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Next Generation of Consoles will be the last

by William Schwartz on June 14, 2012

David Jaffe has put out a new prediction as to the death of consoles after the next generation.

David Jaffe is never one to hold back an opinion, so after we talked in depth about the free-to-play market and his next project at his new San Diego studio, we also decided to pick the designer’s brain on the Wii U and how the console market is shaping up. As it turns out, Jaffe isn’t very excited by Wii U and he ultimately thinks consoles in general will soon be dinosaurs.

“I don’t see the Wii U and say ‘oh my God I have to have that.’ But with new hardware that’s usually the case; the software’s going to drive it. Or it’s like Apple and the hardware is so elegantly designed that it’s like, ‘Oh they make toilet plungers? I’ll buy it!’ I played some games, I enjoyed Rayman… it’s not like I’m knocking it but I would say that I wasn’t blown away by any individual piece of software that was exclusive to Wii U,” Jaffe commented.

“But their audience isn’t necessarily core gamers like you or the analysts you talk to, so I could still see Wii U being mainstream. But honestly though, if I had to put money down, I think that the iPhone and the iPad has basically taken the market that was so excited by the Wii and so I think Wii U is not going to be anywhere near the success of the Wii. But I don’t f***ing know – I mean I thought PSP was going to clobber the DS. I’m in the industry, I make a living in the industry, but I have no track record of guessing this shit.”

Jaffe wanted to make it clear that he’s not bashing Nintendo. “Nintendo’s a great company and they’re creative and artistic and I wish them well. They’re forward thinking and I always want people like that to succeed,” he continued.

The bottom line is that Jaffe believes consoles are on their last legs.

“So while I don’t think it’s going to do as well as the Wii, I don’t think any of the consoles are going to do as well as they used to. It’s a declining market, I think. That doesn’t speak ill to any of them as pieces of hardware – it just speaks about the fact that the industry has changed, the business models have changed and the world has gotten even smaller with smartphones and tablets and the internet, and stuff like Gaikai and streaming.”

“Look, consoles are going away. I think in 10 years – probably sooner, but 10 years is always the safe thing to say so you don’t sound like an idiot – but here’s what I’ll say: I’ll go on the record and say that the next generation of hardware will be the last consoles. And they should be,” Jaffe asserted.

“It doesn’t mean you won’t buy a piece of hardware from Sony, but you’ll probably buy a television that streams the stuff. And you’ll still have Sony, loud and proud and strong making these great, big, epic games like God of War and Uncharted, and they’ll be making great little games like Sound Shapes, but they’ll become more like movie studios for video games. I’ll be able to stream in the next Uncharted and Plants vs Zombies and you won’t even think about it. It’ll just be like I can watch a public access show on my TV or I can watch Avatar.”

Jaffe concluded, “So this is the last generation of consoles coming up. I’m going to go out on a limb, because why the f**k not? I don’t care if I’m wrong, I’m not a business guy. I think next-gen consoles are going to do 40 percent of [the sales volume] of the current gen hardware.”

“The asteroid has hit the Earth, the dust cloud is covering the sun and the dinosaurs are on the way out – but not the games! We’ll always have great games and bleeding edge graphics… it’s just going to be a new delivery mechanism.”

Say Something

    Yeah its already happening samsung is having a game stream service on their tvs

  • Gram

    Not sure I can take his opinion with a grain of salt, especially when he admits he knows nothing about business and has been wrong in the past.

  • njb

    Problem is the ISP’s lines. We still have mostly copper phonelines in the UK. Until everyone has access to fibre optics and can get a consistant speed of 5mb minimum streaming games is just a hassle. Onlive is good but its far from perfect or smooth. 5 years minimum before they overhaule they terrible copper wires an.replace em with fibre

  • SN1-P3R

    If the infrastructure is in place within 10 years then ‘maybe’…maybe not. If PC’s will still be arounf then I think consoles will too. It might be the end of ‘physical games’ (being streamed or downloaded) but through consoles.

    Off topic: Has anyone noticed all the GTAV banner ads on this site and pretty much all other gaming sites? Look to the right>>>> It’s the ‘Venice Beach’ scene from the trailer but the ‘ad’ has no text and you can’t click on it. It’s like a subliminal ad or something. I’ve never heard or read of anyone bringing this up.

  • hoppsy

    I actually agree with him, in a way….

    in ten years your entertainment system will consist of a powerful internet TV which allows you to stream games, browse the net, make calls etc etc..

    The tech is already available in 10 years it will be phenomanal.

    so like i say stand alone consoles will be gone, but TV’s that have all the gaming tech built in will be here

  • Mac209

    Sorry to say, I don’t ever see the day “core gamers” take games on tablets and phones seriously. I mean I like a little angry birds when I can’t use the tv to play GT5 or BF3, but until I can plug my Logitech G27 into an iPad to play some serious race sims consoles or PC’s will live on for us “hardcore gamers” ….20cents

  • Frank

    I agree. Until full fledged titles like skyrim, uncharted, and gears are on tablets, consoles aren’t gOing anywhere. Will next gen sales be lower? Probably. But that’s because Nintendo won’t sell 100 million+ WiiUs. That’s a huge number and I’d out casuals are as excited about the wii u as they were with the wii. Xbox/ps4 will do their 60-65 million sold. Wii will sell 55-60.

  • Rick

    The reality is there are already core games being produced that go above and beyond angry birds on tablets and phones. Sure infinity blade and modern warfare can’t out due their console counter parts, but 5 years from now I can see the quality getting to the point of out doing consoles. Smart TV+ controller + $7 app=death of consoles.

    Not saying I want this, just that it will probably happen.

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