EA founder says consoles will soon be a niche market

Trip Hawkins, the founder of Electronic Arts, thinks dedicated video game consoles will not remain mainstream for long. The industry figurehead, who also founded The 3DO Company and early mobile and social games developer Digital Chocolate, spoke with IGN about where he sees gaming going in the next few years.

“The console market is always going to be with us, because there’s always going to be a hardcore segment, a segment that likes innovation," Hawkins said. "But it’s going to become a smaller market, and it’s going to be more like a hobby market."

He used airplanes as an example: while many people use them to travel, only a small subset actually own and operate their own planes. He believes game consoles will soon be made for a similar niche market.

That being said, Hawkins believes video gaming itself will only grow in scope and relevance to people everywhere. He said players on two billion PCs, four billion mobile phones, and soon as many on tablets will be the new driving force for games at large.

“In the old days I’d go down to the basement to play Grand Theft Auto. But the Facebook gamer is able to play at work, at home, in a hotel on a PC. They can get access to a browser just about anywhere. People are thinking about convenience first.”

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.