Kotaku reports on some interesting news from the Tokyo Game Show.
Yoichi Wada, president of Square-Enix, creators of the Final Fantasy franchise, says the coming game-changer for the industry isn't technology - it's e-commerce.
"What's going to be important for the next five years is not going to be the innovations in the specifications of the hardware or software," he says, "But the billing ... the revenue model and how this can be firmly rooted among the users — that's when the next breakthrough will come."
Why the big deal? Because gamers' have different demands when buying games online. Instead of shelling out $60 for a huge game, they favor smaller bites - mini-games, episodic games, subscriptions. Yes, we're moving more and more into the cloud, when a game world will be something we visit but don't own.
We've been seeing hints of this in massively-multiplayer games like World of Warcraft and even shooters like Counter-Strike. The model for the future could be multi-tiered, as Wada suggests- paying different prices based on the content we access and time we spend online.
David Kushner is the author of many books, including Masters of Doom, Jonny Magic & the Card Shark Kids, Levittown, The Bones of Marianna, and Alligator Candy. A contributing editor of Rolling Stone, he has written for publications including The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Wired, and The New York Times Magazine.