Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

E3 Approaches... Apocalypse Nowish?

The big PR extravaganza called E3 Expo is coming up next week. We'll see lots of press releases about new motion control hardware (Move for the PS3 and Natal for the Xbox 360), 3D (Nintendo's new 3DS, 3D output for PS3 and Xbox 360), and many new games. But it's what we won't hear that will be the most important thing going on.

That is the approach of Google TV and the rumored approach of Apple TV revisited. While the first is not out yet, and the second is only rumored, the potential that's outlined should have the console manufacturers and the publishers that depend on them worried. Imagine, if you will, what would happen in Google TV and the new Apple TV provided App markets similar to current iPhone and Android app markets, for devices hooked up to your TV. A wide range of app capabilities, an easy to use interface, integration with existing devices like smartphones and computers... and thousands of games, many of them free or very low cost, playable on your TV with pretty spiffy graphics.

Basically, this could do to the console market what Apple (and now Android) has been doing to the DS market... drain it of its lifeforce and leave it a mere husk.

Yes, consoles would still probably have more horsepower (well, maybe not the Wii)... but outside of hardcore gamers, does that matter? Would Farmville players notice?

The iceberg is looming, and at E3 the press releases will be about their spiffy new desk chairs and how shiny they look. Will we see anything about new business models? The companies working on those will be the survivors.

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