According to video game market research firm EEDAR through a story on Gamespot, the Xbone One and PS4 may be the last traditional consoles we see.
Of course at first look this seems ridiculous. The Playstation 4 and the Xbox One have set record-setting paces, vastly outselling their predecessors at the rate they are going. But There are certainly moves that both Sony and Microsoft are making that would prepare them for a future without consoles. Microsoft is obviously investing big time in cloud technology as that is one of the pillars of their service now and could eventually be used to bring you Microsoft games on on your tv or your tablet (or even your phone) with no need for a console. Playstation Now is clearly geared towards the end goal of you not necessarily having to own Sony hardware in order to play Sony games.
This cycle of consoles will be at least another 5-6 years (possibly longer) and technology moves at a pretty incredible rate. Will the Playstation 5 simply be a service? Or possibly a streaming set top box? Will the next Xbox just come with a new TV you buy? Will Nintendo, seemingly the company to really hold out on embracing the latest technology, be putting out the last of the physical consoles after everyone else has moved on?
Of course there is one thing that might prevent this from happening-The fact that the internet simply isn’t some free service, bandwith costs money. Here a lot of your internet services come with caps and you get charged lots of money for going over as any family of heavy internet usage could tell you. A lot of countries have a pretty bad stranglehold on bandwith limits. If those don’t change any time soon, I could easily see at least one more round of consoles coming before this virtually inevitable all digital future they are predicting.