EA founder: game consoles will wither

Posted by Mark Raby

The man who founded video game company EA says the market he helped invigorate is now a minor target.

Trip Hawkins said in a recent IGN interview, "The console market is always going to be with us, because there’s always going to be a hardcore segment, a segment that likes innovation. But it’s going to become a smaller market, and it’s going to be more like a hobby market.

"You look at airplanes. Most of us just want to be a passenger, but there’s a hobby market for people who are really into aviation and want to take flying lessons and maybe someday have their own airplane. I think that’s what’s happening to the console market."

Hawkins says there are now four billion gamers, and when something is that much of a mass-market industry, things change.

"The public are going to have access to a computer where it may not be feasible or desirous for them to have a special input device. Having a software-based solution, in the long run, makes a lot more sense for gesture input," he said.

There have been other industry titans, like David Jaffe, who have also expressed their belief that the Xbox 720 and the PS4 will be the last traditional consoles.

Recent leaks about the new Xbox show that the console will have "Kinect v2" built directly into the console, so there will be no need for an extra peripheral.

Among the enhancements referenced are the ability to track four players simultaneously, stronger integration with other devices like the PC and Windows Phone, and just all-around more powerful performance.

Another interesting thing mentioned in the leak is a project Microsoft is reportedly working on, called Kinect Glasses, which has hints of Google's Project Glass in it.

As for the PS4, there have been far fewer leads about what the console will offer, leading many to believe that the PS4 will not come out for at least a year after the Xbox 720 is released (which would make sense considering the Xbox 360 launched the year before the PS3).