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Pachter Predicts: This Is The Last "Real" Console Cycle

We've heard various industry experts say the days of console gaming are numbered.

Some say this is the last round of home consoles while others, like Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter, believe this is the last "real" era of consoles, even though the Big 3 will make machines the next time around.

Speaking at DICE Europe (as attended by GamesIndustry.biz), Pachter said this is a good thing, that the shift from the traditional console model will benefit everyone. He further cited the apparent stagnation of the console hardware market:

"The console installed base is as big as it's ever going to get. [This] generation is not going to be bigger than the last generation. We're going to be about the same.

The Wii U is going to sell 20 million units compared to 100 million for the Wii. The PlayStation 4 is going to sell 120 million or 130 million - that's great. The Xbox One will sell 100 million to 110 million - that's great. Add it all together and it's 260 million units, maybe, and the last cycle was 270 million."

Pachter added that he thinks "this is the last real console cycle" and he means that while Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo will each make another games machine, the shift will be in full effect the next time around. As he clarified:

"So when I say that this console cycle is the last console cycle, the reason is that console games shouldn't require a console. And I'm not talking about the cloud."

Basically, Pachter believes a game needs nothing more than a CPU, GPU, storage, controller and display. Eventually, we'll reach a point where we don't need a dedicated console to gain access to these necessities.

Do you agree? When do you think we'll see this shift Pachter is talking about? And are you currently embracing the digital revolution?

Tags: console gaming, gaming industry, video game consoles, michael pachter

9/27/2015 9:34:49 PM Ben Dutka

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Draguss
Sunday, September 27, 2015 @ 9:52:59 PM
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What do analysts actually do? I mean does he really get paid to say what he kinda thinks might maybe happen?

Last edited by Draguss on 9/27/2015 9:53:27 PM

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Draguss
Sunday, September 27, 2015 @ 10:00:21 PM

Also he said last gen would be the last. That sure turned out accurate. And is there a reason comments can't be edited a few minutes after posting?

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Nynja
Sunday, September 27, 2015 @ 10:33:54 PM
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I dont disagree with his sales predictions except I expect a lower number of Xbox One sales. Maybe around 80 million worldwide. Of course, Im not factoring in China...still solid numbers.

As for being the last generation, no. There is always improving technology and there will always be room for dedictated game machines. Case in point; 4K. As technology advances, so does the need for upgraded hardware. Next wave is going to boast faster storage with Solid State Drives, better RAM and possibly the same 8GB (I suspect 4-8GB additional) improved CPUs and GPUs. I think we are going to eventually have discless machines and likely more akin to micro consoles.

There is a very simple reason why we are not going to see consoles go anywhere just yet, 46 Billion reasons in fact. PC and game consoles generated over 40 billion dollars in revenue in 2014 alone. Interactive media is a form of entertainment that is not going anywhere but up.

Mobile gaming has a greater impact on dedicated mobile devices and PCs than game consoles. There may be a decline in total consoles sold this generation but it will bounce back the next.

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godsman
Monday, September 28, 2015 @ 7:38:51 AM

Xbox one cant sell 80 millions. The best console ps2 sold around 60 million in Us. USA is now divided roughly equal among ps4 and Xbox one. Xbox abandoned Europe and Japan completely. So there's no way Xbox can reach those numbers. England and USA gives them 60 million at best.

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Nynja
Monday, September 28, 2015 @ 10:03:57 PM

80 million is a high number for Xbox One to reach, but with price drops and great games, people will buy it. The revenue speaks for itself so MS is likely in for the long haul. They will fight hard. Xbox brand was tarnished at the early reveal but Phil Spencer is the right man to turn things around. I think he has done a fine job thus far.

80 million worldwide is going to be tough for Xbox, but it is far from out of reach.

Sony has the momentum though. If they play their cards right, PS4 will outsell the PS2 by a margin of 10-20 million. Shu just needs to keep being Shu. His interaction with gamers is pure amazing.

I can't wait to see what PS5 can do.

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SaiyanSenpai
Monday, September 28, 2015 @ 1:36:11 AM
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How often can this guy be wrong and still be employed?

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FAREEZ
Monday, September 28, 2015 @ 2:18:27 AM
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He's the most highly paid professional troller on this planet...

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Underdog15
Monday, September 28, 2015 @ 9:15:48 AM
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He literally said this exact thing last gen.

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MRSUCCESS
Monday, September 28, 2015 @ 9:21:50 AM
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No disrespect to the author or article but I really don't care what Patcher thinks.

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Beamboom
Monday, September 28, 2015 @ 9:53:25 AM
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I think he's spot on here. This generation will last 4-5 more years, and the "Internet of things" are really starting to invade the consumer market.

At this rate soon everything will have a CPU of some sort running, some even very capable CPUs. And TVs already got a chipset able to push images at the rate and resolution the screen can handle.

So yeah, while there will be another generation console hardware, by the time they hit the market the "embedded console" products will already be out there and well on the way to be an established alternative. Ironically both Sony and Microsoft are on the forefront for this to happen.


Last edited by Beamboom on 9/28/2015 9:54:01 AM

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Underdog15
Monday, September 28, 2015 @ 10:31:05 AM

As I mentioned before, Beam, the NA market, which you know is massive, has some of the worst internet infrastructure in the free world. There's a huuuuge market in NA that largely wouldn't be able to access the amount of data the next gen would require online.

This gen alone is difficult for many to handle streaming and downloading cost effectively. Another gen with greater data? Maybe in some countries with excellent infrastructure, like Norway, but not here. Our Oligopolies don't want our tech to advance too quickly.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 9/28/2015 10:31:16 AM

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Beamboom
Monday, September 28, 2015 @ 10:56:20 AM

Isn't Netflix widely used over there too? And keep in mind we talk 5-6 years down the road now. How was the US infrastructure five years ago compared to now?

Also notice he specifically say he's not talking about cloud computing now. Point is, it's very likely that for example TVs five years from now will have considerable computing power. And even in the US digital distribution already is an established way of distributing the games.

No, I share his belief in that this is the way it's going, and typically stuff like that happen faster than we expect.

Last edited by Beamboom on 9/28/2015 11:00:01 AM

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Underdog15
Tuesday, September 29, 2015 @ 10:10:02 AM

"How was the US infrastructure 5 years ago?"

More or less the same, actually. They're starting to not limit upload speeds to a best package rate of 10 mbps anymore. That's about all the "advancement" you're really seeing without paying a couple hundred bucks. I'm serious when I say it's bad here. It's really pathetic. In Canada too. My wife's family when visiting from Holland can't believe how bad it is when they visit.

My former roommate lived in South Korea for 3 years teaching English. He got their second cheapest service, which he said was about 75mbps download and upload for what amounted to roughly $20 a month. This was about 5 years ago.

At the time, to get that download speed here was the 2nd best option at $149.99 per month, but the upload speed was only 5mbps.

Right now 5 years later, the cheapest internet option available to me in a city in the most densely populated portion of Canada (southwestern Ontario) that is considered "high speed" is 15 mbps for $55.95 per month. And there's a 50gb data limit.

As for computing power being that much faster, maybe but are you sure it'll get that much better with silicon kind of peaking?

Yeah, Netflix is pretty popular, but that's just video streaming. You don't need too much for that. And even then, most people have a hard time watching with multiple people on their network at home. I'm just thinking you know, my internet can barely handle streaming games this gen, let alone whatever data is needed next gen.

Like I said... don't underestimate how bad our internet is here. If you move out of the cities, it gets even worse.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 9/29/2015 10:10:46 AM

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Beamboom
Tuesday, September 29, 2015 @ 11:02:06 AM

Man, I'm glad I don't live over there :)

But anyways, what Patcher talks about here is gaming consoles embedded in other devices. I think that sounds like a natural evolution.
There was a time we purchased dedicated mp3 players too.

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Underdog15
Tuesday, September 29, 2015 @ 3:55:00 PM

Yeah for sure. I see what you're saying. I guess it becomes a question then of when everyday devices we "need" eclipse that of the consoles we play on, I guess. MP3 players are basic tech easily placed into a phone, for example. But I wonder when we'd be able to put consoles on other everyday devices.

I know PC's can be capable of high end tech, and you could do that with laptops too, obviously, but you can't do it cheaply and I think the common quality PC most people get is well below gaming quality.

And even if we had the tech, I feel like computer companies have a vested interest in scaling their pricing models.

I'm not really sure I have an opinion on whether or not I think it's going to happen sooner rather than later. Just some observations that immediately come to mind on the topic.

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cowboynwo4life
Monday, September 28, 2015 @ 10:23:14 AM
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I will believe this when the internet is available to everyone at a fair price because right now to get good internet you have to move to a big city and if you live in the country you are screwed.

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maxpontiac
Monday, September 28, 2015 @ 11:57:51 AM
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How can he see the XB1 selling that much?

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PS3_Wizard
Monday, September 28, 2015 @ 1:53:40 PM

Well, the XB1 is currently playing catch up and damage control grom its horrible E3 reveal before it launched. Right now, looking at their holiday line up and pointless but still cool backwards compatibility view points, I see the XB1 closing the gap a bit. Of course I doubt they'd catch all the way up but M$ is definitely fighting like a dog backed into a corner.

Throw in their handling of promising timed exclusivity of games like Tomb Raider and you can bet your ass that if they continue this trend, consumers will take notice. It feels as if Sony and Microsoft traded places this gen...expecially considering exclusive game offerings.



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Underdog15
Tuesday, September 29, 2015 @ 10:45:28 AM

Timed exclusivity probably isn't what will win it for them. It didn't win it for them last gen.

I think the prediction comes from Pack using history to predict the future, like all good analysts are taught to do. In history, PS3 made it's comeback, so why wouldn't XB1?

My issue is that the biggest reason PS3 was able to make a comeback was because it's tech had longevity. So with good management, they were able to advance. The XB1 doesn't have that luxury, so I'm not sure it'll make the same comeback.

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Temjin001
Monday, September 28, 2015 @ 9:08:23 PM
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The fact this gen is projected to even meet the last one is incredible. Pachter seems to forget that the Wii's sales largely came from a non-gamer segment. A huge amount of casuals stopped and turned their heads towards us for a few short years. With Nintendo's console way down in sales this gen, while Sony's and MS's way up means gamers are growing fast because we don't even need the casuals this gen to get there.


Last edited by Temjin001 on 9/28/2015 9:11:03 PM

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