PlayFirst: Consoles are the niche, not PC

Written by Joe Martin

September 30, 2008 | 11:09

Tags: #console #future #futurology #pc-gaming

Companies: #playfirst

There's been a lot of talk recently about PC gaming being on the way out thanks to rising levels of piracy and spiralling budgets in AAA game releases, so it's good to see that not everyone is abandoning the PC. In fact, some people like John Welch, CEO of casual games maker PlayFirst, reckon that consoles are actually more of a niche than the PC ever will be.

Welch levels a lot of complaints at the current-gen consoles in an interview with VentureBeat, saying that the problem is that consoles are far too expensive to make and are often not profitable for manufacturers.

"They’re expensive to make, there is no real need for them," said Welch. "The historic justification of the console was one-to-one with interactive entertainment in the living room, because video games were the only form of interactive entertainment."

"Now as you look to personal media, Hollywood media and even TV shows becoming more interactive, oh and video game also, and the increasing compute power, storage and connectivity of this beautiful display on the wall that’s not just a gaming platform, that’s a multimedia platform. So I think we see the console hardcore gamer being more of a niche at that platform."

"I think the biggest proof point in the death of consoles in my thesis is the Wii. The most successful, most difficult to acquire console in this generation is at least a generation old in hardware. The advances are in software and peripherals. Why do you need a box for that? If the real expansion is occurring because of what Nintendo has done, why do we even need a console? The technology could be adapted to run on your average set top box."

"What we really need are more standards around the input devices."

It's certainly an interesting viewpoint, though we're not sure we all agree with it - what's your opinion? Let us know in the forums.
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