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John Carmack has created some of the greatest video games of all time. He's helmed successful companies, has more than twenty years of experience in the video game industry, and pushed the boundaries of iOS gaming with the recent release of Rage [iTunes Link]. Oh, and he also moonlights as a rocket scientist as the lead engineer of his own aerospace company, Armadillo Aerospace. When this guy talks, people listen.
In a recent talk with Dallas News, Carmack said that he thinks there's a chance that the Nintendo 3DS and Sony NGP may be the very last dedicated portable gaming consoles ever built. He commented that the convergence of gaming and smartphones could kill off the market for portable gaming consoles.
“The smart phone may turn out to be 80 percent as good at gaming as a dedicated gaming platform,” Carmack said to Dallas News. “People are going to carry their smart phone, and if it’s an 80 percent gaming device, how many people in the gaming market will be satisfied with that? That’s the question that’s in everybody’s mind, and I really don’t know.”
The article also quoted several other experts who similarly believe that a total convergence of smartphones and gaming is inevitable. Will it happen? Nobody yet knows. However dedicated gaming machines are still incredibly popular as evidenced by the nearly 150 million Nintendo DS systems that have been sold to date, so smartphones still have a long way to go to gain complete dominance over the portable gaming market.