David Jaffe has jumped in on the debate surrounding the next generation of games consoles, agreeing with Crytek's Cevat Yerli in predicting that the next round will be the last, and that "they should be".
"So while I don't think [the Wii U] is 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."
The proliferation of streaming technology, the success of Steam and the growing market for Origin, not to mention to popularity of XBLA and the PSN, means that digital distribution and cloud-based services are already here, with the latter's efficacy arguably simply tied down to internet infrastructure.
In Jaffe's eyes, games will go the same way as music and cinema - with on demand streaming services ahead and smart TVs already incorporating aspects of this.
"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 stated emphatically.
"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's conclusion is that great games will persist, but that the methods of delivery will simply change.
"So this is the last generation of consoles coming up. I'm going to go out on a limb, because why the fuck 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." [GII]