Will the next gen change everything?

Current Gen consolesIDC analyst Billy Pidgeon recently spoke with Next-Gen about the next generation of videogames and videogame consoles. Pidgeon asserts that the PlayStation 3 may in fact be the last home console to be marketed as a leading-edge machine. This strategy, he says, will be replaced by the low-cost, high-accessibility model practiced by Nintendo with consoles such as the DS and Wii.

"I think the results of this cycle will have a strong influence on the next cycle, in that cheaper consoles will be expected. Microsoft and Sony will attain successful business on this generation, but catering to the early adopter hardcore gamers with a technology leader strategy will be difficult in 2011.

…I would have dismissed this idea as unachievable last cycle when only Xbox could provide a promising connected console experience, but it is entirely possible that the PS3 is the last bleeding edge console hardware we will see."

Taking things a step further, Pidgeon supposes that the next gen may not be a console generation at all, but a digitally distributed software generation, expanding on services such as Steam, and using existing platforms to deliver the product to gamers.

"…Third party publishers are already looking for ubiquitous platforms to reach the market increase achieved by Nintendo and Guitar Hero. The platforms of the next cycle may not be a console at all, but software distributed by network to convergent devices like PCs, set top boxes and smart phones."

This last point is something that many feel is the way of the future, much like mp3 downloads and iTunes-like virtual stores have become the norm in music retail. I think a shift such as this would be a huge boon to the growth of the industry, allowing far more time to be put into the creative development of new videogames, not just learning how to build software for each and every new – and different – piece of hardware as they are released. Costs would be cut across the board, granting developers and publishers more resources to produce the best product possible, and as Pidgeon said, lowering the price of admission for an entire generation of gamers.

[via Next-Gen]


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Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

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