What would happen if one of the big three console manufacturers dropped out of the console race?
That is what was hinted at CES this week when Nanea Reeves, CPO of Gaikai, predicted that one of the current console makers would be making a next generation device. Gaikai is a cloud-based gaming company that streams full games to web browsers.
At a panel titled, “The State of the Games Industry” panelists were asked about current and future trends that will affect the games industry. During this panel, Reeves was quoted by Industry Gamers as saying, “I think some will have one more cycle and I think others will not. I think that will be the big news at E3. That's just my prediction.”
She declined to say which one she thought would drop out, but she remained adamant that one of the three console manufacturers would.
To add fuel to the fire, Mike Vorhaus of Magid Advisors, said that he thinks Nintendo would announce their dropping out of next gen hardware.
The only thing wrong with that is that the Wii U is their next console that debuted last year at E3 and is still being shown at trade events like CES.
The other two, Sony and Microsoft, present other theories. Sony has already confirmed that there won’t be a showing of their next generation of hardware at E3 and Microsoft has said nothing. There have been unconfirmed reports though of the next Xbox being a tablet-based Windows 8 experience.
My personal opinion is that it’s too early to tell. As E3 in June draws closer and more details are revealed, it might be easier to make a conclusion. It could have just been wishful thinking on the part of Reeves as her company is focused on cloud gaming, which is in direct competition with the convenience of physical media-based consoles.
Either way, it’s an interesting way to start the year and to get the speculation rolling. The last major player to drop out of the console race was Sega in 2001. If it were to happen again, it would be the biggest news of the year.