The video game hardware and software market is very lucrative for large electronics manufacturers, game developers, and independent studios. The major electronics companies often make decent profits off game hardware and accessories as well as first party software.
The future of the gaming market may look quite different than the market that exists today. Today game software is served up in platform specific flavors and each offering will only work on the specific console it is designed for. You can't take a PS3 game and play it on the Xbox 360. Hideo Kojima, the world famous developer behind the smash hit Metal Gear Solid franchise, has stated the future of video games lacks a console at all.
Analysts and others listen to Kojima because his Metal Gear Solid franchise has sold 27 million copies. When he says that the future of gaming has no console sin it, hardware makers worry.
Reuters quotes Kojima saying at a news conference, "In the near future, we'll have games that don't depend on any platform." He continued, "Gamers should be able to take the experience with them in their living rooms, on the go, when they travel -- wherever they are and whenever they want to play. It should be the same software and the same experience."
In Kojima's vision of the gaming, future a player would purchase software that would run on their computer, their living room TV, and their mobile device. The thought of platform agnostic software will understandably make electronics companies making big money from game consoles nervous.
Sony Computer Entertainment Japan President Hiroshi Kawano said at the same conference, "It's [the death of consoles] a bold prediction. We hope he [Kojima] continues to develop for platforms, but we deeply respect his sense of taking on a challenge."
At the conference Kojima was unveiling the latest entry in the Metal Gear Solid franchise called Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker set to hit stores in Japan this month and land in the U.S. in June.
The odds of the console dying any time soon are very slim. The biggest challenge to the console is cloud-based gaming technology like that from OnLive. However, that technology has a long way to go before it replaces the gaming consoles dominating the market today.