Leading Game Developer Doubts Consoles Will Ever Extinct

2K Games: High-Quality Games Require Dedicated Hardware

by Anton Shilov
08/02/2012 | 08:58 PM

The head of 2K Games, a well-known developer of high-quality video games, believes that while new types of devices like smartphones, tablets and now various video game streaming services have become very powerful in the recent years, they will still not be able to substitute dedicated game consoles either today or tomorrow.


In an interview with GamesIndustry International web-site, Christoph Hartmann, chief executive officer of 2K Games, said that for high-quality titles with many hours of gameplay and with advanced graphics dedicated game consoles may make a lot more sense than unified devices. Therefore, no matter how good the mobile gadgets will become over time, the holy grail for video games will be the consoles, the hardware built to perform and leap user experience forward.

"No one will ever be able to replace the power of the console business - having a console with that power and the opportunities for quality games is very important. [Smartphones and tablets] will be a larger part of the market, but it is not the holy grail of the market and the business. Look at the history, there is a place for everything, but I don't think anything is ever going to replace the consoles given the maturity of the market," said Mr. Hartmann.

While from the current point of view devices like Apple iPad 3 or Asus Transformer Prime seem to be more powerful than dedicated game consoles like Nintendo 3DS or Sony PlayStation Vita, there are constraints like lack of special buttons and limited amount of storage restrict many console games from being ported to the iOS or Android platforms. The market share of dedicated video game consoles will drop over time, but for the 2K boss, it is obvious that consoles will remain on the market.

"I do not know what we will have in the future, maybe a PlayStation 15 or something, but we will need the hardware. It is like in the software industry, the software pushes the hardware; there's a give and take and it's the same in video games. We need machines built to perform well in one area, and that is gaming. You are never going to be able to compete with it because it is about quality and it is built to do one thing best. The whole streaming and cloud thing is just nice words until the [internet infrastructure improves]," concluded Mr. Hartmann.