EA founder says consoles will become "a hobby market"

Predictions of gloom for the console sector aren’t exactly rare – and this morning you’ve got another one to add to the pile.

EA founder Trip Hawkins predicts that the future of the console market is a hobbyist one, with the bulk of the sector to be claimed by PC and mobile phones.

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,” he told IGN. But it’s going to become a smaller market, and it’s going to be more like a hobby market.

You look at airplanes. Most of us just want to be a passenger, but there’s a hobby market for people who are really into aviation and want to take flying lessons and maybe someday have their own airplane. I think that’s what’s happening to the console market.

"But there are billions of people now playing games. The gaming industry is finally becoming mass-market. It’s across two billion PCs and four billion mobile phones, and within a few years a billion tablets. In terms of total audience size, we’re getting into really big numbers.

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.”

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