With the man who once worked closely with Steve Jobs back when only 25 people worked at apple, and later founded Electronic Arts in 1982, we cannot go by without an interesting talk.
In an interview with IGN Trip Hawkins shared his view on the console market. He claimed it's shrinking towards a 'hobby business' while the PC, mobile and tablet market will continue to expand. His firm opinion states:
“The console market is always going to be with us, because there’s always going to be a hardcore segment, a segment that likes innovation. But it’s going to become a smaller market, and it’s going to be more like a hobby market.”
“You look at airplanes,” he continued, “Most of us just want to be a passenger, but there’s a hobby market for people who are really into aviation and want to take flying lessons and maybe someday have their own airplane. I think that’s what’s happening to the console market.”
“But there are billions of people now playing games,” he stressed, “The gaming industry is finally becoming mass-market. It’s across two billion PCs and four billion mobile phones, and within a few years a billion tablets. In terms of total audience size, we’re getting into really big numbers.”
According to Hawkins, the fact that people can play games on more devices and through more content streams means the console market is shrinking. “Games are going everywhere,” he said, “Plenty of people are playing for social reasons and playing when it’s convenient. It’s a trend towards mobile- and browser- and cloud-based games.”
“In the old days I’d go down to the basement to play Grand Theft Auto. But the Facebook gamer is able to play at work, at home, in a hotel on a PC. They can get access to a browser just about anywhere. People are thinking about convenience first.”
Call it convenient, but most people would argue flashgames cannot replace the quality and fun of a triple A title. In a time where the consoles are in a transitional phase, the market is not exactly taking big leaps either. What do you think of Trip Hawkins' claims? Can we agree games machines are becoming a 'hobby business'?