I am old enough to remember the first telephone being installed at my home. There was a day when the first colour TV arrived, the Christmas when a shiny new VCR arrived. We had piles of books, piles of VHSs tapes and piles of records. I owned piles of tapes; some with music, lots with games. I collect comic books and have a whole shed dedicated to their storage.
Stories and music and games and movies are valuable to me.
Digital media has happened. My tapes changed into CD's, my CD's became mp3's. My stereo shrunk to an i-pod on a dock. The VHS tapes have become recordings on a hard drive running under my TV. All those VHS movies changed into DVD's, some have morphed into Blu-rays. I'm pretty sure that soon they will vanish and the hard-drive will contain all the things I'll ever want to watch. Last birthday the Kindle appeared at our house and now I can foresee the bookshelves gradually emptying.
I've had games on casette tapes, games on discs, games on CD's, games on DVD's, games on Blu-Ray, games I've downloaded. You'll notice that the media for games has changed more than it has for other media. The games industry thrives on technology, it's hungry for the next thing to play with. Just like a spoilt child with a pile of chocolate it'll gobble down the latest tech and be ready for more.
Given that all my music is on one portable device, all my movies can be on the same device, all my books can be on my kindle I'm guessing that people want convenience and power. they want devices that fit into their lives, not that they have to build their lives around. Games ride the front of the technology wave but no-one in games can see that what we want is the same for our games?
Imagine one device that fits in your pocket, holds all the games you've ever bought. Can be hooked up to the TV for the big-screen experience. Imagine being able to buy a game once and being able to play it on any device that you own that can run it. Would be great huh? No more physical media just a hard drive full of all your games and their saves and you can play with anyone in the world at any time where-ever you are.
The big boys are all talking about cloud service and suddenly some of this could be just around the corner.
The thing is I have seen something even better. A way to make your handheld device a social experience. The equivalent of plopping the ipod ina dock and having all your friends dance to the music. Watch the clip.
Imagine being able to project your game onto a wall and you and friends play together in the open air. I know it's a way off but I think this is the future of consoles. Devices you can take and play anywhere. When I watched that clip the first time it was like a mini-revelation. When there is no barrier to when and where we play games, they will become an even more important part of our lives.