Over the last few years, there have been many shifts in the gaming industry, which have the potential to greatly alter the future of gaming. As new technologies, like virtual reality, become mainstream, and as companies like Microsoft continue to blur the lines between console and PC platforms, it’s easy to predict that gaming five or ten years from now will be a far cry from where things are today.
If there’s anyone who truly understands the changes coming to gaming, especially console gaming, it’s the original Xbox boss, Robbie Bach. In a recent interview with Geekwire, Bach shared his perspective on the future of console gaming, revealing that he does believe there will be another generation of consoles, but that the gaming world will look different than it does now.
“I think there will be another generation. What the console looks like is a very interesting question… Is it just a game box or is it more? What’s the balance between what an Apple TV is and what an Xbox or a PlayStation 4 is? These are really interesting questions, and the teams going to have to wrestle with those. That next generation will be a whole new game.”
Until this most recent generation of consoles, it was easy to see how the gaming console industry would continue indefinitely. However, with the growth of digital downloaded games, the growth of cloud streaming, and the influx of new technologies, those in the industry are beginning to see that maybe future of consoles isn’t as clear as they may have thought.
It’s interesting to think that many gamers greatly criticized Xbox for trying to push digital-only downloads with Xbox One before the console launched, but now many of those same gamers appreciate the ease digital downloads provide. It seems the team at Xbox recognizes the changing landscape of console gaming, and is working diligently to stay ahead of the curve.
Another great example of that is the new Xbox and Windows 10 integration. The idea that gamers can freely stream their games from one device to another definitely seems novel and fun right now, but will likely be the norm in just a few years, especially with the next round of consoles. In fact, chances are the next generation of consoles will simply be small boxes that stream content from the cloud and don’t even house games locally anymore.
In his interview, Bach pointed out the challenges ahead for those focusing their efforts on virtual reality. According to him, the biggest hurdle companies will need to cross is commercialization:
“My observation is that the key question is commercialization. I think that the technology and the concept is wicked. I mean really powerful, and not just in gaming.
“The problem is, right now, you’ve got to walk around looking like a complete goofball wearing this crazy thing on your head. You look like you should be in a Star Wars movie. By the way, they have problems with people getting sick using it. There’s certain conditions where it’s really tough. They have to figure out how to commercialize it.”
That’s definitely a good point coming from the former head of Xbox; however, as gamers continue to look for more ways to immerse themselves in their game worlds, it’s not hard to see virtual reality booming in the next few years.
What do you think about Bach’s thoughts on the future of console gaming? Let us know your thoughts and predictions in the comments.