With the disfigured ghost of an anti-climactic game and the remnants of a self-destructive marketing campaign chasing him for the rest of his life, it's only fair that John Romero occasionally gets to look forward and into the future. In an interview with Adrenaline Vault, the Quake designer predicts that "cheap" multi-core processors will eventually steal hardcore gamers away from the "next-gen" consoles and bring them to the PC (or something "PC-like"), while the Wii's simplicity will earn it a casual gamer audience.
"Next-gen console is big but its future isn't too bright with the emergence of cheap PC multi-core processors and the big change the PC industry will go through during the next 5 years to accommodate the new multi-core-centric hardware designs," says Romero. "My prediction is that the game console in the vein of the PS3 and XBOX 360 is going to either undergo a massive rethink or go away altogether." While the next five years may indeed bring enough cheap multi-core processors to blot out the sun, we submit that the PS3 and Xbox 360's intended audiences will happily play in the shade. By the time those PC parts are even considered to be cheap (try buying just a comparable multi-core chipset and a Direct X 10 graphics card for under $400 today), these consoles will likely be home to several franchises that hardcore gamers will be taxed to resist -- and the next wave of consoles won't be far off either.
Romero goes on to say that "The Wii has the perfect design for a console that doesn't pretend to be a PC and is geared more toward casual gamers than hardcore gamers. The hardcore gamers are going to either be playing on their PCs or a new PC-like platform that sits in the living room but still serves the whole house over wifi, even the video signal." A PC-like platform sitting in the living room? Now that sounds a little more likely -- in fact, hasn't this convergence already begun?