Analysts lay out '08 expectations

Colin Sebastian banks on consoles for the first half, PCs for back end of the year, while DFC Intelligence projects hardcore fare to define the market.

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With the first month of 2008 nearly in the books, industry analysts are wrapping up their latest round of predictions for what the coming year will mean to gaming.

In a note to investors this morning, Lazard Capital Markets' Colin Sebastian picked out two trends to watch for. For the first half of the year, Sebastian expects growth in console gaming to be a big story thanks to the release of high-profile games like Devil May Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto IV, and Metal Gear Solid 4. However, Sebastian expects the PC market to gain prominence after June, buffeted on the strength of releases for Activision Blizzard's World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King and Starcraft II, as well as Electronic Arts' Spore.

Will Wright's intergalactic life sim isn't the only EA game Sebastian is looking forward to. The analyst listed a number of other interesting titles from the publisher slated for its next fiscal year, which runs from this coming April through March, 2009. In addition to a new Burnout, Sebastian listed the BioWare role-playing game Dragon Age, an as-yet unconfirmed F1 racing game, and a new Fight Night on the company's expected fiscal 2009 release schedule. Rock Band 2 also appears on the list, suggesting Sebastian believes MTV Games and Harmonix will turn their new rhythm series into an annualized franchise (or nearly annual, at any rate), and that they will continue to enlist EA's help in distributing the title.

DFC Intelligence released its own industry briefing today, in which the company noted that casual gaming was the story of 2007, but a different tale may emerge in 2008. Specifically, the DFC Intelligence note questions the ability of the three main consoles to crossover into the markets they aren't currently dominating.

"Going forward, the challenge faced by the Wii is that it is not that strong when it comes to the more complex epic games," the report reads. "It is likely that 2008 could be the year of the epic game (with a focus on the number four). Products like Devil May Cry 4, Metal Gear Solid 4 and Grand Theft Auto IV could be the big stories for the first half of 2008, and all these products are coming out for the Xbox 360 and/or PlayStation 3 (but not the Wii). The key challenge faced by Microsoft and Sony is to avoid the Nintendo 64 syndrome of being locked only into the market of serious gamers."

DFC estimates that the serious gamer market is about 40 million strong, but notes that console makers are likely aiming higher than that considering Sony's previous success with the PlayStation and PlayStation 2. Both of those consoles sold more than 100 million systems worldwide.

That isn't to say DFC is downplaying the casual market. It still expects significant growth in that area, with downloadable casual PC games alone to surpass $2.3 billion in annual sales by 2012.

Discussion

114 comments
Grahamatica
Grahamatica

Whats up with the Rock Band 2? One year? That is amazing...!

mnt99donalds
mnt99donalds

DMC4 has been an amazing start to the year there are some tastey games coming out for both PS3 and xbox360, cant wait for GTA 4!

Darkman159
Darkman159

My predictions: x360 will keep selling as it has if it doesnt sell less The wii will lower its sales but better games will begin to come out PS3 will sell perhaps a little more but of course games will still sell low since there arent so many ps3 out there By the way: for all of you who say the wii has no good games here is a list: Mario Galaxy Metroid prime 3 No more Heroes Medal of honor heroes 2 Paper Mario Mario strikers Resident evil 4 and unmbrella chronicles Battalion wars And the top 5 games coming out this year: Smash bros. Brawl Mario Kart Star wars the force unleashed Oopona Final Fantasy Cristal chronicles

malavos
malavos

Anyway. 2008 will be the year of some classics for coming back. Who know fallout, starcraft, and some others, know what i mean. This year gone be good. Specially for Blizzard.

siiixon
siiixon

ut3 and especially crysis where a total flop, i think 2007 was a really sad year for gaming, it not gona be hart to top

harrygordon1000
harrygordon1000

I'd be skeptical about whether this year could top 2007 (UT3, Bioshock, CoD4, Crysis, etc) if it weren't for titles like Spore and Starcraft II (thank god it's finally here). Isn't Far Cry 2 also slated to be released this year? Roll over Crysis (damned cliff hanger endings.....*grumble*). As for GTAIV... I'm starting to wish I had a console right about now...

KBABZ
KBABZ

PS3 doesn't have casual games? Try RaCF, flOw, Rub a Dub, Singstar. And then on the 360 you have a truckload of casual Live games like Uno and many others that are out there (which I cannot name since I don't own a 360), not to mention Viva Pinyata

freshcutgrass1
freshcutgrass1

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Chief_Kuuni
Chief_Kuuni

well we'll see what happens when the year is over, cause, the wii so far is kicking butt, so why will it stop now? Do the people at nintendo not have anything coming out?

skyline7284
skyline7284

@XanderZane You said that burnout was not hyped? It sure was. Clearly you did not see all the videos on EAs website and youtube page. Also it was released on 2 seperate consoles rather then crysis being released on 1. Really the PC Market has a few oppertunities, EA can really change the PC sales this year with spore, the sims 3 and BF3 (hopefully) and along with WoW surging in sales still it will be intresting how everything, but burnout paradise was hyped, and to say it wasn't is simply not true.

PhilElsen
PhilElsen

one prediction i can make is GTA IV will RULE 2008!!!

MetroidBounty
MetroidBounty

Well i believe all systems to be good in their own way. If you don' t like it then don't get it, if you bought it and you don't like it, sell it to someone who does want it.

klugenbeel
klugenbeel

Poor Sony, its so screwed with how well the 360 and Wii are doing and the well...lack of dominence coming from Sony. They are right in the aspect of the Wii not having Epic Games coming it, its been the main reason i have not and will not buy a Wii, despite its the best ever experiance i ever had with Madden. I mean there are some fun games on the Wii (Rayman Raving Rabbits, Madden, Zelda, Metriod) but that isn't enough to spend 250 bucks on a system that is putting out more crap then quality, i've seen this before with the N64 and GameCube, which the N64s crap caused me to go to the PS1.

SrTVBR
SrTVBR

PC sales will going down i think. I don´t like it because i just like to play on a PC and online if possible.

dynomitemasta
dynomitemasta

the Wii and the x360 will dominate in the states, the PS3 will fair much better in Europe

console-deity
console-deity

My predictions for 2008: 1. PC game sales will stay about the same 2. Wii game sales will drop notably 3. PS3 will sell more consoles but game sales will remain low 4. Xbox360 will increase it's install base and sell even more games. Looking forward to Fable 2, Halo Wars, Universe at War (360), Supreme Commander (360), Destroy all Humans Big Willy Unleashed (Wii), Destroy all Humans Path of the Furon (360).

thekey
thekey

damariners "this year PC and PS3 gonna rock the gaming industry, x360 maybe still capable to compete, but is x360 power enough to beat this two system?.. We'll see by the end of this year.." The 360 is powerfull enough to compete with the 2. The real question is can the units stay alive long enough to compete, with the PC and PS3.

KingChainz31684
KingChainz31684

i think both blu ray and HD dvd's mine as well die i like upconvert players and it works good honestly especially in new DVD's i have played both blu ray and my upconvert at 1080p and i tell you what they weren't side by side which maybe then i woulda been able to tell a difference but upconvert at 1080p looks much better thanits 480 counterpart

Kenji_Masamune
Kenji_Masamune

Dropping a dime, my 2 cents are free 2008 predictions: Record breaking year for game sales (console, maybe pc) Wii is at 25 million systems sold world wide, 360 at 20 million, PS3 at 18 million. Plus or minus 2 million. The true death of HD-DVD GTA 4 game of the year

polkastripe-
polkastripe-

i got everything i need for my xbox.. so now im focusing on my wii coz theres a ton of games i want that i either hvant got or isnt out yet ... as for ps3.... :|

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

With the increase in support for Blu-ray and the past loyalty provided by Playstation and Playstation 2 owners, Sony is sure to sell plenty of Playstation 3 consoles to the casual market. They still need to boost up the downloadable games on PSN and get some quirky casual games that make use of the motion controls in a good way. I think 2008 will be a good year for Sony. LittleBigPlanet and Home are sure to be attractive to the casual market as well. The xbox360 has a good start, but I don't see it making it very far in the casual market. Placing a lot of "old" games onto the console isn't really all that great for people that never played those games back then. Why would they play them now? I don't see the Xbox360 making it past that 40 million mark unless they start releasing more intriguing casual XBLA AND RETAIL games out there. SceneIt is a great example of the types of games that will increase their casual gamer market share. The Wii is in a good position with the casual market. Now they need to keep that going and at the same time start locking in deals for some more serious games. No More Heros is a great way to tap into both audiences, Zelda reaches for those hardcore, and Mario is great for anybody- but some hardcore gamers will be too busy with "better"/"more hardcore" Xbox360 and PS3 games.

Homerj
Homerj

Actually, the 360 is syngergistic with the PC (remember that MS is the dominant player in the PC industry as well). The 360 is a closed spec PC, thats why many PC and 360 games are ported back and forth so quickly, often times releasing at the same time. There's two things leading to a resurgence of the PC games industry: 1. WOW 2. Cross platform dev of games with the 360. It is the PS3 that really has the most to worry about from PC competition, as PS3 architecture is so alien to that of the PC, that the only PS3/PC cross platform titles have to be developed entirely separately from one another, increasing costs and decreasing incentive.

raahsnavj
raahsnavj

Are these the same analysist that though the PS3 would sell well? We saw how good their opinion was in that regard...

XanderZane
XanderZane

damariners this year PC and PS3 gonna rock the gaming industry, x360 maybe still capable to compete, but is x360 power enough to beat this two system?.. We'll see by the end of this year.. ************************************************************* I honestly don't see the PS3 or XBox 360 being up against the PC market at all. The PC market is like 1/10 of the console gaming market. It's really irrelevant to the console gaming industry. The PC has a few nice games coming out in 2008 (Starcraft 2, Spore, WoW:WotLK, Far Cry 2, etc..), but to think these titles compete with anything on the PS3 or XBox 360 is ridiculous. Not surprisingly, many of the PC games are being ported to the 360 because they didn't sell as well as developers were hoping. Look at Crysis. It sold less then 100K in it's first month on the PC, yet an unhyped game like Burnout Paradise sold over 60K it's first week. What does power have to do with the games being played on the system. The Wii is the least powerful system in the market, yet games like SMG and Zelda has been more successful then just about every PC game released in 2007. Can the 360 compete? Is that a joke question or what?

monsterbater4
monsterbater4

rock band every year is cool, but come on they are releasing new songs every week. is it really necessary to have to have a new game by christmas when we have more then twice the songs the games came with already.

NandoSupes
NandoSupes

we"ll see too early to tell.but I think MSG4 is going to be huge,and the Wii is a great console so is the 360,I own a PS3 sure.but every console offers great games,is just a matter of preference thats all.08 is gonna be a huge year thats for sure.

Agermemnon
Agermemnon

Roll on Too Human , Fable 2 , Killzone 2 .

razu_gamer
razu_gamer

O analysts. Since when do we need to believe them?? Remember when they said Wii is a fad?? Or that PSP was more cooler than DS?? (fanboyism not intended). Wicked job though; just sit there and make up stuff.

damariners
damariners

this year PC and PS3 gonna rock the gaming industry, x360 maybe still capable to compete, but is x360 power enough to beat this two system?.. We'll see by the end of this year..

flyingdutchdog
flyingdutchdog

@GamerDude3282 No offense but that PS3 lineup is not that impressive. Give me Fable, Splinter Cell, and a host of other great games coming for the 360 over MGS4 (played 3 and was so bored I gave it away). So far nothing of real importance game wise interests me for the PS3 past or upcoming (and yes I do have one). And anyway, different strokes for different folks. In your mind the PS3 has a great lineup but to most other gamers other than the fanboys nobody really cares. People bought the 360 because it has the games they enjoy and people bought the PS3 for the games they enjoy. And yes, even the Wii little people bought it for the games they enjoy.

KingChainz31684
KingChainz31684

its humorous how many people just come into the nintendo forum to flame the wii when if you hate the system so much why do you make me read all the same garbage over and over again or in this case a general article that has primarily turned into a wii flaming gathering.

raichudl
raichudl

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

enoilgat
enoilgat

Brawl is going to be a good game. Does anyone realize that Brawl is a game that is supposed to be played with other people?...like friends. The wii is a fun party system that you can play with other people and Brawl just backs that up. Maybe all the "hardcore gamers" hate the wii because they have no friends?....So they buy a 360 so they can play mass effect by themselves in their bedrooms. Just because 360 and ps3 have a bunch of good FPS games doesn't mean that they are better than the wii. And by the way has anyone played Metroid Prime 3? (exclusive to the wii and a wonderful FPS). I am still wondering why people buy the 360 anyway. I don't know who would pay $350-$450 for a piece of equipment that is almost sure to break. I understand that it was released first and therefore has the best games, but who wants to build a throne for their video game system to ensure that it does not overheat. Pay $50 more to get a ps3; but pay $0 instead of $50 (xbox live) to play online (so you save the extra $50). Then with your ps3 you can play cod4, asssassins creed, and gta4...that should last you for a while until more games come out. Or of course you could buy a wii for $250 and play the best game of 2007 SMG.

blackace
blackace

pancho76 Wonkyman If that's true, Drdvl, why was there an 8:1 ratio of Wii games to Wii consoles sold this holiday season. That was higher than the 360 and PS3 ratios. 1. Because they are Cheaper 2. Because they are simpler games for the most part. Im playing mass effect now...and i wont be buying another game for a couple months untill i finish it. ***************************************************** That's true for the month of Dec only, but not for the year of 2007. The 360 had the highest ratio of games to console at 7:1 for all of 2007. The Wii had a attach rate of 4.65:1 in 2007. I'm not sure what 8 games people would buy for their Wii in Dec. I can only think about 4-5 games worth getting immediately for the Wii. http://www.primotechnology.com/2008/01/24/wii-tie-ratio-over-81-in-december/

thekey
thekey

All I have to say is the Wii sucks. PS3 is great but needs the same success as the PS2 if they even think it stands a chance. And the 360 needs to stop beating itself.(Great games but can a 360 last longer than year and a half?)

Autolycus
Autolycus

:yawn: more profits going ot more rich people while the hard workers get the shaft.

Jose_Rizal
Jose_Rizal

"If that's true, Drdvl, why was there an 8:1 ratio of Wii games to Wii consoles sold this holiday season. That was higher than the 360 and PS3 ratios." ======================= Because their daughter finished Hannah Montana in about 5 hours and ended up shelling out another Bratz game. I also see a SpongeBob game in the future unless they are able to tolerate the whining. Me? I'm still working on that Golden AK-47 online in COD4. I'll be pretty occupied in the next few weeks so no new games for me.

Skiggy80
Skiggy80

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Skiggy80
Skiggy80

Look, I own my 2nd wii. I got one when it released, sold that one and bought another one 5 months later and now I am selling this one. The games just dont appeal to me. People are only buying it for the way the games are played. The games suck a$$. Thats why Im selling mine again! 360 has sooo much better games and I could care less how many toddlers and 10 year olds have the wii. Thats why it sold so much, because all little kids are getting them. Dont you see all these Mommy's runnin around at xmas looking for them everywhere? Its for kids. I'll stick with my 360 and my ps3 where the games are close to real and online play alone destroys the wii in my opinion. Plus I'm 27 years old, I dont have the energy to be waiving my arms around all day. To sum it up, f**k the wii. I'll never buy it again! Old graphics, crappy controls, no online. Its a piece of ****

Skiggy80
Skiggy80

Look, I own my 2nd wii. I got one when it released, sold that one and bought another one 5 months later and now I am selling this one. The games just dont appeal to me. People are only buying it for the way the games are played. The games suck ass. Thats why Im selling mine again! 360 has sooo much better games and I could care less how many toddlers and 10 year olds have the wii. Thats why it sold so much, because all little kids are getting them. Dont you see all these Mommy's runnin around at xmas looking for them everywhere? Its for kids. I'll stick with my 360 and my ps3 where the games are close to real and online play alone destroys the wii in my opinion. Plus I'm 27 years old, I dont have the energy to be waiving my arms around all day. To sum it up, screw the wii. I'll never buy it again! Old graphics, crappy controls, no online. Its a piece of ****

Skiggy80
Skiggy80

Look, I own my 2nd wii. I got one when it released, sold that one and bought another one 5 months later and now I am selling this one. The games just dont appeal to me. People are only buying it for the way the games are played. The games suck ass. Thats why Im selling mine again! 360 has sooo much better games and I could care less how many toddlers and 10 year olds have the wii. Thats why it sold so much, because all little kids are getting them. Dont you see all these Mommy's runnin around at xmas looking for them everywhere? Its for kids. I'll stick with my 360 and my ps3 where the games are close to real and online play alone destroys the wii in my opinion. Plus I'm 27 years old, I dont have the energy to be waiving my arms around all day. To sum it up, screw the wii. I'll never buy it again! Old graphics, crappy controls, no online. Its a piece of ****

Jose_Rizal
Jose_Rizal

"My Wii is my #1 console at the moment, and looking at the lineup in 2008, it'll be my #1 console for a long time to come." =========================== Sounds more like "Wii is my only next-gen console". Seriously, if you have $600 in your pocket right now, you would either get a X360 or PS3 first and get a Wii if you have extra cash. The Wii would never become my main gaming rig but an accessory to complement my 360 or PS3.

Wonkyman
Wonkyman

Cheaper, I'll agree with. But the guy stated that Wii games aren't selling, even though they sold better this holiday season than those of it's competitors. People make these bold statements, claiming the Wii will fail, even though it's been nothing but a gold factory.

pancho76
pancho76

Wonkyman If that's true, Drdvl, why was there an 8:1 ratio of Wii games to Wii consoles sold this holiday season. That was higher than the 360 and PS3 ratios. 1. Because they are Cheaper 2. Because they are simpler games for the most part. Im playing mass effect now...and i wont be buying another game for a couple months untill i finish it.

Wonkyman
Wonkyman

If that's true, Drdvl, why was there an 8:1 ratio of Wii games to Wii consoles sold this holiday season. That was higher than the 360 and PS3 ratios.

drdvl
drdvl

wii IS failing. All the grandmothers who bought it played Wii Sports and thats enough to hold them over. Most people who bought the Wii won't buy games becaus they ar extreamly casual. I am not talking about the people who own and like the wii on here because you like gaming and will buy games. My point is that Wii games are not going to sell nearly as good as the wii itself.