Consoles Will Cater to a Niche Market, EA Founder Believes

Gamers will focus on games that can be experienced on many platforms

By on October 16th, 2012 08:15 GMT

Trip Hawkins, the founder of Electronic Arts, believes that console gaming will continue to stay relevant in the near future although, slowly but surely, the actual market for such devices will become smaller and smaller, as more people will try out PC-based online or casual experiences.

After founding EA back in the 1980s, Hawkins went through some not so spectacular adventures, as the Panasonic 3DO failed under his guidance and his stint at Digital Chocolate didn’t exactly result in success on the casual and mobile market.

Even so, Hawkins is confident that hardcore console gaming will slowly begin to decrease, as the market will eventually become a niche one.

"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," Hawkins told IGN.

"But it's going to become a smaller market, and it's going to be more like a hobby market. You look at airplanes. 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."

According to Hawkins, more and more gamers will gravitate to social experiences that can be played wherever they have an internet connection, not just on consoles from certain companies.

“Games are going everywhere. 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. You contrast that with what happens when you have to either purchase or download a specific app that runs native on a specific device and you only ever play it when you have that platform in front of you,” he added.

“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.”

Hawkins is currently working with Extreme Reality, a studio making special software, which allows regular 2D cameras to act as motion sensors, thereby allowing PCs to support even more interesting experiences.

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