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Will console gaming last past the next generation? Lets hope so.

During a recent interview games industry legend Richard Garriott prophesied that the next generation of games consoles will be the last.

Garriott, the man responsible for the cult-classic Ultima series of games and massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) Tabula Rasa, made the claim Monday during an interview with IndustryGamers.

"I think we might get one more generation, might, but I think fundamentally they're doomed. I think fundamentally the power that you can carry with you in a portable is really swamping what we've thought of as a console," commented Garriott when asked about the future of the games industry. Later adding, "I think there may be one more round of consoles left, but not many."

In the interview the veteran games maker went on to mirror the sentiment of EA CEO John Riccitiello who similarly predicted the death of console gaming earlier in 2011. Both Riccitello and Garriott suggested that the future of the industry lies in portable devices like Apple's iPad.

Specifically, Garriott suggested that as tablet processor powers increased and the integration between portable and computer operating systems improved, gamers would opt for the all-in-one device option over dedicated consoles.

The news adds to an ongoing debate raging within the games industry about tablet and smartphone devices. Running contrary to Garriot and Riccitello numerous other industry figures, including Saber Interactive co-Founder and CEO Matthew Karch, issued their own reports suggesting tablets and smartphones will never be able to match the tech spec and "user experience" offered by a dedicated console.