David Jaffe is never one to hold back an opinion, so after we talked in depth about the free-to-play market and his next project at his new San Diego studio, we also decided to pick the designer's brain on the Wii U and how the console market is shaping up. As it turns out, Jaffe isn't very excited by Wii U and he ultimately thinks consoles in general will soon be dinosaurs.
"I don't see the Wii U and say 'oh my God I have to have that.' But with new hardware that's usually the case; the software's going to drive it. Or it's like Apple and the hardware is so elegantly designed that it's like, 'Oh they make toilet plungers? I'll buy it!' I played some games, I enjoyed Rayman... it's not like I'm knocking it but I would say that I wasn't blown away by any individual piece of software that was exclusive to Wii U," Jaffe commented.
"I'll go on the record and say that the next generation of hardware will be the last consoles. And they should be"
"But their audience isn't necessarily core gamers like you or the analysts you talk to, so I could still see Wii U being mainstream. But honestly though, if I had to put money down, I think that the iPhone and the iPad has basically taken the market that was so excited by the Wii and so I think Wii U is not going to be anywhere near the success of the Wii. But I don't f***ing know - I mean I thought PSP was going to clobber the DS. I'm in the industry, I make a living in the industry, but I have no track record of guessing this shit."
Jaffe wanted to make it clear that he's not bashing Nintendo. "Nintendo's a great company and they're creative and artistic and I wish them well. They're forward thinking and I always want people like that to succeed," he continued.
The bottom line is that Jaffe believes consoles are on their last legs.
"So while I don't think it's going to do as well as the Wii, I don't think any of the consoles are going to do as well as they used to. It's a declining market, I think. That doesn't speak ill to any of them as pieces of hardware - it just speaks about the fact that the industry has changed, the business models have changed and the world has gotten even smaller with smartphones and tablets and the internet, and stuff like Gaikai and streaming."
"Look, consoles are going away. I think in 10 years - probably sooner, but 10 years is always the safe thing to say so you don't sound like an idiot - but here's what I'll say: I'll go on the record and say that the next generation of hardware will be the last consoles. And they should be," Jaffe asserted.
"The asteroid has hit the Earth, the dust cloud is covering the sun and the dinosaurs are on the way out"
"It doesn't mean you won't buy a piece of hardware from Sony, but you'll probably buy a television that streams the stuff. And you'll still have Sony, loud and proud and strong making these great, big, epic games like God of War and Uncharted, and they'll be making great little games like Sound Shapes, but they'll become more like movie studios for video games. I'll be able to stream in the next Uncharted and Plants vs Zombies and you won't even think about it. It'll just be like I can watch a public access show on my TV or I can watch Avatar."
Jaffe concluded, "So this is the last generation of consoles coming up. I'm going to go out on a limb, because why the f**k not? I don't care if I'm wrong, I'm not a business guy. I think next-gen consoles are going to do 40 percent of [the sales volume] of the current gen hardware."
"The asteroid has hit the Earth, the dust cloud is covering the sun and the dinosaurs are on the way out - but not the games! We'll always have great games and bleeding edge graphics... it's just going to be a new delivery mechanism."
Agree? Disagree? Feel free to sound off in the comments section.