Doom and Quake creator John Romero isn't optimistic about the future of gaming consoles. He believes that tablets like the iPad will ultimately "end" consoles and make gamers realize they don't need them.
Romero explained in an interview with Digital Trends that he predicted the end of consoles back in 2005. At the time, though, he believed that PC's would unseat them. PC's, he explained, continually improve while consoles simply stay at the same level of quality. He added that they're not much more expensive (which is crap but whatever).
"What I didn’t foresee in 2005 was the rise of the post-PC, which are all these tablets now. These are the things that actually will probably be the end of the consoles. The new iPad has crazy fast graphics and it’s a fast machine and it delivers great games. It can mirror the graphics to a giant HD screen and it’s basically just showing you that you don’t need a console."
Whenever I hear talk about one console killing another or a game killing a competitor or the PC killing consoles, my brain shuts off. It's all a bunch of crap. It's tempting to conjure up these "winner takes all" contests with hardware and software but they don't fit the reality.
The truth is, tablets, consoles and the PC can all easily coexist. We're talking about three types of gaming platforms with clear advantages and disadvantages. Mobile devices are convenient but their controls restrict the content. "Twitch" games like first-person shooters simply don't work too well. Furthermore, you can't play a mobile game on your 40-inch HD television.
Could tablets convince less people to buy consoles? Maybe. Gaming consoles certainly took a bite out of the PC market over time. I highly doubt we'll get to a point in the near future where consoles will cease to exist altogether, though.
As you might guess from this interview, Romero works in mobile development now. His company Loot Drop focuses on free-to-play PC and mobile games. Their most recent project, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Commander, was released on Facebook and iOS.