According to gi.biz, Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, had some interesting things to say at the D.I.C.E summit in Las Vegas. Sweeney feels there are too many platforms in the market, predicting that, “Over time these platforms will be whittled down to a competing set of platforms to maybe three winners worldwide.”
Sweeney’s opinion of the currently robust platform market is that eventually competition will narrow down the field into three categories; computers, gaming consoles, and smartphones. He doesn’t predict which companies he feel will survive, but does say that it is going to come down to, “who picks the right directions and executes successfully.” That’s like saying whichever football team scores the most touchdowns is going to win the game, but I digress.
All joking aside, Sweeney might have a point. When I was a kid there was an abundance of gaming systems other than Nintendo and Sega; Turbo Graphxs 16, Jaguar, and Dreamcast come to mind. Eventually the market settled with the three core consoles we have today. Smartphones and tablets may follow the same general path, with a one or two dying off every year until there is just a few to choose from.
This could be good news for developers if it happens the way Tim Sweeney thinks it will. Developing on fewer devices means less time spent testing and more spent developing. It’s difficult enough with just two “main” console competitors. How many games have been released with bugs on just the PS3 and not the Xbox? Maybe a little platform consolidation is just what the industry needs in order to help streamline the process.