The death knoll of consoles and physical media has been ringing since before this current generation of consoles hit the market. It's a long, slow knoll, but it seems that almost everyone is in agreement that its end is coming. Adding his confirmation to the pile is Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada, who in a recent interview with MCV said his company, along with Sony and Microsoft, are ready for the shift.
“In ten years’ time a lot of what we call ‘console games’ won’t exist,” he said. Elaborating that console makers like Sony and Microsoft have already prepared for the shift and third-parties need to start doing the same. "Somewhere around 2005 the console manufacturers’ strategy shifted,” he said.
“In the past the platform was hardware, but it has switched to the network. A time will come when the hardware isn’t even needed anymore. With that, any kind of terminal becomes a potential platform on which games can be played – that’s exponential growth in the potential of gaming. The potential size of the market is enormous.”
How is Square Enix getting ready for this impending console doom? They're ramping up their production of social and browser games and using the launch of Final Fantasy IV beta as a test for how their online services will work in the future.
Not that we haven't had this debate 50 million times already, but what say you? Prepared to forsake your shiny discs for downloadable games? Ready for a future with a single "console" for your games. I know I'm holding on for dear life to every ounce of physical media I can.