CrunchArcade: Former Xbox exec predicts end of stand-alone video game system in next 5-10 years

The future, Conan?

Could this be the last generation for the stand-alone video game console? That’s what one of the key players behind the Xbox1 thinks. Sandy Duncan, who was in charge of Xbox in Europe, says that technology will make consoles like the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii obsolete. He makes an interesting point—how different is the Xbox 360 from a hard disk recorder? Like, what’s the recorder missing, a GPU and a faster CPU? Won’t technology improve to the point where we can cram all that goodness into one box and be done with dedicated game systems?

Duncan then brought up another point that made me go hmmm.

In fact in 5 to 10 years I don’t think you’ll have any box at all under your TV, most of this stuff will be “virtualized” as web services by your content provider.

That reminds me of theLinux distro gOS, which relies heavily on Google Apps (and other Web 2.0 applications like Facebook and Meebo) instead of locally installed applications. (Well, it does have local apps, but front-and-center are the Web 2.0 ones.) If all content can be stored on someone else’s servers, à la “World of Warcraft,” why bother producing machines and media that are cater to the old, pre-Web 2.0/broadband everywhere model?

His comments are similar to “God of War” designer David Jaffe’s, who predicted that a single game console would be in the industry’s best interests.

Convergence, when it’s cost effective, is a hard idea to say “no” to, especially if you’re a share holder at a Sony or a Microsoft. Us gamers, who grew up blowing the dust off our cartridges—John and Devin with their Atari 2600, Peter with his “something Atari,” me with my Super NES—may feel slightly different, I’m thinking.

via Next Generation