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Sweeney: There are too many platforms on the market

DICE 2012: Expect consolidation, but industry's brightest days are yet to come says Epic CEO

There are too many competing computer platforms on the market, with Epic CEO and technical director Tim Sweeney predicting consolidation to three or four winning devices in the technology market.

Speaking at the 2012 D.I.C.E. Summit in Las Vegas, Sweeney said that consumers currently have an abundance of choice with tablets, PC, smartphones, Mac, consoles and new handhelds.

"This is too many platforms. We're seeing now iPad sales have surpassed the sales of PCs. This is a real revelation, this is a product that wasn't invented until a few years ago and its basically supplanting personal computers.

Over time these platforms will be whittled down to a competing set of platforms to maybe three winners worldwide across everything.

Tim Sweeney, Epic Games

"Over time these platforms will be whittled down to a competing set of platforms to maybe three winners worldwide across everything - computers, game platforms, smartphones… We should expect a lot of consolidation here and winners and losers according to who picks the right directions and executes successfully," he said.

Sweeney also pointed to a number of new and emerging technologies as having significant relevance to games in the coming years, including Kinect-like tech for accurate human body inputs, voice recognition such as Apple's Siri, cloud computing and cloud gaming, virtual goods creation and augmented reality.

And although he predicted less hardware devices on the market, he added that the games business has only just scratched the surface of delivering new experiences, and a new generation of developers will be raised to use new, persuasive technology.

"There are a lot of technical challenges. We've barely scratched the surface of the consumer implications, what we can do with an iPad or iPhone today is limited by our experience of our computers and history. When a whole new generation of kids is raised with these devices pervasively around us it's going to lead to entirely new worlds."

"I see a bright future for technology and its implications on games. The ability of game developers to exploit another thousand-fold increase in computing power on future generations of platforms. Some of it will be consoles, some of it PC and some of it tablets. The form factor we can't predict, but the opportunity is there. Our industry's brightest days are yet to come."

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Matt Martin avatar
Matt Martin: Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.
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