Will Wright and Square-Enix tech director weigh in on the end of game consoles

will wright and square enix tech director weigh in on the wiiend of game consoles wii u death nintendo console

Media turns over a lot quicker these days than it used to. The Amazing Spider-man movie reboots a franchise that’s only been out of the theater for five years. Video games are no stranger to the process either. Tomb Raider Underworld came out in 2008, but now Square-Enix and Crystal Dynamics feel like the series needs to be kickstarted anew in 2013 with the confusingly titled Tomb Raider.

Video game consoles meanwhile haven’t followed suit. Quite the opposite actually; the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii are on track to be the longest-lived living room consoles in gaming history. All three companies making these machines have been focused on keeping their boxes on shelves as long as possible since 2005, and while they’ve achieved longevity, they haven’t managed to effect sustainability. According to key figures in the industry, the game console is dying.

GamesIndustry International ran interviews on Monday with both SimCity and Spore creator Will Wright and Square-Enix’s worldwide technology director Julien Merceron. Both men painted a grim image of the game console industry going forward.

Merceron, whose career reaches back to the mid-90s when he worked as a programmer on games like Rayman with Ubisoft, believes that Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo signed their own death warrants by keeping the current generation of consoles alive for so long. “This generation has been way too long, and I say this because you have a lot of developers that work on a new platform, and perhaps will not success, so they will wait for the next generation, and will jump on that platform,” said Merceron, “You could not do that with this generation though. So these developers went elsewhere to see if the grass was greener. They found web browsers, they found iOS, they found other things and a lot of them won’t come back to the hardware platforms. So you could look at it that thanks to Microsoft and Sony and the length of this generation, it helped the emergence of other platforms and helped them get strong before the next hardware comes out.”

Will Wright says that even if consoles remain in place as living room fixtures, cloud-based streaming gaming services will replace discs. “[Cloud gaming] is going to be the future,” says Wright, “People have so many devices they carry around. They have their tablets, their smartphones, their PC at home, their Xbox—I think that having a game that’s accessible on all these devices at any time is going to be much more sticky than something you have to go home and play on your PC or only play on your iPhone.”

“I think all the console guys are running scared. Not so much because of the hardware, but because of the business models, free-to-play and that kind of thing, have shifted underneath them,” concludes Wright.

Nintendo may very well be sealing its fate with the Wii U this fall. Can Microsoft and Sony turn around their fortunes with Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4?

Computing

The Razer Core X Chroma is the best external GPU you can buy

The third entry in Razer's lineup of external graphics card enclosures, the Core X Chroma, brings together the best of its previous options in a single package. With RGB lighting and extra USB ports, is this the best you can buy?
Gaming

Immerse yourself in a new universe with these incredible PSVR games

The PSVR has surpassed expectations and along with it comes an incredible catalog of games. There's plenty of amazing experiences to be had so we've put together a list of the best PSVR games available today.
Gaming

New Need for Speed and Plants vs. Zombies games could be shown by EA at E3 2019

EA is doing things a bit differently for its fan-oriented EA Play event. Multiple livestreams will air on June 8, replacing the traditional press conference format. We expect to see Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order and much more.
Gaming

Animal Crossing could make an appearance during the Nintendo Direct at E3 2019

Once again, Nintendo will air a Nintendo Direct during E3 2019 rather than take the stage. The showcase will feature games launching in 2019, so expect The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, Luigi's Mansion 3, and much more.
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Gaming

Activision reveals game modes, multiplayer maps for Call of Duty: Mobile

Activision revealed the first five modes for Call of Duty: Mobile. The publisher also highlighted five maps from previous entries in the franchise, but said that the game will not only feature multiplayer modes.
Gaming

The Astro A40 TR and Mixamp Pro TR turn the volume up on pro gaming audio

The A40 TR and Mixamp Pro TR are Astro's latest entries to professional grade gaming gear. The two accessories hold their own alone, but together their true potential is fully realized.
Gaming

These Xbox One exclusives are the definition of quality over quantity

Xbox One has a prestigious collection of handpicked titles that you can't play on other consoles. Here are the latest and greatest Xbox One exclusives, including some that are also available on PC
Gaming

The best Nintendo Switch games, from Breath of the Wild to Rocket League

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now.
Computing

Give your PC a new lease of life by upgrading its core components

Older PCs can still be great tools for work and play, they just need a little upgrade now and again. Here are the best upgrades you can make to your PC to make it feel fresh and fast once again.
Gaming

You're not a true fan without these Nintendo Switch exclusives

Who doesn't love a good Nintendo game? If you're looking for great first-party titles for your Nintendo Switch, take a look at our list of the very best exclusives available right now.
Gaming

Treyarch takes over 2020 Call of Duty, will make Black Ops 5

Treyarch is taking over development for the 2020 Call of Duty, which will be Black Ops 5, Kotaku reported. Raven was initially leading the project alongside Sledgehammer, but the two studios frequently got into arguments.
Gaming

World of Warcraft Classic beta testers confusing old-school features for bugs

Blizzard released a "not a bug" list for World of Warcraft Classic, as beta testers apparently kept reporting intended features. The list includes the "Your skill in Protection increased to 15" message that appears upon leveling up.
Gaming

Next Apex Legends patch will fix Gibraltar’s sticky shield and hit registration

Respawn is set to roll out a new patch for Apex Legends early this week. The update will look to fix several issues in the game, including Gibraltar's sticky shield, the Fortified passive ability, and incorrect hit registration.