Your days are numbered Mr. Console.
Richard Garriott, producer and director of games such as Ultima Online and City of Heroes, has told Edge that he believes consoles won't be around much longer. He stated:
It’s going to be interesting to see how consoles evolve in the next few iterations to see if they can find some new compelling reason to exist. Because, at least from my perspective, I think their days might be numbered.
He argues that consoles won't be necessary once tablets and television-based solutions become more powerful. He even went as far as to say that the Steam Box will be invalidated since other non-dedicated solutions are likely to be able to run Steam in the not too distant future.
It's hard to say his prediction is impossible since the current market is showing trends that support his argument. Console sales have declined, and exclusivity is becoming increasingly rare. Meanwhile, the tablet market is experiencing growth with continually evolving hardware.
But the thing he fails to consider is how important dedicated gaming solutions are to gamers, a demographic that is even larger than that of the music or movie markets. Gamers like controllers and the best graphics possible. They also like hardcore games, something which is rare on the platforms that Garriott feels will take the place of consoles.
For now, we eagerly await the release of the PlayStation 4 and next Xbox, both of which are capable in ways that reinforce their existence—for now.