There aren't many figures more polarizing in the video game industry than Michael Pachter. The Wedbush Securities electronics analyst has never been shy about making bold predictions regarding the future of gaming, and much of his current concerns stem from the fact that he believes console gaming is dying - although just how swiftly and spectacularly varies depending on his current market analysis. In the latest episode of his Pachter Factor show, Pachter remained adamant that console gaming was on its last legs, using a Twitter question about Sony to discuss the industry's future:
"Console software is gonna move off consoles...in the next 2 to 3 years, you're gonna have the opportunity to download to your PC and play on your T.V...in the next 10 years you're gonna download to your phone and play on your T.V."
Essentially, Pachter's prediction is that consoles simply won't be necessary anymore thanks to advancements being made in computing and mobile technology. It's a bold statement, and one that smacks of technological optimism, but Pachter isn't asserting that console gaming will be completely gone - just that companies like Sony and Microsoft will adapt to the changing technological landscape.
It is yet another controversial prediction from a man who is no stranger to incendiary conversation starters, and it is worth nothing that Pachter's current prediction runs counter to one he made last year when he said he believed the next generation of consoles will release in 2020. That being said, the video game industry moves and evolves at such a rapid rate that predictions are still just educated guesses, and Pachter has been right enough times that he's a trustworthy source on the general direction that gaming is headed in.
Of course, it's possible we might have already gotten a glimpse of what the future of gaming looks like with the Nintendo Switch. Many critics have praised the way Nintendo has seamlessly blended handheld and console gaming into one device, and it is possible that Sony and Microsoft follow suit whenever they begin designing their respective consoles of tomorrow. The incredibly strong Switch sales over the past few months certainly make a strong argument for heading in that direction.
Regardless of the specifics, Pachter's predictions are always worth noting when planning for the future. It's a tough industry to accurately assess, and Pachter has been consistent despite his seemingly shocking proposals. Perhaps the end of the console era of video gaming really is coming to a close in the next few years?
Source: Pachter Factor Episode 59