Speaking to the Guardian at the Changing Media Summit in London, Twitch CEO Emmett Shear proclaimed the end is near for the traditional video game console. Shear claims the PS4 and Xbox One are likely to be the last dedicated game consoles as the long life cycle of these devices is at odds with the rapid developments seen in the rest of the consumer technology industry. He believes future console will be more like set-top boxes that don't exclusively focus on gaming and will have a much shorter life cycle than the roughly seven year cycle seen with the last console generations.
“The problem is, the seven-year upgrade lifecycle doesn’t work in the face of the two-year upgrade cycles for every other hardware platform,” he said. “It’s so intrinsically built into how consoles get manufactured and made and the full business model, that I’d be surprised to see another generation.”
One funny remark in the interview can be found in the part about the monetization of Twitch, Shear claims they're probably the only video website on the web where people actually remind broadcasters to run advertising:
“We’re probably the only video website on the internet where people actually remind broadcasters to run ads. They say: ‘Hey, you’re not going to make money, what are you doing?!’ It’s that sense of community that drives Twitch, and it’s the same sentiment thats behind the rise of Kickstarter - it’s the democratisation of media in a way that enables everyone to be a patreon now. It’s not just about a few rich people choosing to support the media they want, it can be done in a democratised, distributed way. That’s really exciting.”