As this generation continues on for what looks like at least another year or so before the next-generation of hardware is ushered in, more and more members of the industry are naysaying about console gaming.
The latest culprit for damning the world of consoles is Codemasters co-founder, and current CEO of social game studio Kwalee, David Darling.
In a blog post, spotted by CVG, Darling pointed out that Sony and Microsoft needed to make the jump to fully digital consoles if they were planning on surviving through the next cycle. He highlighted that there was increasing competition from digital-only platforms like Steam, Facebook and the mighty iOS.
“Consoles have become like dinosaurs heading for extinction as their natural retail habitat begins to change. These ancient beasts must now adapt to a new environment where platforms like Steam, Facebook and Apple’s App Store are pushing innovation,” states Darling.
“People are already playing more games through digital download than physical media. For instance, Angry Birds has had more than one billion downloads, a sales figure totally beyond what can be achieved by boxed games sold in the likes of Game and GameStop. Since 2008, the sales of console games have been falling each year.
“Once Apple add an App Store to Apple TV they could take over the living room games industry like they have taken over the handheld games industry with iPhone with flexible pricing and no distribution costs.”
Darling also states why he believes this would be a more attractive move for Microsoft and Sony as well as the consumer. The very fact that games can be attained quickly, and don’t have anywhere near the same level of distribution costs makes the digital-only realm a must, according to Darling that is.
“Sony and Microsoft cannot let the retailers dictate game prices going forwards if they want to break free from the current over-priced model, their next consoles PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720 need to be digital only, or they will fail.
“Digitally distributed games can reach players all around the world quickly, cutting out physical production, warehouses, distributors and retailers. Therefore, it is no longer necessary to charge people huge prices to play video games.”
You do have to wonder just how un-bais this man is, after all the company he is CEO of is one of the many developers who focus solely on digital distribution.
Darling makes some valid points, and with EA saying they aim to move 100 per cent digital at some point in the future, it’s a sign that times are changing; however it’s unlikely that the next-generation will be the end of retail boxed copy games.