That's the question Edge asked of Microsoft corporate vice president Phil Harrison in a recent interview. I found the answer pretty interesting.
I think we've seen in the last five years an explosion of people who play games, and self-identify as a gamer. Whether it's somebody playing Clash of Clans or Candy Crush on their phone or iPad, or gaming on the console on the biggest screen in the house, pretty much everybody is a gamer and there's this positive wave moving through the world.
As people get older, they continue to play games. You may choose to change the pattern of gameplay as you get a family, as you get kids, or whatever, but I think that the lineup of what we shared today [at E3] is a reflection of the impact that games have in society and will continue to have a future.
It's not about driving, shooting and sports, it's a much deeper and sophisticated set of consumers who are more discerning in their tastes... I think the platform can definitely support all game styles and all game designs.
I think there's a couple of interesting points there. The first is that, generally speaking, people like you and me who grew up with gaming -- we're not going to stop playing games any time soon. The idea that games are for a specific age group only is slowly eroding, mainly because we're getting older and -- lo and behold -- we're still playing video games.
That means one thing: the market for video games is growing and it's going to continue to grow.
The second interesting thing for me is this: older people who didn't grow up with gaming are now gravitating towards gaming as a hobby. That might be through mobile gaming or Facebook gaming, but those distinctions are going to become increasingly meaningless.
The third interesting thing? The idea that we're moving into a phase with a "much deeper and sophisticated set of consumers". I think that's a powerful idea, and hopefully an idea that publishers and developers can have complete faith in. Personally I'd like to see a broader set of experiences in video games and I'm hoping this expanded growth in users will help drive that.
Above all it's interesting to see Microsoft acknowledge the shift.
Via IB Times