PlayStation 4

PlayStation 4 is one of the final survivors of the console wars, Michael Pachter said.
(Photo : Farley Santos | Flickr)

Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter is working on his reputation as a Dr. Doom of console gaming. He speculates that gadgets such as Nvidia Shield and Amazon Fire, which allow games to be played without using consoles, will make consoles redundant.

The analyst estimates that the disappearing of consoles will happen in a very slow rhythm, and bases his assumptions on the constant decline in gaming equipment sales.

“This is the last real console cycle,” said Pachter.

He compares the evolution of sales from Nintendo 3DS to Nintendo DS and observes that 3DS sells around 15 million mini-consoles per year, whereas the DS sold over 26 million for five years in a row. In his opinion, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will not be the last consoles, but they can be the final consoles that have commercial success.

“So when I say that this console cycle is the last console cycle, the reason is that console games shouldn’t require a console. And I’m not talking about the cloud.” Patcher points out that the future of gaming is simply having a CPU/GPU unit at home that can simply use your television as a display. Looking at the development of hardware technologies, such a device can be anything from an iPhone to Amazon Fire, the Wedbush analyst thinks.

Shuhei Yoshida from Sony Worldwide Studios took the time to respond to Patcher’s predictions at EGX 2015 in Birmingham.

“Michael is fun to listen to, right?” Yoshida amuses himself at the expense of the bleak forecast.

“Consoles were announced dead for the longest time,” the Sony president said. Yoshida remembers the period before PlayStation One was launched and even then, gaming experts claimed that PC games will rule the market and leave little space for consoles.

“Every time these things are proven wrong, and as long as we have passionate people wanting to continue to play on game consoles, we will try hard to continue, and even make it bigger for the future.”

It is worth reminding that Pachter did not herald the complete obliteration of consoles. He claims that their popularity is tanking, and that console gaming should not require a console per se.

Yoshida-san addressed the issues of remastered games, pointing out that Sony is selective in doing it, mainly because nearly half of PS4 owners have PS3 experience. It is a time-consuming process and it involves a lot of passionate developers, so we might get to see classic titles making a comeback, but at the moment Sony is being discreet about that.

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Photo: Farley Santos | Flickr

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