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Consoles to become "virtualised"

Fri 28 Mar 2008 1:33pm GMT / 9:33am EDT / 6:33am PDT

Former head of Xbox Europe predicts the death of physical hardware in "five to ten years"

Sandy Duncan, the former boss of Xbox Europe, has said he believes consoles will disappear very soon as everything gets "virtualised".

Speaking to ThatVideoGameBlog Duncan said, "The industry is fundamentally driven by technology. I think dedicated games devices, ie consoles and handhelds, will die [out] in the next five to ten years."

Duncan was with Microsoft for 15 years before leaving to co-found YoYo Games. Having established the Xbox business in Europe he knows a few things about launching new hardware, and observed there are huge risks involved. He predicted that as companies attempt to reduce these, there will be "a definite 'convergence' of other devices such as set-top boxes".

"There's hardly any technology difference between some hard disc video recorders and an Xbox 360, for example," Duncan stated.

"In fact in five to ten years I don't think you'll have any box at all under your TV; most of this stuff will be "virtualised" as web services by your content provider."

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