Ngmoco’s Ben Cousins predicts the death of consoles

By Stephany Nunneley
8 March 2012 13:45 GMT

Much like movie theaters when the television was introductory to the home, gaming consoles on the decline as customers “move to a new solution” and to Ngmoco’s Ben Cousins the new solution are mobile and mobile platforms.

Speaking during GDC at a track attended by Gamasutra, Cousins believes gaming consoles will slowly disappear as the shift to on-the-go becomes more prominent.

“I believe that mobile devices and mobile platforms are the disruptive technologies that are going to cut a slice through the Western market,” says Cousins, a former DICE and EA executive.

Using Japan’s DeNA and GREE mobile services as an example in Japan, the two outperform console software in revenue, and the same trend is happening in the west. Apple, Google, and Facebook have a combined market of $793 billion compared to the $306 billion combined for the Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo markets.

Cousins said the failure of uDraw was another indication of the shift especially, due to the kids game market being overrun with the shift to mobile gaming.

While he believes mobile games don’t pack the power punch console gamers prefer, “chips are getting cheaper and low power enough” to eventually allow mobile to walk on even ground with console. Plus, with “console gamers spending more and more of their time on mobile devices,” things will change “soon.”

As with movie theaters being decimated by the advent of television, in order to survive, game companies need to shift content over to where the consumers are: just as film studios embraced the flickering box and DVDs.

Games, according to Cousins, must evolve with the consumer, something the industry has experience with: in the 70s and 80s arcades were all the rage but when the 90s hit, the games moved into the home.

It didn’t matter that consoles screens and controls incomparable to the tech in arcades – consumers lapped them up.

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