Peter Molyneux and Ian Livingstone are two of British gaming's most influential figures. The former — who has been quite outspoken about the Wii U lately — founded Bullfrog and Lionhead, and is responsbile for titles such as Populous, Fable, Dungeon Keeper and the recent "gaming experiment" Curiosity. The latter had a hand in the creation of Games Workshop and co-authored the Fighting Fantasy books, before moving into the world of video games with Domark and Eidos.

When you get these two industry veterans together, you're bound to hear some interesting and enlightening opinions — and that's exactly what happens in the latest issue of UK magazine GamesTM.

Molyneux and Livingstone discuss everything from Kickstarter to the state of the UK development scene, but what caught our attention was an exchange which focused on hardware but ended up touching upon Nintendo's famous mascot:

Ian Livingstone: I'm surprised there are so many people who want to get into hardware now, with the Steam Box, Nvidia getting into it, Ouya and the GameStick. Hardware has always been a bit of a mug's game. If you were head of Nintendo wouldn't you be tempted to say 'Well, forget all of this stuff, let's just put Mario on iPad.' Would you put Mario on iPad?

Peter Molyneux: Of course I would!

The comment was probably made slightly in jest, but the point is clear — the lines are blurring, with dedicated consoles slowly losing ground to tablets, smartphones and even set-top boxes. Given Nintendo's recent struggles with the Wii U, could it be that the age of home consoles dominating the living room coming to an end? Molyneux is a big advocate of the iPad, and clearly sees it as a legitimate gaming platform — something which many hardcore players will possibly disagree with. However, he's keen to point out that he treasures dedicated games machines, and doesn't want to see them die out:

To keep these brilliant epic console games, to keep them alive and to keep their investment we need the hardware manufacturers to realise that they need to be part of this incredibly nimble and ever-changing world. So I just want consoles to be around forever. I don't want them to start being like my Hi-Fi. I don't buy Hi-Fis anymore...they've got to be cutting edge and I just hope that's what they are.

We can imagine that Molyneux and Livingstone's chat is going to cause a little brow-furrowing among Nintendo fans, but consider this — a few decades ago, Mario was appearing on rival systems, such as the Atari 2600, ZX Spectrum and Apple II. Nintendo going multi-platform isn't an impossibility — it's already happened in the company's history. With the way the market is headed now, could it happen again — and more importantly, could Nintendo become an even stronger force as a result?

We're sure you don't need asking, but why not share your own opinion on this topic by leaving a comment below?