back to article Spielberg: Games consoles doomed

Steven Spielberg has suggested that games consoles will, one day, be replaced by in-home virtual reality entertainment. Spielberg told The Guardian that while he’s keen for 3D games to be developed in the short term, he’s confident that after the glamour of such titles has worn off the future “will certainly be virtual reality …


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  1. Gary Walvin


    Wouldn't the kit in or attached to the TV to make VR actually be a games console just by a different name?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    He might be right about the VR thing, but I don't think we'll be accessing it through a TV, unless TV very suddenly means "High specification computer"

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    yeah but...

    What is the VR software going to run on - he says the TV - all well and good but presumeably the TV will needs powerful hardware to run the software. So all it means is my PS3 console will evolve into a plug-in console module or a Sony TV with PS<x> console built in.

    So there will always be consoles just not a box like it is now. However as I dislike convergent tech I would prefer to keep to two seperate. If I want to upgrade my future VR hardware I wouldn't want to upgrade the whole TV to do so.

  4. Jason Togneri


    Well, I'm not sure about VR, but I certainly agree with the doomed scenario. With computers becoming smaller form factor and yet increasingly more powerful, coupled with flashROM-based mini operating systems (such as Asus' ExpressGate) which can boot in a matter of seconds, I can see convergence continuing. Instant-on access to your hardware, pop in a disk (or load an image from HDD/flash storage) and play, or do a full boot to $OS_of_your_choice for other computing tasks. Yes, I can easily see a computer becoming an all-in-one device to replace consoles, but as for VR? Not for a while, I'm guessing.

  5. Gerald Keen

    No but ...

    You wouldn't need a TV with any processing power - it would just be a dumb terminal hooked up by 100Meg fibre to a games service provider. VR as the next big thing has been bandied around since the early 90's when Silicon graphics boxes first came on the scene and companies such as Superscape conn'ed millions out of companies with promise of immersive business and game play. Was all crap and will stil take may years / decades to come to fruition. I have my hat ready to eat ...

  6. Elmer Phud

    Showing his age?

    These days there is already integration between TV, PC and networks. The lines are already blurred. Consoles are more and more like P.C.s, TV's are more and more like P.C.'s.

    What we have yet to decide on is what the devices will be called, even mobes ain't mobes anymore

  7. Ash

    What's he been smokin'?

    Same thing as 3DRealms, by the sound of it.

  8. Edward Noad

    Deja Vu...

    ...from about 15 years ago. Wasn't Virtual Reality supposed to wipe out all computers *and* TV, some time last millenium?

    Mines the one with the bivisual headset in the pocket.

  9. Mark

    I'm still waiting for the hoverboard.

    They promised me it back in 1982...

    Clearly even IF consoles are ultimately doomed, it's so far off, its not even news worthy...

    TV's are doomed too, because we will have the picture implanted in our brains... Why not make a news story about that? Slow news day????

  10. Bassey

    Re: Ac and Chris

    Why does the processing power have to be in the home? Cloud baby, cloud!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    66% right

    For the playing-through-TVs stuff he presumably means thin client/cloud type services along the lines of the embryonic OnLive: or those that come later when it's actually technologically viable . I think this is basically inevitable in the longer run, in the shorter run I could definitely see TVs with enough processing power to handle limited "remote" gaming, i.e flash type games or even stuff like "quake live".

    3D games (and movies) are definitely coming, look at all the 3D TVs and projectors the big manufacturers have been pimping/talking about at the shows over the last 18months.

    Virtual reality, no. There aren't enough buckets to cope with the nausea.

  12. Stu

    Reg-HW wants our thoughts.

    ...Okay then. I think Spielberg has essentially re-coined a dead old phrase in a poor attempt to make out that those in the dying movie industry actually know anything about the much newer technology home entertainment industry, and thereby making out that said dying industry isn't actually dying but is evolving, which it really isn't. At the moment it just seems to be recycling old movies.

    At least others that have done the soothsaying thing talk more about their predictions than just saying - "were going to be doing more of that VR thing in future, yes."


  13. The elephant in the room
    Paris Hilton

    I dont think so.

    He seems to be confusing hardware convergence with VR. "Playing directly on your TV" is in no way virtual reality. VR implies an immersive experience, in the past using some sort of motion-sensing stereo vision headset, and in the future maybe something akin to a holodeck or direct neural interface. It may happen, but mainstream VR entertainment remains decades away. Its hard to speculate what hardware might be required, but it definitely wont be built into your TV.

    In the nearterm it might make sense for Sony to give away PS4s by building them into their TVs to boost platform deployment, but they would still need to release a stand-alone version for the vast majority of people who wont be changing their TV just because a new console has come out. Microsoft & Nintendo arent going to start making screens, but could conceivably form alliances with say Philips & Samsung; but the ability to plug several makes of dedicated console into one dedicated TV is better from a consumer's point of view.

    Paris, because she's virtually real.

  14. Richard
    Thumb Up

    RE: I'm still waiting for the hoverboard.

    6 more years. Idiot...

  15. Richard
    Thumb Up

    RE: I'm still waiting for the hoverboard.

    Don't worry, only 5 more years

  16. jai

    VR games

    when i were a wee lad in late 80s and early 90s, they had these VR arcades in the Trocadero at Leicester Sq (that's in London, England for you sceptics)

    and during the summer holidays, we'd inevitably make the pilgramage to London a couple of times to see whatever the big blockbuster movie was, check out what was new on CD in HMV and play on the arcades. These VR machines looked awesome - took up the space of 4 arcades each, there were big queues for them, and each game cost 5 times what it would cost to play Street Fighter 2 or Bonanza Bros.

    and we queued and we paid and we played

    and we weren't terribly impressed - driving tanks around and shooting at each other, was different, sitting in a machine, but the game itself was a bit poor and a bit dull

    the next year they had stand up ones, where you turned around and pushed on button on the 'gun' to move forward and the other to fire the weapon at the other players

    graphics weren't much and again, the game was boring to play

    i haven't seen any VR games since then. I'm sure in nearly 20 years they must have come on in leaps and bounds, after all, the quality of console games has. except, i don't see them anywhere.

    who goes to arcades anymore? we're all playing our PS3s and Xbox360s instead. and if VR gaming really is the future, surely it'll start on consoles - so we should have them here now with VR peripherals

    while i'm skeptical about the whole "thin-client" cloud gaming anyway - i can see that it is a possibility - although we'll be playing on our Playstation thin-client or our xBox thin-client, not a Speilberg one.

    but VR gaming has died a well deserved death, hasn't it?

  17. John Wojewidka

    Just brilliant

    Not exactly insightful, this Spielberg guy. A TV is now a delivery device, not a platform. Even today, Steven, we are using TVs to deliver all kinds of content, from all kinds of media, and from many different platforms. Different platforms won't disappear, and - as with the repeated premature announcements of the demise of the PC - we will also continue to have the option of having local storage and delivery.

  18. Kevin


    I'm still waiting for my 3d holographic TV like they had in the jetsons.

    An we all know VR will come after we achieve warp drive and jack it from an alien race.

  19. Mark W

    Good grief - he's not exactly impartial is he...

    I think this has a great deal more to do with Spielberg's ideas of how he would like to see things develop - rather than a rational view of the direction technology, and use of technology, is taking.

    If he really thinks he's right then he should start promoting training of the next generation of film makers in being VR friendly.

  20. Alex


    It was reported by The Guardian, so it'll be completely wrong anyway :o)

    The Guardian - Newspaper for Chippys!

    Mines the one with The Times in the pocket.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    By any other name.

    Just as other's have commented, Spielberg's comments only mean the TV is the next platform.

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