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Consoles will take a back seat going forwards - Will Wright

"Explosion in platforms has driven a very healthy diversification of our audience"

Traditional games consoles aren't doomed, but they're likely to take a back seat to more popular devices in the coming years, according to legendary designer Will Wright.

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The creator of SimCity and The Sims believes home consoles will continue to cater to the same market they always have, but that market itself will become less relevant as the wider gaming audience continues to grow, he told GamesIndustry.biz.

"I don't think they're doomed," Wright said of consoles. "I think they're not going to become the mainstay of the market like they had been.

"I think there'll probably still be dedicated game machines going forwards, sitting on a shelf next to your HDTV. I think that they're going to be catering to a very specific kind of player, which probably isn't that different from what they were catering to before. It's just that a lot more people are now playing games, and they're not playing it on that device."

Wright added: "Games really used to be something that were targeted to 16-year-old boys. Now we have people of all generations, genders, walks of life, playing games, a lot of them on their cell phones, or on Facebook, or whatever. I think that the explosion in platforms has also driven a very healthy diversification of our audience.

"Rather than people doing what you might call session-based gaming, where I'm going to go sit in my room and play Halo for an hour, I have the opportunity to pull out Angry Birds and play for two minutes while waiting in line at Starbucks. I can use games to fill the empty slots in my life, a bit more ubiquitously."

Wright is currently working on a game called HiveMind, which will be the first release from his new studio of the same name. Last November he said the title will make extensive use of smartphone location data as well as information about players' everyday lives, a concept he calls "personal gaming". Get more details about the project here.

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