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Square Enix: Consoles set for extinction

Square Enix chief Yoichi Wada is preparing his firm for the demise of physical media – and potentially the death of home consoles.

In an exclusive interview with MCV that will be published next week, the CEO of the publisher – which now owns Eidos and is famous for its epic disc-based Final Fantasy games – said that a dramatic change will come in the next decade offering more opportunity for market growth, but fundamentally transforming the traditional industry.

"In ten years' time a lot of what we call 'console games' won't exist," he said.

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Nathan1233221d ago

Maybe if FF13 bombed, then Square Enix is set for extinction XD

Bodyboarder_VGamer3221d ago

Probably, that's the franchise that made them what they are now.

Simon_Brezhnev3221d ago (Edited 3221d ago )

by 10 years games going to be terabytes lol and im pretty sure Comcast by will limit downloads a day by 1gb or charge extra for game content streaming.

Slacker_Mum-53221d ago

I can see physical media gone in 10 years easily. Especially considering it's already starting to occur.

Consoles could probably store terabytes of data and I'm sure the standard internet speeds will be through the roof by then.

Vivi3221d ago

Haha nice try but whatever happens S-E are gonna make a killing from FFXIII.

Uncharted 2 has sold 1 million worldwide to date and Naughty Dog consider that a success.

FFXIII is predicted to sell 1.5mil in Japan alone in just 7-10 days..

It will probably do 1.5mil at release in NA PS3/360 combined and 1mil in Europe easily.

TOO PAWNED3221d ago

the likes of this guy and Kotick can go a F them selves...

crck3221d ago (Edited 3221d ago )

I love how these CEO's are always trying to shove consumers into digital downloads so they can cut out the middle man and used game sales. But honestly these guys are just kidding themselves. Unless they start selling the digital version at a decent discount (20% to 30%) they'll never get things their way. Just look at those persona 3 sales on the PSP in Japan. The umd version outsold the psn version 11 to 1 was it? And the PSP3k outsells the PSPGo 7 to 1 on a weekly basis. When people spend money on a game they want to own it, not rent it.

sikbeta3221d ago

GOD, this Wada is lost!!!

We can say that in 10 years Consoles will evolve and become more than a gaming console, but deffinetly is not gonna die

The more the population expand, the more consumer will have, I mean now gamers are not a big part of the global population but the young population of this era will become gamer and so on

ABizzel13221d ago

@1

I was thinking the same thing.

After I read it, it made sense. Console are shifting to digital media, and in another 10 years (Nintendo Wii2, PS4, and Xbox 3 will all be out by that time) The move to digital media will be here since TB HDD will probably be on capable on USB Flash Drives by then (we're at 128 now that leaves 256GB, 512GB, and boom 1TB). So internal HDD's should be in the 128TB in 10 years, and by the time the (PS5, Xbox4, and Nintendo whatever) come out a 500TB HDD should be on the way meaning those consoles will definitely be streaming only (If we don't have a one or two console future by then). Oh and internet connection speed will be much faster making downloading GB's of data simple.

SuperM3221d ago

Problem is internet speed is not keeping up with the increased size. Some drastic changes will have to happen with the internet if we are to be able to do this.

Perkel3221d ago

only if every country will have at least 6-8 Mbit/s connection...

NecrumSlavery3221d ago

Square hasn't put out a AAA since maybe FFXII. So if FFXIII fails, Square will take a major hit. But it won't and versusXIII will trump, then Kingdom Hearts III. Square will have a bunch of money to waste on mediocre 360 RPGs.

multipayer3221d ago

I really don't like square enix, they are just going to milk sheep with terribly valued DLC, even if FF13 does have 30 gigs of cutscenes.

I expect no less from someone who collaborated with disney.

Anon19743221d ago (Edited 3221d ago )

The guy's talking about 10 years down the road, and he's probably 100% correct. As we become more and more interconnected with each other, as our networks expand and become faster the shift to reliance on these networks is inevitable. Microsoft's Shane Kim had already commented on this, that the future probably will be a cheaper console that links to a network rather then plays physical media.

I don't think we have the bandwidth available for this yet, but look at the Chrome OS, look at any type of cloud technology. This is the future and it just makes sense that gaming, often at the forefront of many technological advances, would evolve to take advantage and actually drive these new technologies.

I'm left scratching my head at the comments from other users regarding this topic. I don't get it. Do you think games will suffer somehow? Do you like spending money on consoles? If anything, given the billions that are spent creating and marketing the latest, cutting edge hardware - wouldn't it make more sense for business to sell network hubs that then link to their super networks and allow you to play any game you want streaming off their servers rather then lose billions selling hardware in the hopes that the software will make it back eventually? Wouldn't it make more sense for consumers then shelling out huge bucks every few years for the latest hardware?

Obviously we aren't even close to that yet, but I don't think these advances are something we should feel threatened by. As long as the appetite for games is there, as long as there's a market there will be companies that will deliver consumers what they want.

Edit: And a phantom disagree already. Seriously, I don't understand. Why is this an issue? 10 years ago, Quake 3 launched and was huge. It also pushed a lot of computers to their limitations. Now I can play it online anywhere using a PC and a web browser. Anyone care to tell me how this is a bad thing, or how this is a danger to the future of gaming because I really don't get it.

The Killer3221d ago (Edited 3221d ago )

is that why all square enix games sucks this generation so far? hmmmm i think SE is set to self destruction.

UPDATE

why does wada remind me of MS executives about Digital download is the present and future when their HD-DVD just died??

i think MS is paying him a lot! in any case, FF13 better over perform or else SE is in deep trouble, all this gen with no games and no realy income except from MS.

@1.11

so true, only simple minded or an informed people will not agree with you! only when the whole world or at least all the countries that there is console will have high internet connection will then wada micro fantasy will come to truth.

Microsoft Xbox 3603221d ago

Only people to mention such stupidity are from Bobby Kotick and Yoichi Wada. Coincidence? I think so. Both have the same business strategy. Milk, milk, and more milking. Also, let's not forget they both have that evil/money sign look to them. LOL

Anon19743221d ago

“In the past the platform was hardware, but it has switched to the network. A time will come when the hardware isn’t even needed anymore.
With that, any kind of terminal becomes a potential platform on which games can be played.”

This is happening right now, as we speak. We aren't talking about digital distribution here, we're talking about playing games on the network. Think about it. In 10 years time say you have two options. You can buy a new console for $1000 (inflation) and buy individual games. Hardware can be glitchy, can break down, can be expensive, etc..etc.
Or, you can buy a cheap network hub that you hook up to your TV. For a fee, you connect to all the same games that are being played on the console and you can play all of them, instantaneously, lag free on their servers over their network. When new games come out, they worry about upgrading the hardware and games get better and better while people left with a regular console are left having to upgrade.

That's what we're talking about here, and this is coming. It just makes good business sense. Microsoft is already patenting new systems to take advantage of "cloud based" gaming. OS's on your PC will go that route, why wouldn't games eventually?

Again, if anyone can offer up an argument as to why this is a bad thing, or why it's unlikely to happen, I'd love to hear it because I can't think of anything. Someone made a point that the network infrastructure might not be there in 10 years, but that's the only thing I can think of that could stand in the way.

UnwanteDreamz3221d ago

If gamers were smarter they might realize that digital distribution will ruin gaming. I see this as the death of being able to own your media. You will be paying to use it not own it and there will be no more selling or trading games when the dust settles from this thing.

Too bad so many will let this happen without so much as a complaint untill it is too late. They are setting us up and we are letting them. There was a time that I thought physical media was not needed and should go the way of the dinosaur but I have opened my eyes to what is happening.

I will not support any gaming system that does not give me the opition to own my purchase outright.

ultimolu3221d ago

Oh snap. o_o

No u didn't...:T

jadenkorri3221d ago

maybe im stuck in my old ways, but i always prefer a hard copy... you will only lose it if stolen/fire/flood, which don't happened alot. Harddrives can fail at anytime, and losing the data due to virus or whatever gonna be costly. Setting a 1 time dl, or 3 time on different cp or whatever is retarded. Give me an account with unlimited dls, and I'll be happy. Games and movies i love, and go back to playing, once and awhile.
You've paid for it, you shouldn't have to buy it again.

Anon19743221d ago

Do you also buy every movie you watch? Now, bear in mind, he's not talking about Digital Distribution. He's talking about running games off the network, probably for a subscription fee.

How is this any different then Video on Demand services available now? I just need to have a cable box and I can watch a movie I don't own. Would it be that much different to play a game the same way? How about renting? Plenty of gamers don't even bother buying games, they just rent them, finish them and take them back. What would be the difference if you did the exact same thing but just never left your home?

Digital distribution is different. If I'm paying full price for something, I want a product in my hand that I can do with what I want. That's not what's being discussed here. We're talking about games instantly being accessible online, running on someone else's servers while your "console" is now just a network conduit, and for that you'd probably pay a subscription fee. Is that such an evil concept? To me, it seems to offer much more flexibility and variety then currently having to own a bunch of consoles, and then needing a physical copy of each game I want to play.

What if, right now, some company had a Wii, 360 and PS3 all in a room and I could from the comfort of my own home connect to those and play any game those systems had to offer. Wouldn't that be worth a monthly subscription fee to you?

That's the direction I feel the industry is ultimately going. It'll all be streaming over the network.

boJABER3221d ago

I rather have physical media than digital contents. I love building my collection

Ju3220d ago

I would question if the industry is really thinking this through. What benefit does a fully server based market bring ?

At first it seams it'll will help reducing costs on the production side - until you realize you have to offset those costs by maintaining huge server farms. What now is a one shot disk production cycle will require storage and maintenance of the titles in some sort of virtual warehouse; for a sustained amount of time, which will explode with the size of the game library.

One can argue, that this is been done already (like with PSN, Live, etc) and dedicated servers for MP games, but going completely that route...hm...I don't know. It's an intriguing idea, for sure, but I am also certain, this whole business case is made out of theories. We will see. I think they'll try, realize it'll costs more than going to some Chinese factory and let them press some disks, eventually, and then we'll be back to where we are.

Those new boxes will be more like universal set-top boxes, rather then consoles. So much I can agree upon, but I believe, there is a reason why we have consoles, however, and that business model will survive (happened with a lot of new technology at first).

The market would require one (!) virtual console platform to who all vendors will have to agree too. I just can't see that happening. There will always be someone who believes he can do better then others - and thus breaks all standards. Which, BTW, I think is a good thing, because the market stays competitive and creates progression in the technology.

Saying "downloadable" or "DLC" or what not is just the "IN" word in the industry today. Well, parts of it will become reality, no doubt about it, but possibly not in the form people visualize this today.

Anon19743220d ago

That's easy. Billions not spent building new consoles and building an installed user base.

Sure there's cost maintaining servers but that would be offset by subscription fees, and bear in mind, we're talking about 10 years into the future now. Technological advancements would no doubt bring down costs related to these type of server setups in the next decade.

We'll still have choice. I imagine different companies will have different games on their network to try to set their network apart from the others.

Ju3220d ago (Edited 3220d ago )

Yeah, but the whole console business model is build around that the HW actually does not need to make a profit. The money comes from license royalties the platform holder collects.

Now, with not controlling the HW, but the "virtual platform" being the owner of the content, who would build those set-top boxes ? And how would they make money ? On the HW itself ? How can they sell those machines cheaper then current consoles if they are forced to make a profit with it ? And with more competition (assuming, there would be an open platform).

Further more, so what, eventually there is 1 "virtual" platform holder ? Do license costs disappear ? That's what the publishers would hope for, that's why they support that model. Where would this put companies like Sony/MS/Nintentdo ? Why would they support this ?

And, who guarantees that all these games run on a variety of HW platforms? Another reason why console specs are frozen for a relative long period of time. We have seen that with licensed HW before. But usually they were never 100% compatible - because the HW vendors need to point out their resp. special features to have a competitive edge.

Also, "Billions saved" is not true. It might be true for the (virtual) platform holders themselves. But somebody else needs to develop and produce the set-top boxes. That money is just transferred, but it certainly will still be spent. And, given we will see a higher competition in that area, the box needs to be cheap, resulting in rather underpowered machines, rather then state-of-the art technology.

Eventually, for us gamers, this is a bad thing. We might end up with lower box prices, but with a variety of (incompatible?) platform networks. Each platform holder (without controlling the box) needs to charge extra per content now. I would say, eventually, the box + "play-on-demand" will result in higher prices then what we'll have today.

Damn, you pay a per monthly cable fee + a rental on a set-top box + video on demand now if you have a cable subscription. Easily $50-$100 a month. That's where this is heading...

And there is still no open market to buy any set-top box for any cable provider.

+ Show (24) more repliesLast reply 3220d ago
Blaster_Master3221d ago

I think he was metaphorically speaking about his company.

sikbeta3221d ago

Well, if SE still making stupid moves like they did for 3 consecutive years, you are SO RIGHT

SuperStrokey11233221d ago

Yeah, i dont know how that company stays "big" still. All the game they have put out lately have sold fairly poorly except for their DS titles. Prehaps they should be more concerned with their own position in the market, one where they are reviled and not loved, rather than the console manufacturers?

Also is this some kind of reference to onlive?

MajestieBeast3221d ago

If final fantasy and dragon quest cant be milked anymore then we SE are gonna be extinct took the words right out of my mouth there wada

SpoonyRedMage3221d ago

It's an interesting point but I disagree. Consumers don't want server based offerings for one and it restricts access to games, which isn't a good thing either, not for consumers and not for publishers.

dgroundwater3221d ago

Agreed. I hope Xbox goes Blu Ray next gen and PS3 stays the same. It has the space and it's completely affordable now. The next gen should keep discs I say.

ViciousBoston3221d ago

I hope Xbox goes Blu-Ray too, they'll be paying ass tons of money to Sony and the others in the group who patented Blu-ray. Gotta love royalties. more than likely Microsoft will be using dead HDDVD for their system.

evrfighter3221d ago (Edited 3221d ago )

or could very well go the route of insanely large Hard drives (2tb) with usb based Installs.

Or maybe perhaps a locked Usb 3.0 flash drive that replaces discs entirely. Usb 3.0 already puts disc read/write times to shame.

Usb drives if made properly can be 10x more sturdier than a disc. I've personally washed my OCZ Rally 4gb drive accidently and still ran like a champ.

Outside of discs there are plenty of options to choose from.

CrippleH3220d ago

I would like a USB 3.0. They should dress it up because USB sticking out kind of looks tacky.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 3220d ago
bjornbear3221d ago

interesting, but i'd say "consoles" will simply change, not becoming extinct, but having a whole new meaning.

Remember, even nowdays what we call "consoles" are halfway between a PC and a game station, so the future might bring something completely unified, who knows!? =O