When asked for his prediction when console games will go free-to-play, Steinberg replied, "Possibly within the next two to three years, as the number of players enjoying online connected games through console systems begins to reach critical mass. Keep in mind though that there's also a financial component to consider." However, he goes on to warn that there are even more hurdles to overcome like convincing a publisher to front millions on games that have no guarantee of making good on investments.
Regardless, Steinberg sees the social web integrating itself with consoles in one way or another:
It's already with MMOs like World of WarCraft and social games like FarmVille, both of which have smartphone apps designed to extend their offered experience beyond the computer. According to Steinberg, the same will happen for consoles. Playing the portable version of a game or a companion application will reward players with boosts and item in the original console game. While these are all lofty predictions, at least they are based in reality. Trends tend to spread like wildfire--just look at Twilight.From the smallest casual games to most sprawling adventures, you'll begin to see social connectivity increasingly woven into virtually every facet of interactive entertainment going forward. Beyond the sharing of status updates, achievements and instant ability to monitor friends' activity and quickly connect, collaborate and compete in favorite titles, you'll also see games that offer a variety of entry points from different platforms and devices.
[Image Credit: Game Rant]
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