In the future, everyone will play video games, even if they might not call themselves "gamers," according to former PlayStation boss Jack Tretton. Speaking with GamesIndustry International, Tretton predicted that gaming will grow in popularity to a point where it'll be difficult to find someone who hasn't played a video game.
"I do think gaming is becoming ubiquitous. Now people expect that they can have a great gaming experience on just about any device and quite frankly they can, it's just going to come down to what they want to play and when," Tretton said. "I think the thing that's so exciting is gaming is not limited at all; any consumer can play on some of these different devices and the gaming experience and the quality of graphics and the interactivity that you get now on a smartphone is tremendous. So if I'm a futurist, I'm saying that there's no longer people that don't game. Everybody games just like they watch TV and do a lot of things that you consider mainstream entertainment... In the near future, you'll be hard pressed to find someone who's never played a video game."
"So if I'm a futurist, I'm saying that there's no longer people that don't game" -- Tretton
One of the reasons gaming is growing in popularity is due to the rise of smartphones and tablets as gaming devices. Despite this growth, however, Tretton doesn't foresee a day when consoles are pushed out of the picture by devices that can fit in your pocket.
"I've spent my entire career with consoles and I've been told since the beginning that the console was going away and it would be replaced by something; it was the PC early on and most recently smartphones and tablets," he said. "I think there's always going to be a place for a console type of device in the living room.
The PS4 is the currently leading the sales race against Microsoft's Xbox One and Nintendo's Wii U, but Tretton said he wants to see all platform holders succeed. He maintains that a "rising tide lifts all boats," so he'd like to see as many successful hardware companies exist as possible.
"A world where there's only one successful console manufacturer is not necessarily a healthy world. You need multiple people bringing multiple ideas and technologies to bear," Tretton said. "I think it's great to have strong players like Nintendo and Microsoft in the business. Ultimately, every company in the business benefits if they're successful. I think everybody's rooting for them whether they work there or not. If they're a gamer, they want as many choices as possible and they want to determine what's best for their gaming interests, whether it's consoles, or smartphones, tablets, PC, you name it. As long as someone's a gamer they are potentially an opportunity for someone to do business with."
Lastly, and interestingly, Tretton said he's not yet convinced that Sony's upcoming streaming service PlayStation Now is going to be capable of delivering on the promise of true cloud-gaming. He said that it's "certainly possible" for PlayStation Now to take off, but "right now I think the technology is a little bit limited to do that as effectively as a console does."