The iPad is poised to devour games consoles. Apple's slender slate is the fastest-growing gaming platform, according to Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitello, while consoles now account for just 40 per cent of all gaming.
In an interview with IndustryGamers, Riccitello said the entire games industry is changing, with devices like the iPad growing the fastest, despite only having been around for 18 months. He's certainly is a position to make that kind of judgement -- EA is one of the biggest games publishers in the world.
Riccitello seems to think these days hardware grunt is not the most important factor in a gaming machine's success. "I would argue that there's more to be provided in terms of value for the consumer in micro-transactions and social experiences and driving those better in cross-platform gameplay between a console and a PC and a handheld device and a social network than there is supercharging graphics."
So rather than increasingly potent consoles, the future of gaming is more likely to involve gaming across several platforms, including tablet devices and smart phones.
"Consoles used to be 80 per cent of the industry as recently as 2000. Consoles today are 40 per cent of the games industry"
Gaming on the iPad has exploded in popularity thanks to cheap, addictive apps such as Tiny Tower, (pictured above) and -- of course -- Angry Birds HD. But will it ever replace the simple, homely joy of strapping on a headset and screaming over the Internet at children while you blow their avatars' faces off with a well-placed Claymore mine? Let us know in the comments section below, or on our Facebook wall.