Final Fantasy 16 producer Naoki Yoshida has said he believes 5G will move audiences away from traditional games consoles.
Speaking to the Financial Times (astranscribed by VGC), Yoshida stated that 5G would "herald the long-term demise" of traditional games consoles. This is, according to Yoshida, primarily because of the improved streaming speeds associated with the new network system, which will bring about a time where developers can "can transfer images to any device."
Yoshida goes on to state that "players can enjoy a high-quality gaming experience on any device by not being tied to a gaming hardware or TV monitor" thanks to 5G. The director and producer then further adds that the industry is "definitely heading in that direction," and that he doesn't think the spread of COVID-19 has slowed this expansion.
"With home consoles, you need to sit in front of the television . . . and turn on the power and wait for the hardware to start up, so it was a time-consuming entertainment," Yoshida said. "With stay at home, there were more opportunities to turn the switch on."
It's hard not to look at the staggering sales of consoles like the PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch in particular as running counter to Yoshida's beliefs. Sony previously revealed that the PS5 had sold through 7.8 million units as of March 2021 - beating sales from the same timeframe around the PS4's release - and the Nintendo Switch selling 5.8 million consoles through the first three months of 2021, beating sales figures for the PS5, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S.
Still, Microsoft has made a huge push recently towards cloud-based streaming, introducing Xbox Game Pass streaming for PC and iOS users with tons of titles to take advantage of on the go. Sony looks to be getting in on the streaming space too, if previous comments by PlayStation boss Jim Ryan are anything to go by. Only time will tell whether Yoshida's beliefs about 5G bringing about the demise of gaming consoles will turn out to be accurate.
For our guide to playing games on the go, head over to our best Xbox Cloud gaming titles feature for more.