What Will Be The Digital Convergence Platform?

The "PeeCee"? Or the game console? And is there a stalking horse in the race? Game Wars 2: Battle for the Living Room

Even as the Intel Corporation and the Microsoft Corporation, whose chairman is Bill Gates, are pushing a digital future in which they hope that the personal computer will be the hub for a variety of home entertainment devices, the computer game industry is pointing to a fundamental flaw in that vision: game software has largely driven PC growth among consumers.

“This kind of thing drives me crazy,” said Alex St. John, the founder of a game software publisher, WildTangent Inc. He challenged Intel at a recent industry forum on the digital home, arguing that personal computer makers are about to lose out to the video game industry, which is waiting on a new generation of game consoles that also aspire to be home digital media hubs.

[…] More recently, Mr. Jobs has been highly critical of attempts to add video and gaming features to hand-held devices that compete with the iPod. The success of the iPod, he argues, rests on the idea that it allows users to do other things while listening to music on a portable device built to do nothing other than produce excellent sound.

If Mr. Jobs can reinvent the home-computer-as-entertainment-and-information-hub the way he led the creation of a seamless way of delivering digital music, analysts say, he could shake up the plans of all the other more powerful corporate interests trying to figure out what consumers want.

“Steve Jobs has a better chance than many of the others to rethink the idea of personal media in the living room,” said Richard Doherty, president of Envisioneering, a computer industry research and consulting firm. “I know his iPod design team has been busy working on new products.”