But like any dexterous doomsayer, that doesn’t stop him from making grandiose predictions. The outspoken CEO of the WildTangent online gaming network, St. John foresees a grim end to the console gaming era as we know it.
And he says it’s coming sooner than you think.
“There’s not going to be an Xbox 720 or a PS4, I’ll make that bet,” said St. John in an Aug. 15 interview with the United Kingdom’s Telegraph. “Not going to happen.”
Most of his reasoning is rooted in his own business interests; St. John plans to launch the Orb, an ambitious addition to his WildTangent online games portal, later this year. The Orb will allow WildTangent’s millions of monthly users to play deeper and more expansive games akin to their console-based brethren, something the service has largely lacked since its inception.
In console-crippling addition to the success he anticipates for the Orb, St. John also highlights the “money-losing” business model console makers such as Sony and Microsoft slave to as inherent proof of its own inevitable demise.
“The investment they made in creating the Xbox 360 and the PS3 is so vast, in the scale of billions, that no amount of games that they sell in the console’s lifetime will ever make them profitable,” said St. John. “They may be profitable on a quarterly basis today, but they’ll never recover the losses they put into those platforms. Nintendo is the only one making any money, and they are the ones with the cheap console.”
The bleak horizon St. John suggests lies in wait for console gamers is wrapped into a disheartening fajita of steaming disappointment by his ultimate prophecy:
“…The market will be dominated by online community-based games (by 2020). The PC will be the dominant platform,” said St. John
from his ivory tower in the interview. “It will be monetised by microcurrency, advertising and subscriptions. And you probably won’t see another generation of consoles, because there will not be the economics to justify the investment.”
He also mentioned something about the moon glowing red as blood and the seas apparently boiling. Your guess is as good as mine.