Video game consoles are ‘fundamentally doomed,’ Ultima creator says

Microsoft just sold nearly one million Xbox 360 consoles last week alone, but we’re nearing the end of the road for video game consoles according to one industry visionary. Richard Garriott, known for having created the fantasy role-playing franchise Ultima and the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) Tabula Rasa, says converged devices such as computers, smartphones and tablets will soon render dedicated game consoles obsolete. Read on for more.

“I think we might get one more generation, might, but I think fundamentally they’re doomed,” Garriott told IndustryGamers in an interview. “I think fundamentally the power that you can carry with you in a portable is really swamping what we’ve thought of as a console.”

Smartphones and tablets have plenty of ground to cover before they can even come close to approaching the capabilities of the current generation of consoles, and we may see next-generation consoles launch as soon as next year. BGR exclusively reported in June that Microsoft plans to unveil its next-generation Xbox console at E3 next year, and Sony may also unveil its PlayStation 4 in 2012 according to recent reports.

Several industry leaders disagree with Garriott’s assessment. In a recent interview with BGR that will be published in the coming weeks, Saber Interactive co-Founder and CEO Matthew Karch suggested smartphones and tablets may never catch up to consoles in terms of capabilities and user experience. Consoles already have such a tremendous technology lead and the physical limitations of mobile devices will be a huge barrier until broadband data speeds and reliability reach a point where the bulk of game processing can be handled remotely.

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