Twitch boss: ‘I’d be surprised to see another generation’ of consoles

Gaming consoles will soon be a distant memory, at least according to the co-founder of game streaming service Twitch.

Emmett Shear, speaking to the Guardian, said he reckons the PS4 and Xbox One might be the last iteration of game consoles as we know them.

The Twitch boss blames this lack of longevity on the consoles’ extended life cycles, which he claims is at odds with how the technology industry works.

“The problem is, the seven-year upgrade lifecycle doesn’t work in the face of the two-year upgrade cycles for every other hardware platform,” Shear explained.

“It’s so intrinsically built into how consoles get manufactured and made and the full business model, that I’d be surprised to see another generation.”

Shear claims the console industry will be forced to ‘change form’, and will instead adopt practices of the mobile market.

“You can already see this on both Xbox and PlayStation where there’s a tighter upgrade loop for both the operating systems and the games,” said the Twitch lead.

“This is the first step toward being able to iterate the hardware platform. I could imagine a version 1.1 product from both Microsoft and Sony which adds in slightly more speed and slightly more memory very similar to how phones and tablets work today.”

He added: “I think it’s going to look more like the mobile phone market over time.”

Related: PS4 vs Xbox One

One such contender vying to supersede consoles is Valve’s Steam Link set top box.

Announced earlier this month, the Steam Link will allow gamers to stream content from their home PCs to their living room TVs via the box.

What’s more, the box costs just $49.99, which makes it a significantly cheaper alternative to games consoles.

You need to factor in the price of a PC, of course, but this system would be significantly easier to upgrade than game consoles, due to the more frequent iterations of computer components. You’ll also be able to use the PC as, well, a PC.

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