The last time we heard someone proclaim the death of the game console, it was EA's head of international distribution saying that an open gaming platform distributed within cable and satellite set-top boxes would take over within 15 years
-- a prediction at which we laughed pretty heartily, given that most cable companies can't even manage to get a functional DVR out the door. So it's fairly surprising to hear the former VP of Xbox Europe make the exact same prediction, and bump up the timeline pretty dramatically: Sandy Duncan, who was with MS for 15 years, recently said that dedicated game devices "will die in the next five to 10 years," and that "most of this stuff will be 'virtualized' as web services by your content provider." Of course, Duncan's now with YoYo Games, which is a web-based gaming company, so he might be a little biased, but there's truth in his statement that the console gaming market is risky and that launch costs of new hardware are incredibly high. Still, as Duncan should know first-hand, it's an investment that can definitely pay off
, and we think consumers are always going to demand choice and quality -- two things that aren't exactly synonymous with cable and satellite hardware.