Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Homer Simpson: "They have the Internet on computers now!" Console makers, "What's that?"

Next Generation brings an interesting article by David Cole of DFC Intelligence: "How Online Services Will Shape the Console Wars".

It's a long article and worth reading but here's the most interesting tidbit:

"The short glib answer is that online games will probably be a more important feature for console systems over the next several years, but once again the traditional retail model is likely to be the dominant driving factor when it comes to how the new game systems build an installed base."

I think he's spot on. It will take a revolution (not the Nintendo variety) to wean the console giants away from the retail model. Everything they do depends upon it and they just can't get away from it without significantly changing how they do business.

I have no doubts they will jump full force into the online world. Unfortunately, there is only a limited set of games that are worth playing online right now and most of them are FPS. Significant online activity will definitely happen within this console generation, but it's probably 2 or 3 years out.

Hopefully, that's enough of a headstart for us to get some good content and systems in place.

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