Will consoles become a niche, hobbyist market?

Clive Downie, the CEO of DeNA’s US subsidiary ngmoco, believes consoles will ultimately become little more than a niche hobbyist market.

According to Downie, tablets, especially those capable of playing core games, will ultimately make life difficult for the next generation of consoles and possibly erode their market share.

“I believe their market share will be eroded due to the opportunities that tablets can provide to more consumers all over the world,” Downie told GameIndustry.

“I do believe there will always be a console market – my sense is it will become ultracore, almost like hobbyist, in the way that certain genres of entertainment or product become hobbyist over time as people have migrated to other things.”

Downie also noted that mobile tech is currently evolving much faster than systems in the console space.

“The iPod Touch came out, which was the first smart touchscreen device, and then the iPhone came out, and it was three times in terms of the adoption rate. Then the iPad comes out, and it’s ten times the adoption rate of the iPhone,” he explained.

“That’s because these are wonderful devices for now, for the way people live their lives. They’re on the go, they have restricted time, and they want every single moment to be valuable. And these [gesturing to a smartphone] can do that. They’re actually waste-of-time killers.”

Downie said he feels that even core gamers will use smartphones for gaming – simply because it’s easier to find the time to play than a two-hour console game session,

“They suit the speed we live our lives, and the way we compartmentalize our time. Console gaming was, and always is, appointment gaming. You have to set a time to play it, because it’s in one fixed location, and you know that really it’s going to take about 60 minutes of your time to get in, to have a meaningful session.

“I think the tablet will continue to become something in and of itself. You think about the mobile space and you kind of think about smartphone and tablet, but my sense is the tablets is going to become something unto itself,” he added.