What's the future for gaming consoles?

With the recent announcement of both the Nintendo 3DS and the Sony NGP consoles, I wonder if these may be the last of their type.

Smartphones are becoming more and more powerful (dual core Android phones are starting to become the “norm” and quad cores are on their way too) and LG’s Optimus 3D is now bringing, ahead of the 3DS, a 3D glasses-free screen to phones.

Powerful processors, 3D screens and games companies lining up to author for them – why will the console be needed in such a phone market?

Sony Ericsson are already bridging this with their announced Xperia Play, a smartphone which can run Android games, but will also run their own branded games and comes with a Playstation style slide-out control pad.

I can’t see this impacting the home console market however as they are expanding away from just purely games to attract to a wider audience. Whilst connected to your TV it makes sense for them to offer further services, such as TV on-demands and film downloads (in fact I’m saving up for a PS3 at the moment for just this reason).

It won’t be long before the only non-console and smartphone gaming will be the various free online poker and bingo sites. And I’m sure it will only be a matter of time before they move to these mediums as well. The PC will probably be relegated to complex-control games such as flight simulators and World of Warcraft.

3D I think, will be a gimmick – particularly the TV-based 3D which requires glasses. As one of the (apparently) 1-in-6 people who can’t see 3D properly anyway (and it gives me a headache, no matter how well it’s done) I’ll never buy in anyway (this from someone who still has a CRT television in his living room).

Having said all that, though, I’m usually rubbish at predictions (this is someone who in the 90’s said that DVDs would never be popular).

Talk to me!

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