Star Citizen dev Chris Roberts has cast doubt over the next generation of consoles, saying that although "they'll do decent business" he reckons that they won't be "as big" as they have been this generation, citing an increasingly rampant PC sector as a far more open, cost-effective platform.
“I think consoles will be there and they’ll do decent business but I don’t think that the next generation of consoles will be as big as the last generation,” Roberts told NowGamer.
“Essentially, I can build a high-end PC now that’s much more powerful than the new consoles that will be announced this year.”
Roberts said that although consoles are increasingly becoming media hubs designed for much more than gaming, PC price points are constantly coming down, and companies are no longer willing to take a punt on losing millions of dollars on hardware by subsidising the cost of the hardware and making things back up on software.
"Obviously, they’re selling the consoles for $400 and what you’re going to see of the console is it become much more of a media hub in the living room," continued Roberts. "It won’t just be playing games, it will be playing your movies, streaming your movies and they’re essentially turning them into set-top boxes combined with gaming and media players and I think we’ll definitely see a lot of people who have that there.
"But, there will also be a lot of people, because the tech’s kind of similar, on the PC side that will stream into the living room and the price-points of those are coming down, too.
"I don’t think the console manufacturers are going to have the same advantage, before they were willing to lose millions of dollars on the hardware and making it up on the backend and Sony can’t afford to do that and I don’t think Microsoft is going to support it that much either."
Should Roberts prove correct, and pricing is taken out of the equation, the RSI lead reckons that it might come down to platform openness.
"So they’re going to be on an even footing with everyone else, whether it’s Steam Box or whatever, and then what’s the best platform? Is it a closed platform, which is controlled and curated like Microsoft, Apple and Sony, or is it an open platform that isn’t controlled? There are good and bad things about both sides but that’s basically the PC platform."