Epic Games' CEO and technical director Tim Sweeney has suggested that there are simply too many competing games consoles and platforms on the market at the moment, and that over the next few years that number will steadily decrease as the market consolidates down to around three or four platforms "across everything".
Making his points at this year's DICE summit in Las Vegas, Sweeney said that there's an overwhelming amount of choice available to the consumer in terms of gaming technnology, thanks to a wealth in variety of tablets, PCs, smartphones, Macs, consoles and traditional portable devices such as the 3DS and Vita.
"This is too many platform," said Sweeney. "We're seeing now iPad sales have surpassed the sales of PCs. This is a real revelation, this is a product that wasn't invented until a few years ago and its basically supplanting personal computers.
"Over time these platforms will be whittled down to a competing set of platforms to maybe three winners worldwide across everything - computers, game platforms, smartphones… We should expect a lot of consolidation here and winners and losers according to who picks the right directions and executes successfully," he said.
That successful execution will be down to good use of emerging technologies, Sweeney suggested, pointing to Kinect and Siri in terms of motion control and voice recognition respectively, and touching upon cloud services, virtual goods and augmented reality.
Moreover, Sweeney stated that the best is yet to come, with an entire generation, having grown up with current technology all around them, waiting in the wings.
"There are a lot of technical challenges. We've barely scratched the surface of the consumer implications, what we can do with an iPad or iPhone today is limited by our experience of our computers and history. When a whole new generation of kids is raised with these devices pervasively around us it's going to lead to entirely new worlds."
"I see a bright future for technology and its implications on games. The ability of game developers to exploit another thousand-fold increase in computing power on future generations of platforms. Some of it will be consoles, some of it PC and some of it tablets. The form factor we can't predict, but the opportunity is there. Our industry's brightest days are yet to come." [GI.biz]