This Week In The Business: 'After These Next Consoles, I Don't Think There'll Be Any More'

What's happened in the business of video games this past week ...

QUOTE | "After these next Sony and Microsoft consoles I don't think there'll be any more." — Peter Relan, co-founder of cloud gaming startup Agawi, talking about the past, present and the future of cloud gaming.

QUOTE | "You have to be willing to be seen as a monomaniacal narcissist." — Tim Schafer of Double Fine, along with other big-name developers, talking about what fame means to them.

STAT | 66,000 — Number of Wii U units sold in the US in February, up 45 per cent from last month; this compares to the 302,000 Xbox 360s sold and the 263,000 PS3s sold that same month.

QUOTE | "Come hell or high water, we're shipping this thing, and it will be the best our blood, sweat and tears can make it." — Jordan Weisman, head of Harebrained Schemes, talking about the Shadowrun Returns project.

QUOTE | "Predictable and lazy tabloid associations between computer games and serial killings continue." — Adam Keal, PR professional, talking about why games still aren't media mainstream.

STAT | 50 per cent — Amount Valve's business has increased over the last year, according to Gabe Newell; he said "There's this sort of insatiable desire for gaming right now" in the same interview.

QUOTE | "You can't let [your audience] design the game, necessarily, but ignore them at your peril." - Mike Goslin, general manager of Rebel Entertainment, talking about how audience input is changing its free-to-play game Dungeon Rampage.

STAT | 25 per cent — Amount retail sales of video game hardware and software dropped in the US in February compared to last year; hardware plunged 36 per cent compared to last year.

QUOTE | "PC is not just another platform ... it will be more and more important in terms of maximising the game's potential." — Marek Tyminski, CEO of City Interactive, talking about his studio's plans for development following Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2.

STAT | 100 million — Number of games downloaded over Line, the Japanese mobile messaging app; there are only 16 different games available to choose from.

This Week in the Business courtesy of GamesIndustry International

Image from Shutterstock


    As long as there's money in them there console hills, there'll be another generation.

      Well the guy runs a cloud gaming service, of course he'd say consoles are going away.
      Reality is until most consumers have superfast internet, physical items will still happen.

        ^^^ So true, so very true. Remember when analysts were saying the PS3 and 360 could be the final generations of consoles? lol

          I remember when they said that about PS2 and Original X-Box. They say it just before the release of every bloody generation. It's been wrong every time.

          Realisticly I don't see Cloud based gaming coming for a long time, ATM we're still very anti online only.

      The problem is there isn't that much money in the console business unless you're Nintendo.

        Look at the money some of the Console exclusives made, Look at COD, sure there's a PC version but the majority of sales are on Consoles.

          We're talking about consoles though, not the big third party games. Microsoft make barely any money on the Xbox and neither do Sony. It's not really a worthwhile business for them, but they do it anyway.

            Dude, SCE department of Sony was one of the few departments of Sony that actually made profit while their TV and laptop ones were getting screwed over.

              It took them years to make a profit. And making a profit still doesn't mean good business. There's a lot more to it than that.

                I'm going to have to go ahead and disagree there. Making a profit is the whole point of business.

                  Making a profit is a point of a business. Year on year growth is a bigger point.

                  @benj Growth is a tricky word. Does it mean making the company bigger, expanding the portfolio? In the context of a business like Sony's Playstation division it's basically going to mean achieving the largest profit, which is something that the Playstation division did while other SBUs faltered.

                  What Sony want to do is get the next big gadget out and make their money off licensing fees. Hardware profits don't come until a few years in, as the costs of manufacturing have declined and the R&D costs have been made up.

                  They've tried to increase their growth by releasing the PS Vita which has, for the most part, been a flop. But this again points to a general decline in the handheld market versus the growth of gaming on Smartphones. There is still no real competitor for the home console market except home consoles. I know there's a lot of militant PC gamers out there grinding their teeth out there, but for all of the wonders of PC gaming and the advantages of playing various games on PC, the popular AAA games on console outsell the PC version by up to a 10:1 ratio.

                  Your original point was that Nintendo are the only ones turning a good profit in the console market. This simply isn't true. Nintendo do tend to make more money, because they accept that their consoles are toys and market them as such. They make them cheap, they make them simple, they make them appeal to children. They know their market and penetrate it well, but even Nintendo are struggling in the handheld market. Sony and Microsoft are attempting to outdo each other in the hardcore arena so the money is split three ways by people who don't consider Nintendo to be a serious contender.

                  Basically Microsoft and Sony are fighting for larger pieces of a pie, while Nintendo is making their own pie and there's no one to share it with.

                  I've gotta go in a few minutes so I can't give a full reply until later on (if you're interested), but on the first point, one thing you have to realise is that no department at Sony is healthy right now. Yes, the Playstation dept. made a profit, but like I said, that still doesn't mean good business. It just means that it's better than the other departments that Sony hasn't figured out how to bring back to life.

                  Oh and growth is in the monetary sense, not the product line. If anything I think they'd be more successful if they culled products and cut back a bit.

                  Last edited 18/03/13 3:48 pm

            3rd Party games pay a licensing fee to the company that makes the console. MS gets money from the sale of every game on the system.

            MS & SCE both have a premium online model which I have to assume is profitable.

    "No more consoles" says the guy whose companies success relies on consoles dying.

      Antibiotics are worthless, but this snake oil will fix you right up.

    Not a week goes by without some hack telling GI that consoles are doomed and yet here we are!

    No ore consoles?
    Yeah I can't wait till every game launch is like Sim City or Diablo 3.

      Once developers realize that DRM just creates problems rather than fixes them, you'll see PC launches become smoother. In terms of consoles you're far more restricted than PC's, you're entire experience is DRM.

    Maybe not gone but possibly getting very niche... Look at the GS4 with its controller and streaming. How long until smartphones are "good enough" for most people, with the diminishing returns of each generation. People already will have this tech on their pocket, so surely less will want to shell out for expensive dedicated machines that may only deliver a edge comparable to current gen vs pc. Look how quickly the have closed the gap already.

      Mobile devices will never have the grunt of a console/PC that draws Mains Power. Mobile devices will have "equivalent" processing power - just not raw power. As an example, the current Xbox360 draws 135watts/12volts - from 240volt source (AU)

        Granted, but right now I can plug my smartphone into a charger and play real racing at 720p on a 80" screen till my heart's content. The Tegra 4 is about to drop, apple will have an A7 chip, yearly refreshes vs a 7 year cycle... my point is right now consoles sell even though they are technically inferior to pcs because they are good enough, easy and cheap. Smartphones fit this bill even better & are poised to become the new consoles, plenty good enough for the masses while the hardcore build PCs for their bleeding edge tech. Dont get me wrong, no one is going to use a GS4 or iPhone 6 over a ps4, but an iPhone 8 geared in that direction...

          Never happen. Smartphone gaming is geared towards 2 people. The person who doesnt usually game but enjoys a quick distraction, and regular gamers looking to play something on the move. Smartphones may one day replace handheld consoles, but wont touch the home console or PC trade.
          For the millions out there for which gaming is a passion, or even just a regular hobby, a dedicated purpose built PC or home console will always win. Smartphones will always be jacks of all trades, masters of none.

            Right now thats how its geared but must it stay that way? The big limitations are being slowly chipped away, horsepower, big studios, control. If you could pick up your PS3/4 and put it in your pocket you would. But more importantly the millions for who gaming is a passion want compare to the 100s of millions who have a moderate interest. If there was a comparable COD on smartphones with the option of a dedicated controller, that would be enough to entice a nice proportion of part time gamers to switch. We are talking T20, One dayers and Tests here. Nobody thought T20 was a threat but here we are... Devs will go where the money is.

              Passionate gamers will always make the big developers a profit. We spend more and we play more. The rise of the casual gamer (hate that term, but it fits here) is the beginning of a new market, not a replacement of the previous.
              Smartphones will obviously become more powerful over the years, but so will PC's and home consoles. The difference is a custom built PC or home console designed to play great games doesnt have to focus its attention on hundreds of other potential uses, but a smartphone will always have to do it all, leaving less resources to do one thing at a high standard.

              The big limitations are not processing power and quality games. If I can't buy a game that plays on a screen bigger than my fist, I'm not playing it. Mobile controls and screens are shit, and when you want to sit down for a few hours gaming session, nothing yet beats the TV or PC screen.

              Call me when the mobile just acts as a processor and the real action happens on my goggles and control gloves.

          I see the most innovation, on mobile, from the modding community.

          Silicon is on it's way out too... 22nm manufacture is the "new" current form, and there's not much traditional advances to be made in the next decade. Though I'm sure computer scientists have something up their sleeve, from now until Quantum Bits become usable in the 2020s' to 2030s.'

          It is entirely plausible to have a mobile device that boosts it power when hooked to the mains, but PC/Console devices will always be a few steps ahead whith form factor being a big decider. Which begs the question; "When does a Phone become a Tablet. A Tablet become a console. And a Console become a PC?"

    This is complete stupidness, Speaking on the perspective of a closted nerd, I know literally hundreds of men AND women alike who all grew up on game consoles, I remember the last house party I chucked, I got so drunk and decided to play zelda, twilight princess, literally nearly every guy and girl in the room simultaniously said I had that!
    The point is there are many hundreds of millions of people around the world that play consoles that go under the rader, It would be impossible for consoles to stop being produced as the demand is to high, last time i went back to my home country near Fiji, the PS2 was still the thing everyone was talking about, only polynesian millionares could afford it

    If gaming goes digital only, I'm out. The internet needs to be fixed first - faster speeds, cheaper deals, no download limits.

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