Posted on May 25, 2008, Chris Wild Tangent CEO: This is the Last Generation of Consoles
Last time Wild Tangent CEO (and one of the creators of DirectX) spoke up, he was voicing his prediction that PCs are the gaming platform of the future. His most recent comments at an annual Wedbush Morgan Securities were fairly similar in nature, according to GI.biz, as he said, “I think you’re looking at the last generation of game consoles, and I think it’s easy to defend that position.”
“The thing that’s interesting is, a console is not a game enabling device – it’s a game blocking device, unless you’ve paid for it. So, the principle value of a console is as DRM technology to solve the piracy problem.”
While that’s true in some regards, I think he’s understating the preference many people have, that they’d rather sit on their couch and play games on their television.
But St. John contends that we’re at a point that consoles can differentiate themselves with nice graphics, and that communities are going to be what separate games from one another.
“Community-based gaming is going to dominate the market and the economics. And community-based games don’t need DRM, because communities can’t be stolen, and therefore nobody needs to share any revenue with the console manufacturer.
“World of Warcraft is the most profitable game in history. Pogo is, I imagine, wildly profitable, and not a console game. World of Warcraft will generate 1.2 billion dollars this year in online subscriptions, and nobody can pirate it.”
One of the other reasons he believes that PCs will become the standard for playing games is due to the large number of laptops being sold. He explained, “…And kids who must have a laptop in the next ten years to go to school do not pick their laptop because it is great at doing their math homework. That’s not why they’re going to choose that laptop. His PSP’s going to be confiscated at school; no one’s going to take his laptop away from him because they need that for their homework.”
He summed things up by saying, “So, I think ten years from now, there is a consolidation of platforms, mobile devices, predominantly PC, probably nothing like consoles as you know them any more, and advertising and microcurrency-based economies.”
Where do you think the future lies?