Will the next Nintendo console be the last game console, ever?

Next month at E3 2011, Nintendo plans to show off its next generation game console which Nintendo says it plans to launch in 2012. However there's speculation that Nintendo's next console could be the last game console ever made, at least in the form that we are used to (a stand alone device that plays store-purchased games on a TV). FoxNews.com has a story that looks at this possible scenario.

Some people believe that games as a whole are moving online to a cloud-based server system. Well known game-themed financial analyst Michael Pachter bluntly says in the article, "Gaming will move to the cloud." Indeed that move is already underway. OnLive's streaming game service, despite flaws like fixed graphical resolutions, can be played on a PC, Mac and via a TV via a Microconsole with the cloud-based model and OnLive games could soon be played on mobile phones and TVs without the need for a Microconsole.

Then there's the fact that neither Microsoft nor Sony are making any announcements about the successors to the Xbox 360 and PS3 consoles, respectively. Despite rumors (since shut down) that a next-gen Xbox is in development and being shipped around to publishers, even THQ's CEO Brian Farrell is saying that we won't see the next consoles from Sony and Microsoft any time in the near future. And then there's the rise in popularity of downloadable games for the PC via Steam and other services and games on mobile devices and tablets such as Apple's iPad. All of these may show that the traditional console box could be on its last legs.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

The turbulent times of the PlayStation 3

Next Story

First Brink DLC release to be free; coming in June

75 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

No, thank you. I would much rather keep my physical copy. I don't always have acess to high speed. What happens if they decide to take the game away so you can't play it? I still enjoy older SNES games that I still have.

"Some people(*) believe that games as a whole are moving online to a cloud-based server system"

Who?

". Well known game-themed financial analyst Michael Pachter(*) bluntly says in the article, "Gaming will move to the cloud."

Well known game-themed financial analyst?. WAT?

" Indeed that move is already underway. OnLive's streaming game service, despite flaws like fixed graphical resolutions, can be played on a PC, Mac and via a TV via a Microconsole with the cloud-based model and OnLive games could soon be played on mobile phones and TVs without the need for a Microconsole."

Oh, marketing in disguise. He is selling Online.


No! For many reasons:
1. Nintendo can not end the console era.
2. There will be so many glitches going on in a single game if everything is cloud.
3. I always feel the need to hold a physical disc in my hand, never been too much of a digital gaming fan.

The Playstation Suite will be a game changer since it will run on most (or all) android devices. But, consoles will still be around for quite a while.

Im really not too convinced that we will move into a total cloud based service....i could see that hapening in 2015 but not by 2013.
I will hate to have a feeling like im downgrading....(i got that feeling when i tried out Onlive thinking it was the next big thing - which it might be)

If every laptop, netbook, handheld or phone under $300 could handle the requirements of modern games, then I'd say its possible. But good luck even finding a decent laptop for the price of a game console.

and even if 'cloud' storage and distribution is preferred by 'everyone' you still need the necessary hardware to run the media. Things like steam don't really care if your computer can handle the game, thats up to you. So in my opinion, 'cloud gaming' is useless if nothing can adaquately run the media it offers. Dedicated systems allow for gaming beyond linear app games that most affordable mobile devices offer now, and I don't see full blown titles bieng offered on tablets or smart phones any time soon.

Gaming will never move completely to the cloud because too many people like having a "disc" or "cartridge" that they can touch, stick in the closet, pull out 20 years later and play. A console is something that you don't have to worry about upgrading, and whose sole purpose is playing games. Consoles will be around for, in my opinion, the foreseeable future.

I have not used a physical DVD / Blu Ray for video content for over a year now due to Netflix streamng, Hulu Streaming and Bittorrent. I now use a PS3, but when I used to game on PC, I had switched to Steam and stopped using physical media. My laptops do not have DVD drives anymore.. At least for me, the age of Physical Media is almost OVER..
New products like chromebook and services like onlive clearly are the way of the future, whether we like it or not. These will not take over 100% of market, but cloud computing/gaming will definitely have a significant market share.

Gaming will never move to cloud as a whole so long as internet service providers are trying coming down on bandwidth.

Uhm, no. Dedicated boxes will be around for decades more. How we play games will change sure, most likely becoming completely digital.

How bout we get rid of these stupid data caps first before even considering to do this. I dont understand why this was even done in the first place. Especially AT&T, they're already the worst telecom company. And comcast the speeds may be high but what good is that with caps?

I don't see this scenario in a near future. Games runnin on the cloud would demand more power and a wider coverage from the internet connections. While this is already a reality in some places of the world, some countries would get almost excluded, like here in Brazil, where we still pay like 45 dollars for a 2MB internet connection (200kbps of download speed). And that's the lowest price for a connection like that.
Besides that when your internet connection fail, you have no games to play...

This may be the last console that purely focuses on just gaming, but I sincerely doubt it's the last ever traditional console. Gaming won't be cloud based at least for another decade - not wholly, anyway. There may be a cloud based gaming option for consoles maybe in the next-next gen, but I sincerely doubt it would be the only option.

Plus, simply put, games consoles are now more then just games consoles, they're more becoming more and more super-powerful media centers with gaming as their main focus.

Games on the current consoles look great. As you try to improve the graphics from what we have now, the difference will become less and less noticeable. Especially to the general public. The 360 and PS3 could serve as great gaming systems for many years to come.

Too many current outages over cloud-based services makes this a major thumbs-down. Unless cloud services improve a *lot* in the next few years, this will be a bad idea.

New game consoles break two corollaries of Moore's law. These corollaries were not in force earlier for this specific aspect (it varies with the market) of the big digital market because the chip fabrication technology did not reach the nanometer level (almost at 35, but definitely at 22) when they started to come into full force for this specific aspect of the digital market (about a year ago).

1) General purpose replaces special purpose, it is always easier to pack more transistors into an A5 chip and her successors that significantly outdoes in graphics what a game console can ever do in its lifetime and still have more than enough chip real estate left over for general purpose computing processors(s, may be even four of them) and even other specialized media encode/decode and other functions.

2) Virtual replaces physical. As Netflix is finding out, it is easier to send bits over fiber (encoding and decoding those bits to death) and then over airwaves than sending a DVD by snail mail, because the transistors used in encode/decode are essentially free (because the amount of transistors needed to get a given level of compression in hardware essentially remains the same) (because of the nanometer level reached, almost at 35) both in fiber and wireless routers and in smartphones/tablets.

Because these two corollaries of Moore's Law which have started coming into full force for this specific aspect of the digital market just about a year ago and are working against Nintendo's or any other new console, I find life for Nintendo's new console or any other new console to be very grim.

Sorry for the laws first and explanations now. If you want to know what I am talking about, go here

http://bit.ly/samirsshah

and download my free book.

What a load of tripe. Seriously Neowin this is lame at best. Theres a whole generation that will literally say no to this. Purely because owning a physical piece of hardware outweighs these crummy services.

Plus Nintendo have barely made an effort at online. Do u really see them goin cloud based? I dont. Sorry but imho total BS article.

And Onlive is mince. Not to mention that the super fast connections needed arent nearly widespread enuff. So what you gonna cut away a slice of your market because they cant/dont have this connection.

In Nintys case that would be suicidal as there market has been aimed at folk who wouldnt normaly game, Mums, Dads, Old Folks and such. They want access for everyone so whyyy go back on that?

Yeh im callin complete bs on this sorry

People, people... look at the source.

A. It's Fox News.
B. It's Michael Pachter.

Doesn't that tell you everything you need to know?

Ayepecks said,
People, people... look at the source.

A. It's Fox News.
B. It's Michael Pachter.

Doesn't that tell you everything you need to know?


Enough said

Ayepecks said,
People, people... look at the source.

A. It's Fox News.
B. It's Michael Pachter.

Doesn't that tell you everything you need to know?

Aint that the truth. Anyone who watches fox news for there actual news should be shot at close range. I'm not joking.

StevenMalone77 said,

Aint that the truth. Anyone who watches fox news for there actual news should be shot at close range. I'm not joking.


This made a big smirk on my face, haha!

I don't think it's the last because of the oncoming of the cloud; I think it's the last because new consoles will be more like generic set-top boxes, and gaming will be only one of their abilities.

How would Nintendo do this when they can't even get online multiplayer going well enough? Or am I the only one that hates trying to play against other people online with the Wii?

Secondly, if games for the next "console" are tied to Nintendo's distribution service, why do I get the feeling that putting Nintendo in control of the pricing is a bad idea? I mean, they don't exactly have a record of being good guys when it comes to pricing...

I'm all in favour of a centralised app store and the ability to sync files and settings across all my devices. But, I DO NOT WANT my PC to be just a dumb terminal to the Web, thank you very much. The idea that we will possess NOTHING locally, that everything will simply be streamed from Big Business Inc's servers - who could deny us access at any time - is REVOLTING.

CalumCookable said,
I'm all in favour of a centralised app store and the ability to sync files and settings across all my devices. But, I DO NOT WANT my PC to be just a dumb terminal to the Web, thank you very much. The idea that we will possess NOTHING locally, that everything will simply be streamed from Big Business Inc's servers - who could deny us access at any time - is REVOLTING.

+1

What a silly premise for a story, if you're really going to define console, and you just do it somewhat accurately, then the last console would be Nintendo 64, maybe the PS2.

FISKER_Q said,
What a silly premise for a story, if you're really going to define console, and you just do it somewhat accurately, then the last console would be Nintendo 64, maybe the PS2.

Another cry baby moaning about how added features on his console is ruining his gaming experiance.

SCRISP said,

Another cry baby moaning about how added features on his console is ruining his gaming experiance.

I play on a PC, and only have a console for said added features, plus the rare exclusive must-have title.

So no, i'm not whining.

PSPGo for the win...
/sarcasm

Until they can find a way for GameStop to make a living...I don't think anything of that sort could happen.

And of course, how to transfer games to other players...$50+ dollars for every identical NfS game isn't fun.

Games will not move to cloud. At least not for next 20 years. Not everybody has 10mps internet and gaming market is not only in USA...

6205 said,
Games will not move to cloud. At least not for next 20 years. Not everybody has 10mps internet and gaming market is not only in USA...

Its not? /sarcasm

LOL if it is Nintendo's last system then I'll never be buying another Nintendo game. The online streaming services suck. There is a very noticeable input lag that makes lots of games unplayable.

mrp04 said,
LOL if it is Nintendo's last system then I'll never be buying another Nintendo game. The online streaming services suck. There is a very noticeable input lag that makes lots of games unplayable.
The lag might be your tv since there is no input lag for me.

I sure as hell hope it's the last one!! Consoles are horrible and really take away the gaming experience once they have been out a little while from outdated hardware. The game prices are way too expensive and seem to carry over to the PC game prices. Then as a pc gamer you have to deal with the non stop crappy title ports cause the time and effort to put into a console game is nothing compared to a good looking, playable PC game.

sava700 said,
I sure as hell hope it's the last one!! Consoles are horrible and really take away the gaming experience once they have been out a little while from outdated hardware. The game prices are way too expensive and seem to carry over to the PC game prices. Then as a pc gamer you have to deal with the non stop crappy title ports cause the time and effort to put into a console game is nothing compared to a good looking, playable PC game.

+10000 !!!!!!!!!!!

sava700 said,
I sure as hell hope it's the last one!! Consoles are horrible and really take away the gaming experience once they have been out a little while from outdated hardware. The game prices are way too expensive and seem to carry over to the PC game prices. Then as a pc gamer you have to deal with the non stop crappy title ports cause the time and effort to put into a console game is nothing compared to a good looking, playable PC game.

I can't fully agree with that. I'm am primarily a PC gamer but some games are just meant for consoles and a controller. Not to mention there is no splitscreen multiplayer on PC. But yeah PC definetily needs more support, especially for FPS I mean really consoles have got nothing on PC in regards to shooters

Rapier said,

Glassed Silver posting from a mac ofcourse

Because, obviously everyone cares about this woman's signature stamp and where she posted from /s

Quikboy said,

Because, obviously everyone cares about this woman's signature stamp and where she posted from /s

I don't mind the signature.

GS's contribution is worth more for me.

Mr.Ed

There are 2 things that stand in the way of cloud gaming
1) Bandwidth (not everyone in the world has a high speed connection)
2) Data caps

Sadelwo said,
There are 2 things that stand in the way of cloud gaming
1) Bandwidth (not everyone in the world has a high speed connection)
2) Data caps


You really only find two?

Be blessed!

GS:mac

Glassed Silver said,

You really only find two?

Be blessed!

GS:mac


To me, the first point is valid (others doesn't concern me that much). Majority peeps here only have an average of 1Mbps connection. How the hell they're gonna stream that massive kind of bandwidths? Right?

Sadelwo said,
There are 2 things that stand in the way of cloud gaming
1) Bandwidth (not everyone in the world has a high speed connection)
2) Data caps

Not to mention ALWAYS having a connection.. Cable goes out and you're out of luck.. On the road and you're out of luck, etc.

Sadelwo said,
There are 2 things that stand in the way of cloud gaming
1) Bandwidth (not everyone in the world has a high speed connection)
2) Data caps

Yep. I'm all for progress but severe physical limitations need to be addressed, whatever about other issues relating to such services.

Ryoken said,

Not to mention ALWAYS having a connection.. Cable goes out and you're out of luck.. On the road and you're out of luck, etc.

Internet connectivity is a resource like electricity, what if we had no electricity? Can't play either then.

McDave said,

Internet connectivity is a resource like electricity, what if we had no electricity? Can't play either then.
Yes, but you can be without internet and have electricity while still being able to play offline video games. Without electricity, you're pretty much stuck playing board games or exploring outside after playing video games in the dark for hours.

Shaydx said,
I have the OnLive Gaming System and its pretty cool

Yea but it has a 5mbit minimum speed requirement. I can only get 3mbit where I'm at. IMO it's restricting a potential user base right now.

This seems an incredibly shallow look at the gaming market.

EA denied that they have a "360"-2, which does not mean MS aren't developing one.

Steam has rising popularity due to cheap pricing as much as anything; this ignores the fact that it's just a distribution system, not a gaming platform.

Poor work imo.

ahhell said,
Considering Foxnews was used as a source, doesn't sound very accurate to me either.
I read the story, seems like straight-up reportage to me. Maybe you should have done the same?

articuno1au said,
This seems an incredibly shallow look at the gaming market.

EA denied that they have a "360"-2, which does not mean MS aren't developing one.

Steam has rising popularity due to cheap pricing as much as anything; this ignores the fact that it's just a distribution system, not a gaming platform.

Poor work imo.

Gaming is slowly switching from consoles to smartphones and tablets

AKLP said,

Casual gaming is slowly switching from consoles to smartphones and tablets

Fixed.

A new emerging market has found a better platform for itself, the old market will just carry on as it has.

kravex said,
Fixed.

A new emerging market has found a better platform for itself, the old market will just carry on as it has.

Indeed. The majority of games on consoles don't even make sense on smartphones and tablets.