I've been thinking that the game industry is in interesting times.
Not only some developer are making big bucks while others get the "door sign" (not necessarily because their games would be bad - usually the opposite, actually), it also seems that we will have quite many different gaming-capable platforms in the near future.
Besides the existing ones (PC (+ Mac), 360, PS3, WiiU, Vita, 3DS, IOS, Android), which will get continued support, there are also Steam Box, PS4, next Xbox, Ouya and Nvidia Shield comming up. (and perhaps some other, yet unannounced system)
This makes a total of 13 different gaming platforms which is quite the number in these, supposedly, economically unstable times.
There is also an emerging market of stream services which may becomme a big player in in the future and potentially increase the audience tenfold.
So the question that pops up in my head is if there will be a market for all these systems.
If we look in the past, we can see that the market behaved unpredictable.
Former big players like Atari and Sega were forced to leave the console race, Commodore went bankrupt, 3dfx was bought by Nvidia and all the different home computers from the 80s were reduced just to the modern day (Windows) PC. (+ Mac, which survived thanks to an audience that insisted on Apple products)
To just have good games may not be enough.
A system must also have good advertising, good support, affordable price point and do non-gaming related things too. (some platforms, like for example the PC and mobile devices, can survive just on the non-gaming aspects)
So things may not look so bright for some of these systems.
But I also have a theory that could be called "backing by other system" which basically means that a less popular or less established system could be backed by another, more popular and established one.
For example, the PS4 could be backed by PS3, the WiiU by 3DS, Steam Box by Steam, Nvidia Shield by Nvidia graphics cards, ect.
It would also be possible to find a particular niche for some of these systems that would be willing to support them, despite the high price tag. (which is probably what Valve and Nvidia are counting on with the prediced high price tags for their upcomming systems)
The systems could also share games and ports with other, more popular ones.
And while such a strategy would not create a big audience, it could still be worth it due to generating income from what could be called "2nd pillar" systems.
So what does SW think - is there a market for all these systems or could we see some stuggle?