZZ: According to Will Wright, creator of The Sims and SimCity, home consoles are set to take a back seat in the future as more casual platforms emerge.
The market will still be there, however he feels it will become less significant as a more diverse gaming audience appears.
“I don’t think they’re doomed,” Wright said of consoles. “I think they’re not going to become the mainstay of the market like they had been.”
“I think there’ll probably still be dedicated game machines going forwards, sitting on a shelf next to your HDTV. I think that they’re going to be catering to a very specific kind of player, which probably isn’t that different from what they were catering to before. It’s just that a lot more people are now playing games, and they’re not playing it on that device.”
“Games really used to be something that were targeted to 16-year-old boys. Now we have people of all generations, genders, walks of life, playing games, a lot of them on their cell phones, or on Facebook, or whatever. I think that the explosion in platforms has also driven a very healthy diversification of our audience,” he added. “Rather than people doing what you might call session-based gaming, where I’m going to go sit in my room and play Halo for an hour, I have the opportunity to pull out Angry Birds and play for two minutes while waiting in line at Starbucks. I can use games to fill the empty slots in my life, a bit more ubiquitously.”
EGM’s TAKE: The gaming landscape is certainly changing, that no one can deny, it’s easy to see that the world is starting to lean more towards quick gaming sessions rather than long stints in front of a television. You only have to look at the colossal rise of casual games and platforms like iOS and Android to see this. We expect this area to become even bigger over the next few years as more developers realize the potential of these devices. However, there will always be a place for game consoles as the core market will still be there. In fact, there are those who think that as casual games draw more into interactive entertainment, more casual gamers will graduate to dedicated gaming conoles. Cell phones cannot provide the same experience a console does with games like Halo, Call of Duty or Madden NFL, and those audiences still demand their games as well.