The Xbox One is still the talk of the gaming world, and it’s not all good. Gamers are complaining on the lack of focus on games, inhibition of pre-owned games, and not-always-on-but-almost-always-on requirements have thrust the Microsoft eighth-gen in the pit of despair that both Sony and Nintendo found themselves in after their console reveals. Microsoft, however, doesn’t seem to be too concerned about the critics.
But they should be, according to Jeremy Pope, the founder of mobile start-up Rally Games and a former producer of the Grand Theft Auto series at Rockstar Games. Sony and Nintendo should be too. Pope postulates that by the ninth-gen race, the Big Trio could be down to two.
“It’s going to be very challenging for Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo,” said Pope in an interview with GamesIndustry. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we see by the next generation some consolidation of some sort — it seems hard to fathom that we’re going to have these three big players again and again with the way everything is shaking out.”
Pope points to economics and the cost for gamers to have to shell out hundreds for a new console every six or seven years, especially one that wipes out a backlog of games for the previous console. But he also points out that many people who built their careers in the video game industry are bowing out because they don’t feel important or useful, like a cog in a giant machine; those disillusioned people “are sort of gone for good,” Pope says. “They are going to put some of their time and energy into other things like Ouya or Steam Box… This is why Apple has been successful, because they have an army of developers making apps for them, because they’ve made it easy to do that.”
Though Pope would not indicate which console would bow out, he did say that for the time being and into the eighth-gen, the Big Three will continue to be a threat to each other.