Gartner analyst Steve Prentice has predicted that the computer mouse will become a thing of the past over the next 3-5 years. "The mouse works fine in the desktop environment but for home entertainment or working on a notebook it's over," he said.
In other news, "my ass."
Prentice cites such groundbreaking interface devices like the Guitar Hero controller and Panasonic's hand gesture system, along with various facial recognition systems as the reason that mice are becoming less and less useful. While these new devices may make games more engaging, it's my opinion that it'll be a long time before we see the mouse go away for good. It's been a standard for too long and too many people are comfortable with using a mouse to control their computers - desktops AND laptops.
Remember speech recognition? I trained my Windows Vista machine and got it to where I could absolutely control the whole thing without a mouse. What a day that was – and I mean "a" day, because I was back to using my mouse in no time. Until someone develops something that's easier and faster to use than a mouse AND somehow talks users into adopting it and developers into writing software for it as the default interface device for an entire platform, the mouse, as we know it, will be around for quite some time.
Let's not forget first person shooters for the PC, either. For my money, there's no better way to play first person shooters than with a mouse.