Square Enix boss Yoichi Wada has some startling revelations about the video game industry. Unfortunately he’s a couple of years late. Speaking with MCV, Wada speaks of a complete change to how we play our games, with the possibility of making consoles obsolete. He believes in as little as ten years time, sever-powered, streaming games and those that are digitally distributed will replace disc-based formats. We almost have that now with PSN, XBLA and Steam but Wada also thinks that the hardware we play those on won’t be needed as everything will be run on some distant server hooked into our TVs. He added that Sony and Microsoft, in his opinion, have altered their ways for such a shift and Square Enix are doing the same by concentrating on social and browser based games. Let’s not forger the MMO that will be Final Fantasy XIV which SE are paying particular interest in how successful the beta in 2010 will be.
There’s no doubt about a change from disc to digital distribution with Sony trying out that very method thanks to the PSPgo which, for whatever reason, is failing. That suggests this change may be longer than Wada’s “ten years time” as the platform holders figure out the best way of initiating such a shift. It is difficult to imagine either Sony or Microsoft relinquishing their grip on the video game industry by allowing another format to play their games – similar to the idea that one day there’ll be only one console even though the market and platforms are more diverse than they’ve ever been.