News Article

Are We Nearing the End of Consoles? Nintendo Thinks Not

Posted by Trevor Chan

Nintendo's director of PR thinks consoles are too unique to die off

Fox News recently ran a story in which it suggests the traditional home console may soon be losing its place in our home as consumer demands evolve and smartphones provide deeper gaming experiences .

Well, it starts off with a rather bold statement claiming that "the end is near" for games consoles, which is immediately followed by a less dramatic theory that big-sellers like the Wii and Xbox 360 "may be the last of their kind". What could possibly lead to these kind of conclusions? Enter "avid gamer" Mark Ormond.

Fox News knows that Ormond doesn't represent every gamer in the world as he even admits that he plays more games on his iPhone than his Wii or 360:

I actually think consoles are a thing of the past... Why pay $50-60 for sequels of the same games on $300 machines when I can play newer experiences elsewhere in a lot less time — and for a lot less money — on devices I already use more?

Whether the gaming industry will be taken over by games developed for portable devices like smartphones, or consoles will utilise cloud storage as predicted by Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter, Nintendo's director of PR Marc Franklin seems confident that consoles will be around for the foreseeable future:

Consoles display games on the biggest screen in the house... No other game device can match their impact. No other type of gaming brings people together in the same way.

Perhaps Franklin's optimism is evident from the extended life cycle of the current generation of home consoles.


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User Comments (80)



FonistofCruxis said:

I doubt consoles will die out anytime soon but unfourtanetley I can't day the same for retail games. As much as i hate to admit it, i wouldn't be surprised if retail games start to die out in about 5 years time.



Shinjix2 said:

All these major media outlets are trying to kill off the tried and true and push....well Apple specifically. Look at the CNN review of the 3DS. It was terrible. I also worry that we are a year or two from apple putting out an (word used loosely) "dedicated" gaming console. Hope I'm wrong though.



pepsilover2008 said:

well i dont think consoles will ever die, sure they will become more digital distributed, but think about this not everyone has internet or fast internet, and if everything is downloaded then it will take awhile to download and take up alot of storage, but i culd see something like onlive becoming used more in consoles when fast enough internet becomes more widespread



TheBaconator said:

I don't think they'll completely die off, in a year or two, but I think there will be a large leap towards digital over physical media in that time. He does have a good point though. I know a lot of average non-gamers who say they'd rather play games on a smartphone instead of a console.



Graph said:

Everywhere I see analysts saying that Desktop PC will die next year, consoles will die off in the coming years .... I think not. Obviously, these so called "Analysts" have no clue about the gaming market, the real gaming market.

And I don't believe retail games will die off, the PSN network incident is proof that games only accessible online becomes a problem when the network is down for a long period of time. You can't play your games you purchased, and that to me made the case in favor of retail sold games.

I was never in favor of only downloadable games because I'm a collector, but also because you give info like credit cards to the supplier of your games which can then be stolen by hackers ... again, the PSN network proved the system is not safe.

I do believe that games on a media and games downloadable should co-exist however, but I do not believe and do not support the theory that retail games will disapear. In my mind, it makes no sense at all with all the issues involved with PSN and STEAM for example.

And for those analysts who think consoles will die off because of devices such as the iPhone .... no way. Small screen, poor sound quality, poor controls.

I don't see any gamers, casual and hardcore, wanting to spend 6+ hours in front of a tiny screen.



madgear said:

There's no way phone gaming will replace games consoles. When I get in from work and fancy a bit of gaming I want to sit on the sofa and enjoy it on the TV with a nice big screen, great visuals and booming sound. I have the option to play games on my phone and on DS too but I simply just don't fancy that unless I'm just lying in bed or out and about.

Digital only distribution wont take off just yet either because, at the moment, it's too restrictive. We get a worse deal than the pirates who have nice DRM free games they can transfer wherever they like. In the past pirates used to get poor quality discs, photocopied instruction manuals etc but now they have the better deal. Software companies are selling an inferior product to what the pirates give away for free, so that has to be sorted first.



theberrage said:

I don't buy phones for games. I buy video game consoles for games. Sure I can play angry birds when I'm taking a dump, but it doesn't compare to playing Zelda on a flat screen when I'm stretched out on the couch.



Neram said:

Meh, it's just uncertainty because this generation is getting old and there's no more excitement left. Next-Gen will roll around and people will be saying differently.



Neram said:

Also, they're just trying to propagate smartphone gaming because it's not doing as well as they hoped, trust me I work for Rogers, I've sold one Sony Xperia Play since it came out a couple weeks ago.



sc100 said:

Playing games on cell phones is simply a much more limited gaming experience than with consoles on big TVs with separate controllers.

People always make dumb predictions whenever new technology comes out. When VHS movies came out about thirty years ago many "experts" predicted it would logically lead to the end of movie theaters since people could just watch the films in their houses. What these experts didn't factor in was that they were different experiences where one didn't completely replace the other. Screen size, sound as well as the social atmosphere of theaters was something that watching movies at home didn't replace.



The_Fox said:

You're posting something from Fox News? Really? You guys are trying to see how fast a flame war can start in the comments, aren't you?



Capt_N said:

Fox news... enough said, & in a bad way. I see a breed of machines ~ pcs, & gaming console hybrids, coming to the market soon enough, & maybe even being the new game console. I doubt, game consoles will soon become extinct however. If I'm gonna spend hours gaming, I want it on a large screen, not a handheld sized screen.



V8_Ninja said:

Consoles are not going away. The only question is what they will be five years from now.



Merfairy said:

It's two completely different gaming experiences. I have an iPod touch and I have mostly games on it but it's nothing like a console. If they got rid of consoles now, I'd be upset because there would be an unbalance in gaming variety. I mean, most iPhone games are short, even the higher quality games. Console games are, for the most part , well...deeper. I love them both, don't get me wrong, but they are not exchangeable.



JebbyDeringer said:

I don't know, it's hard to say. Consoles still have some benefits over other devices. The ipad pretty much is a big screen TV when you are playing it at less than half an arms length. Sound could be pushed over wireless to a stereo. The ipad screen has better colour, contrast, and viewing angles than the average persons HDTV (just lacks the resolution though still much better than the Wii). The touch controls work but are a big drawback for a lot of game genres. I can't see gaming losing tactile controls, it just wouldn't be a step forward. Motion, and touch controls are really nice in a small niche of games but the games I truly enjoy the most require a proper input. I think the technology is pretty much there though more will always be possible with a larger footprint.

The new thunderbolt ports on Mac's & eventually PC's will make external video cards much more possible making the Desktop PC obsolete for a minority of the die hard gamers.



Knux said:

Why are you guys posting something from Fox News? Nobody takes Fox News seriously these days.



FluttershyGuy said:

If this comes from Fox News, the people who make a mockery of their "fair and balanced" Catchphrase (they are neither) each and every day... Well, that's all I need to know to be assured the story is garbage. Rupert Murdoch probably has a financial stake in the demise of consoles. Fox News: Unfair and Imbalanced.



Burning_Spear said:

I can also watch TV shows on a phone, but it doesn't mean the TV is going anywhere soon. For that matter, I can also piss in a disposable paper cup, but the toilet remains a better choice. Stories like these are nothing more than wishful thinking on the part of people who want to sell more phones.



FluttershyGuy said:

Well said! Apparently the folks at Fox News don't take such a practical, common sense approach to their stories. Then again, practicality and common sense requires brain cells.



daznsaz said:

loving my 3ds at the mo and it doesnt start ringing at me mid game always a bonus only got a cheap phone at the end of the day its just a phone dont need it for anything else



Burning_Spear said:

I'm in my third decade as a journalist, and I have to say that stories such as this one are sadly representative of what has happened to the industry. Good, investigative reporting has gone the way of opinion pieces, blogs and gotcha/TMZ-style reporting. This story is based on the opinions of this Ormond guy and a couple of random industry people — one of whom is often wrong! Where are the data trends that support Fox's suggestion? In the past decade, we've had colossal sellers in the PS2 and the Wii. Where is Fox's evidence that that success won't be duplicated? Especially if Nintendo keeps innovating! I agree that simply producing more powerful machines won't continue to drive growth, but innovation will. Look at how the Wii made people try, or return to, gaming. Look at how HDTV reinvigorated that market — everyone is getting rid of their SD TVs. I see no evidence that consoles are approaching the end of their usefulness.



Kid_A said:

[insert fox news joke]
I think Nintendo hit the nail on the head with the "No other type of gaming brings people together in the same way" comment. Downloading games off of Steam or an App store is certainly more convenient, but I think Fox is under-estimating the importance and appeal of local multiplayer. Just look at the Wii--it didn't become the biggest-selling console of all time because of its online capabilities. It captured the living room experience, and I think, despite all the advancements that have been made with online gaming, it's the local multiplayer that's going to keep consoles separate themselves from the competition.



TeeJay said:

Handhelds. But consoles aren't going to die off anytime soon anyway, so you don't have to worry about that.



asoccerstar43 said:

I see everyone with these (Iphones and ipods) and i just want to knock some sense into them because they dont have any good for you other than wasting money



Hokori said:

Why pay $50-60 for sequels of the same games on $300 machines when I can play newer experiences elsewhere in a lot less time — and for a lot less money — on devices I already use more?

because they arnt the exact same thing



Swiket said:

Let consoles die, and pave the way for the glorious PC gaming future.



dizzy_boy said:

can`t these idiots just do some proper research into what they`re talking about. they are obviously worried that gaming is now becoming a mainstream form of enterainment. rather than being confined to the kids bedroom.
besides, if mobile gaming was so great, why on earth didn`t the nokia n-gage take off as a must have gadget. oh yeah, i remember, it`s because mobile phones are crap for playing video games on.
these phone companies need to remember, mobile phones are not yet technologicly advanced enough to be a jack of all trades like the analysts want them to be. 20 or so years, maybe. untill then, they need to strip back all the programing and focus on one thing at a time.



Hokori said:

Ill die before consoles do
take that IGN.... wait this was IGN right?



komicturtle said:

When Fox News talks about gaming- you know that it's going to be nonsense.

Anyhow, home consoles are here to stay forever. That's it.



Token_Girl said:

Will handhelds disappear in the foreseeable future due to smartphone competition? maybe.
Will physical media? probably.
Will home consoles? no way. They'll be very different from what we have today (see my prediction above of abandoning physical media), but you can't get a group of people to gather around and play together on portable devices (well, you can, but it's not the same as on a TV).



SuperSonic said:

First of all, Fox News is not reliable in my opinion. Second of all, WHAT KIND OF DUMBA$$ LOGIC IS "WHY PAY $50-$60 FOR GAMES ON $300 MACHINES WHEN YOU COULD PLAY CRAPPY LITTLE EXPERIENCES IN LESS TIME AND FOR LESS MONEY"!?! It's quality over quantity, cheapskates! Phone games will never compare to home or even portable gaming consoles! Besides, if consoles ever do expire, I wouldn't worry about Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony; they would all have something else to do.



Chris720 said:

Who takes Fox News seriously? I mean really...

Its funny because he said home consoles verses phones... Home consoles will always win against some application you can play for about 5 minutes and then get bored of it (and eventually come back to it).

To me, it should be phones verses portable consoles. For one, portable consoles offer a more robust gaming experience, has proper games plus downloadable ones. And last time I heard, proper portable consoles don't offer the "5-minute experience that no self-respecting individual will be playing for very long" thumbs up if you get the reference, haha

Admittedly, there are some great games/applications on smartphones, but most are few and far between or don't last long enough to hold your attention.

Games consoles won't be dieing out for a long time and if they do, I will gladly eat my socks and my underwear...



Popyman said:

"smartphones provide deeper gaming experiences"

dies laughing The only game that comes anywhere near making that statement true is Swords and Sworcery and that's just ONE game.



Sean_Aaron said:

I can't see it myself. I like gaming on my iPhone, but it cannot replace other forms of gaming. I wouldn't even dump my DSi in favour of it, but I will admit that some games play better with my finger than a stylus and vice-versa; both are superior to mouse or remote pointer for precision and reaction when it comes to point-and-click play.

What I prefer playing on a console are 3rd person action adventure titles for the superior control and visuals afforded with a controller (split Wii-style or traditional). Of course you're not going to play multiplayer in your lounge with phones or tablets. Given I mostly play alone I could see getting an iPad to satisfy most of gaming needs which would relegate my iPhone to gaming on the go, but it sure wouldn't replace my Wii.



jerryo said:

Well they might not die right now.. but wii2 and the next consoles from ms and sony will absolutely be the last generation of home consoles as we know them.

They are going to die because the dream of a traditional home console is to become what a PC is in a more convenient, living room form, and Tablets beat them to it. Quite profoundly too! Thank god nintendo did an evasive manoeuvre with the wii

One needs a blog to expand on such a thing but it is true. Only if you are short-sighted and you think that by saying "near" they mean next year you believe otherwise. But lets come to this same topic in 4-5 years and continue the discussion

Nintendo thinks not, but nintendo is the only one which is more aggressively and successfully altering the definition of a handheld and home console while trying to remain relevant. They just say no, so they don't put themselves out of the race.There was never such variety of games in themes, genres, platforms and features. From 3D to AR to traditional, casual, FB, you name it.

Enjoy! Great times for games and gamers are coming!



Henmii said:

"Are We Nearing the End of Consoles? Nintendo Thinks Not"

And I agree with them! But on the other hand: If you hear that only 4 of 10 people is willing to PAY something for a game, that's really something to worry about for Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft! It means that most of the gamers only play small free games on facebook and that the console-makers are left with the scraps!



SpicyDuck said:

I don't care if consoles die, I just want a controller, online multiplayer, and the legend of zelda, it would be pretty hot though if nintendo started to make games for the PC, or come out with their own operating system and computers for their games.... now I'm talking about this happening like the year 20XX



kkslider5552000 said:

I don't hate Fox News as much as many other people but I almost legit facepalmed when I saw "Fox News". Admittedly, I do kinda see both sides' point (since we are talking about Fox News, in b4 obvious jokes about their ability to see both sides of an argument). The high price of games is a problem I've noticed as well and it will likely badly hurt console gaming someday but still I can't see anything truly replacing console gaming, at least not for a loooooooong time.



NintyMan said:

Some of you seem to think only Fox News would say something silly like this, but I bet NBC, CNN, and CBS would say the same thing too. It concerns me how mass media belittles gaming. Let me tell you something, mass media, people don't buy phones to play games, that's for consoles.



jerryo said:

One of the main reasons why you want a console, is because they have trapped some of your favourite games inside!!!!!

Oh and mass media belittled internet too.
They belittle everything that steals viewersreaders from them don't you know already?



Infernapeking said:

Well let's put it like this Fox News think it's the end but look once Wii 2 is out in 2012 Sony PS Move and Microsoft Xbox Kinect probably not gonna be sold much because the Wii 2 will take over. The Wii 2 will be successful I know that and that will bring Nintendo to reveal another console in the year 2016 or 2017. The 5 year cycle. Who cares what Fox News say everything is what they think. They haven't said anything about Nintendo or other game companies.



C7_ said:

Not gonna happen.
That's like saying phones are gonna die out because everyone has a laptop with a mic. The phone is still more convenient to talk to people with, and Consoles are still more convenient than a computer to make unique games.



TheAmazingRaccoon said:

I hate the idea of all games being downloadable content. If your console gets stolen and all you have is downloadable content, then you loose everything. If you have retail games, then you at least are left with something.



Bankai said:

No really? The head of Nintendo's PR says something that fits in with Nintendo's products?

Wow. That's a first.



TheBaconator said:

Thank you. Remember when CNN reviewed the 3DS? Well, that was much worse then any comments I've seen come from Fox, and yet people didn't seem to care as much because Fox didn't say it...I wonder why?(sarcasm)
Anyway, remember folks, every news station is biased in some way, but the least biased of them all (In most cases) is your local news media, so stick with that.



Hokori said:

@56 agreed
I also hope later gen consoles will play older systems, like wii successor playing Wii/GCN.

only a few weeks left to see if thats true



bonesy91 said:

ummm I liked gaming on the ipod... but didn't love it.

... sorry for shouting, it's just to get an actual video game feel (like old school) you need a button.

besides saying "press a, a up, b down and then x to run." instead of "press the right corner of the screen, then the top right corner of the screen then that little inch of the screen near the bottom."



Hawker said:

Soon as you said the source was Fox News I knew it was someone who didn't do any research. This is the same Fox News that reported that Mass Effect featured a hardcore porn scene before the game was released.



Saeros_Fae_Falla said:

Using anime as my guide, I think games will turn into cards(like regular playing "SD" cards{E-Reader}) that use holograms. Seriously once an AR Yu-GI-OH game is made(might suck but innovative) we could just end up there.



retro_player_22 said:

The day smartphones will replace consoles will be the day pigs could fly which is never. I don't want to play Super Mario Galaxy 3, Halo 5, or God of War 4 on the same device that constantly bother me with phone calls every so often not to mention on the same device that I used to listen to music, watch movies, check emails, text friends, do homework, and a ton of other craps.



JimLad said:

You lost me at 'smartphones provide deeper gaming experiences'

No... you lost me at 'Fox News'



rwq said:

Be prepared to lose the "not deep enough gameplay" sneers as more established gaming companies make the jump to iOS. For everything else I agree, fox news, say no more!




Smartphone gaming is a completely different kind of gaming to the standard consoles. In fact, smartphones and tablets may be defunct in the future as the tech evolves within that arena very, very quickly. You get updated tablets and phones within the year and sooner or later something will give as someone makes a new innovation that may be cheaper and more value for money.

Console gaming is here to stay as it IS gaming. I think the same of the handhelds too.



motang said:

End of traditional home consoles has been circling around for a while now, I am sure that won't happen for the time being, so in the near future. Especially after the way Amazon's cloud servers went down, and PSN hack.



Ren said:

pretty sad that N'life is referencing Fox news for anything at all.



Rapadash6 said:

It seems to me though, that consoles aren't the big draw they use to be. Of course I don't imagine we'll ever see an iPhone game as deep as a console Zelda or Final Fantasy game either. Perhaps Nintendo can revitalize the market with their Project Cafe but it's too early to tell, obviously.



Alphack3r said:

Lol, isn't it funny how everyone is bashing Fox when they're not much different from all the other news outlets (as far as bias goes). I mean, do you seriously think Katie Couric, or anyone for that matter, would present and defend a standpoint directly opposed to their persuasion? Sure you can argue that these people could/had/should hire other anchors and analysts from the other side of the fence, but it's not like there's a law about that - /and it's not like Fox is the most successful/watched network either/.

Meh, the networks are all full of crap anyway, I think finding the facts and deciding for myself is really the way to go...and the facts clearly say that consoles are making more than ever (not that we really have that much to go on for the future, but hey).

Actually, I think the real threat isn't the evil smartphone, but more like the epic failure that is Sony! I mean, we used to think that the cake was a lie, but PSN blew that one outta' the water!



PSICOffee said:

I agree with everything that everyone else repeated 64 times already (yes I read every single comment posted and I'm glad none of you are idiots supporting faux news).



Robo-goose said:

I laugh at news outlets calling anyone who plays a few video games "avid-gamers" (I'm looking at you, too, CNN).
Truthfully, I lean towards Fox News when it comes to anything that isn't video game related; they're more trustworthy, unlike MSNBC.
Has anyone else noticed that every major news outlet sucks when it comes to video games, and not just Fox?



Edwrd said:

As long as there are TVs, there will be consoles. TVs are just displays waiting for add ons like game consoles, movie players and anything else you can plug into a large display, what are all those ports for at the back of TV sets if not for expansion. People just want to watch TV and movies? NEVER!



CerealKiller062 said:

I hope he also included that Angry Birds has many sequals that just have different maps and no deep story. Video games are art. Apple, and Droid apps are cheap and non reselable or borrowable.



bezerker99 said:

I don't see home consoles going away anytime soon. But then again, I'm not an expert working at Fox News. Speaking o' come the only thing on television at McDonald's is the Propaganda News Channel?!?!? o.O



ToastyYogurt said:

Let's not forget that console games are aloud to suck as much energy as they want without effecting playtime. Anyone who's ever played an iOS port of a console game (Bit.Trip Beat, World of Goo, etc.) knows what I'm talking about. Those games drain plenty of my iPhone's power...

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