E3 is just what the industry needs - Analyst

EEDAR's Jesse Divnich predicts Sony to chase casuals to no avail, a major 360 game exclusive to go download-only, and new Mario and Zelda games from Nintendo.

With the Electronic Entertainment Expo less than three weeks away, the already-impressive flow of rumors and leaks is likely to pick up. So before the waters get too muddied, GameSpot sought out a handful of industry analysts to get their takes on what will happen and what Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo should be focusing on heading into the big show.

EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich

Kicking things off was Electronic Entertainment Design and Research analyst Jesse Divnich, who painted a cheery picture of the show as a whole, but expressed concerns about Sony chasing a phantom audience and gamers "evolving" beyond Nintendo.

GameSpot: E3 often gives us a good idea of what trends publishers are going to be chasing in the coming year. Past years have been dominated by open-world titles, extreme sports games, and more recently, rhythm games and casual games. Are there any genres you expect to see out in force at this year's show?

Jesse Divnich: I don't foresee there being any one genre or console dominating the show floor this year. It is clear that based on the current release schedule, the back half of 2009 and especially the holiday season will be packed more so than ever before. Given the AAA-packed schedule in the back half of 2009, you can bet every publisher will be trying to get an early bump in consumer awareness and preorders by showing off their biggest AAA titles scheduled for this year.

GS: What's the most important theme for Microsoft to focus on for the show? What does it need to leave E3 attendees thinking?

JD: The Microsoft Xbox 360 has such a dominating share of the core gaming market that they can begin to show the industry how they plan to take gaming to the next level through their online services. Further, OnLive and its cloud technology is certainly a threat, and it is imperative for Microsoft to illustrate the differentiating features of their online service. I would not be surprised if Microsoft announced a major AA title to be distributed exclusively through Xbox Live later this year (note that I do not mean AAA, but that will not be far behind).

In terms of price cuts, I do not expect Microsoft to drop their price on the Xbox 360--units sales are trending well ahead of last year. The ball is certainly in Sony's court, and Microsoft will not lead the way with any price cut unless a potential PS3 price cut hinders their current sales trends.

GS: How about for Sony?

JD: Sony is certainly on the upper end of the consumer-technology matrix, and their demographic base is narrow. Those who own a PS3 are either loyal Sony fans or are considered technology innovators--those that must own the latest and greatest technologies.

Sony still has a lot of work to do to capture the core video game market. I expect Sony to tackle both spectrums of the market by displaying some of the biggest AAA core titles that are to come in the next two years (God of War III, MAG, Final Fantasy, and so on), as well as present new casual games and technology.

I believe any attempt by Sony to try to appeal to the casual/mainstream markets at this point in the race to be valueless. They have priced themselves out of that market, and until the PS3 gets in the $200-$250 range, the casual, mainstream, and family markets will have no interest. The idea of the one-size-fits-all console has been dead and buried--the demographics of the video game industry are much too diverse, and attempting to target "everyone" will likely cause brand confusion and consumer alienation.

Sony must continue to try to position itself as the No. 2 console in the market by showing its superiority over Microsoft and the Xbox 360. To attack the core market, Sony must add more value to their PlayStation Network, introduce more AAA exclusive titles, and make available better downloadable content, all of which I expect Sony to display this year at E3.

I do not expect any PS3 price-cut announcement at E3. Sony's pricing strategy on the PS3 is too reliant on manufacturing costs. But that being said, I expect a PS3 price cut within the next four months--no doubt. Any E3 PS3 price cut would purely be coincidental timing.

GS: And Nintendo?

JD: Nintendo is such an odd case. They disappointed the E3 crowd last year by showing off what has been the pillar of their success: creating fun and entertaining products. Nintendo is not known for creating complex or in-depth products, yet the gaming sector continues to fault Nintendo for the lack of core titles on the Wii and DS. As an industry, we must begin to accept that most of us core gamers have evolved beyond what Nintendo can offer. It is wrong to assume that a product or company will evolve with us over time ("us" being the core gaming market).

We do not spam the Tonka forums because their new lineup of construction toy trucks lack 22" chrome spinners and a revolving roof bazooka. Why? Because most adults have come to accept that Tonka toys are for kids and no Tonka product could ever appeal to the adult market.

This is no different from Nintendo, except the core market continues to hold on to the ounce of hope that Nintendo will somehow launch a title that could compete on the same levels of Final Fantasy or Call of Duty. What the core of our industry must begin to accept is that we have two different types of appetites when it comes to gaming. One is a hunger for complexity, involvedness, online multiplayer, and depth. The other is the sense of enjoyment from playing an entertaining title.

Nintendo can only quench one of those needs, and expecting them to step outside their comfort zone to compete on the same levels as a Halo or Call of Duty is simply ridiculous. The market wanted more quality mature titles on the Wii and DS, and they got MadWorld and GTA: Chinatown Wars; their sales results speak for themselves.

That being said, E3 is a core-targeted event, and Nintendo must come to stage with a showing of titles that will satisfy our expectations. I expect Nintendo to show off a long list of both first- and third-party titles that are more appealing to the E3 audience. In terms of first-party, Nintendo will likely announce a new Mario title as well as a new Zelda game, which both will not likely hit retail shelves until 2010. For third-party, it will likely consist of games that plan to take advantage of the Wii MotionPlus.

What I hope occurs at the Nintendo event? I hope Reggie shows up onstage wearing a chef's hat to demonstrate a new Wii cooking game and whips up a badass lasagna with the Wii Remote. Because quite honestly, it does not matter what Nintendo shows off, we will buy it. Let's face it, whether you are a hardcore Halo fan, play endless hours of Killzone 2, or you entrench yourself in the house for an entire weekend of World of Warcraft, you know you are a sucker for anything Nintendo releases. We all are, and that's why we love them.

GS: Do you think the ESA has finally found the right format for the show to please its members, attendees and exhibitors?

JD: The somber memories of E3 2008 are long gone, and I could not be happier with the ESA and its members. E3 is what the industry needs to be taken seriously. Every other major sector has a big event every year: Cannes Film Festival, Consumer Electronics Show, International Auto Show, and so on. It is only right that video games get their moment in the spotlight.

With the event a short term away, the format, attendance, and exhibitors look to be in balance with what the industry is expecting. I do not see any downside to E3, this year and even though I am expecting packed floors, long lines, and a slew of useless shwag, I cannot help but feel overjoyed that E3 is finally back.

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Discussion

231 comments
SSBFan12
SSBFan12

This was a great interview.

msudude211
msudude211

@wizengamotx - In what sense was E3 not back? :?

WizengamotX
WizengamotX

E3 was kind of back ... but not really.

gmax
gmax

Again, more interest this way.

Gamer4Iife
Gamer4Iife

Damn right. I need my E3 fix. :P

Strife88
Strife88

E3 should've been like this the last two years, and the industry definitely needs the show.

shinian
shinian

dth_dlr: I agree. Just look at the failure of Wii Music. Plus Sony showed the same attitude at the end of previous generation. Look where that took them.

dth_dlr
dth_dlr

"Because quite honestly, it does not matter what Nintendo shows off, we will buy it. " i'm pretty sure this is nowhere near the truth.

Cb9983
Cb9983

and no i dont wanna cook with my wii why is nintendo wasting thier time on crap games ioll never understand explore your systems potential and STOP RELEASING CRAP!!!Ok nintendo.

Cb9983
Cb9983

NMH 2 , a new Zelda Game ,and either a MGS game or Final Fantasy Game is all i need for the wii , im sorry but i wont buy any mini game nintendo puts out.Thats simply BS!

Wardrift
Wardrift

Still holding onto a sliver of hope for that PS3 price cut...

dmil1991
dmil1991

Sony will do fine even if they don't announce anything new because of the lineup that they already have announced: Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time, God of War III, Uncharted 2, MAG... the only other things I could imagine being announced is Gran Turismo 5 and the new Team Ico game. In any case, I will be broke later this year thanks to first-party games on my PS3. Nintendo doesn't have to announce anything and it will still be filthy rich. I, as a Wii owner, would love to see some "hard core" first-party titles announced, although "hard core" might really mean old-school in this situation. Zelda and Mario are the keys to victory. Microsoft better come out with its guns blazing, because basically all that's announced for the fall is Halo 3: ODST. MS needs to make some BIG announcements, game-wise, in order to make a dent in Sony's or Nintendo's schemes.

hhap52
hhap52

Can't wait for a new Mario game.

LjBeaumont
LjBeaumont

The analyst either has incorrect info on consoles or is digging out info form thin air. Sony has dominated Microsoft in sales and game play for the last 7 months, and Nintendo continue to smash both Sony and Microsoft in sales. With regards to sales on games and up and coming games yes Nintendo lose out and people want genuine Nintendo titles, but Sony has still had one of the best flows of titles to come out since Christmas. Microsoft has not had anything solid for a while and are lagging behind badly. It will be interesting to see what all three have this year at E3.

Fusion_Master
Fusion_Master

analysts predict sony trying a different approach, microsoft trying something risky though perhaps revolutionary... and nintendo releasing another mario and zelda one of these things is not like the others.

Junior_AIN
Junior_AIN

I agree with much of it. Nintendo sucks now, and Zelda, Mario, Metroid will always be good, that's why I'm keeping that "thing" called Wii. I bet they're ashamed about last year's performance and will at last announce a new Zelda. It's almost obvious, but the long wait will be a pain. I hope Nintendo's handhelds continue on being awesome just like the DS is, because if the next handheld follows the path the Wii took, I'm gonna be very disappointed.

sequekhan
sequekhan

I don't need an industry expert to tell me that. Sony need more exclusive titles. That's their one true problem, and there's no denying it. Losing Final Fantasy was their biggest mistake - it has a huge fanbase, and was exclusive. Getting that released on the xbox is a joke, and proves Sony has lost their marbles. They have some serious wound-licking to do to recover from THAT.

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

@zaphod_b "You seem to imply that Bioshock is for the core gamer and W@W is not. I played the hell out of both. Where does that put me in your infinite wisdom?" It means you appreciate great games, as well as slickly-produced and otherwise mediocre genre exercises. We all do, in our way. It's the same logic that has us all amped up to see the latest acclaimed film on its opening day, yet we also find ourselves watching some goofy action-comedy movie on basic cable on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Sometimes it's nice to have something predictable and busy to enjoy, rather than have to get immersed in something better. If you'll note, I personally said I hated the term in the very posting you responded to, so accusing me of trying to hijack the title for myself seems a bit curious. I'm operating under the assumption that it means someone who appreciates higher-quality games and tries to play all of them. If your definition is accurate, then some guy playing World of WarCraft exclusively for 12 hours a day is a 'core' gamer. I don't see it.

Shox14
Shox14

I totally disagree with the fact that we're suckers for the nintendo. Nintendo was only at its best with the nintendo 64 and the gamecube, the reason for that being that its games were as worthwhile to play as from the playstations and x-box. I made a bet with my friend two years ago. He said that the Wii would remain on top. I said that the Wii, which was prospering like rabbits at the time, would end up rotting while the ps3 would eventually dominate the gaming market. Those 10 bucks are mine.

zaphod_b
zaphod_b

Rottenwood, your wild generalizations and stereotypes are ridiculous. In my opinion, being a core gamer has more to do with the frequency and ferocity in which they play, and has little to do with their choice in genre, music, or recreational drug of choice. I'm sure that in your mind you have decided that you are the core gamer, and anyone outside your demographic is not. I think you're wrong. You seem to imply that Bioshock is for the core gamer and W@W is not. I played the hell out of both. Where does that put me in your infinite wisdom?

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

@Liquify The popularity of the shooter franchises amongst 'core' gamers (God, I hate that term) is overstated. I have certainly enjoyed games like Halo and Gears to some degree, but they're like their action movie counterparts: slickly-produced, expensive, and exciting for a few hours. The bulk of their sales come from casual 360 or PS3 owners who play nothing but shooters and sports games, smoke a lot of herb, and listen to 50 Cent non-ironically. These guys are the cooler older brothers of people like Darkness7089 and Vimanesba - it's where they picked up the habit of calling games 'kiddie.' Funny how THESE casual gamers never seem to get the wrath of the Nintendo bashers. The latest Call of Duty (World at War) has outsold BioShock 6 to 1 on the 360 so far. I can assure you that 'core' gamers had nothing to do with that. If people think that sales of Wii Fit are a barometer of people buying crap over gold, they're using the wrong measuring stick.

Darkness7089
Darkness7089

Sucker for Nintendo? Is he high? It's the worst of the 3 consoles. Well putting some of his retarded statements aside, he didn't say anything the average owner of one of these consoles doesn't already know. Thanks for the lack of any kind of evidence of what might actually happen at the event. This is one big pointless speculation post unless you are considering to buy one of these consoles, as he elaborates on the consoles themselves. But on the other hand, if you don't know the stuff, it might teach you something.(Except for his last comments regarding Nintendo, he's obviously a Wii fanboy) But to summarize(As I'd do you a favor by sparing you from their wall of text), 360 leads due to lower cost and having more games than PS3(I myself have 5 or so games that aren't on PS3), Nintendo is doing well due to the mass number of kiddy games to feed the... people with lower standards, and PS3 continues to fail due to its high cost. Gamers aren't after superior movie quality, their after gaming!

Liquify
Liquify

@ Rottenwood, While I agree with most of your statements regarding Nintendo and their ability to produce great games regardless of their child-friendly appearance, you shouldn't go out on a limb and label some of the greatest shooter franchises in the industry 'mediocre' (Halo, GoW, CoD). Their popularity within the core gamer community speaks for themselves.

cockneyscouse
cockneyscouse

Tune in next week, when we will pay an 'expert' to tell us "games should be fun" and more insightful predictions :/

falconclan
falconclan

If microsoft really trys to release a game for online only, I hope we can at least agree to boycott it. Any time you can't get a hard copy of a game, you are renting it, I don't know about most people on this site, but I know I want a hard copy of most games.

TruthOpinionSpk
TruthOpinionSpk

This kid looks like that douchey BUY A ZUNE financial planner (srsly) Microsoft employed to crap on the iPod. You think I'm gonna take this kid's word for it?

OldWiseBob
OldWiseBob

Reading these comments is like entering World War III. Sheesh... This analyst seems to know what he's talking about in regards to factual opinions [other than his last point regarding Nintendo]. It is a worthwhile read in regards to gaining a general understanding on what the companies need to achieve to do well in the market. ~Thumbs up to you Jesse Divnich

TrippingOnWords
TrippingOnWords

Bravo Rottenwood. Congrats on your mature and amusing little romp addressing all the comment trolls. I hate analyst mumbo-jumbo. Nintendo seems to throw all the "Being loyal to our fanboys" stuff to the Nintendo DS and leaves the Wii for the casual stuff. Whether this means that Nintendo has been working on some godly edition of their icons or just mucking about with new IP's that we probably won't like I don't know, but I do know I need a truly inspiring E3 Nintendo press conference to return my faith. In the meantime, I love Nintendo hand helds and I'll try to have hope that they'll do something this year to make me grin.

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

@Vimanesba "LOL!!! are you kidding me? Super Mario Galaxy was such a BORING game! I played it for like 4 days and got bored of repeating the same **** all over again." Your inability to appreciate a masterpiece is not my problem. GameRankings.com lists it as the third-best game ever made, determined via composite of reviews from all major Web sites and publications. Now don't get me wrong, this is all opinion, so there's no law stating you have to like Galaxy. But if we're trying to measure the Wii as a viable game platform, this seems like a good metric. I could go on and on about how Galaxy more or less reaffirmed my faith in classic gaming after the Sunshine debacle, but don't take my word for it - listen to the paid experts. "And No More Heroes can't be awarded as "the best game of our generation". Why not? For the record, I don't think it is either - Galaxy beats it, for example - but if someone held that opinion, what's wrong with it? "You old sir, are too trapped in your little pink I-love-nintendo bubble to actually see the best games of our generation:" True. I should be doing something more manly, Senor Rock Band, like banging on a fake plastic guitar and doing karaoke. "Little Big Planet, Bioshock, Call Of Duty, The Orange Box, Rock Band, FIFA 09, MGS4, HALO 3, Gears of War,...." I've praised Little Big Planet multiple times in this thread alone. BioShock is pretty amazing, but I played it on the PC, so I guess I don't quantify it as a console game, even though it is. Ditto the Orange Box, although that's like two-and-a-half games. Metal Gear Solid 4 wasn't as good as the third one, although it's still great, Halo, Gears, and Call of Duty are all well-polished mediocrity from the Shooter-O-Matic machine. "I bet you wife doesn't let you out of her closet does she?" What does that even mean? Or did we just get a weird glimpse of how punishment is handled at your place? "And she buys you Nintendo crappy games for you to be entertained? And AGAIN, Nintendo focuses only on children customers, that is WHY their cheap lame console is still selling millions. Period." Aww, you're not even trying anymore. Just the same "ur gamez are kiddie har har" stuff that's been kicking around since the Genesis. Anyone else remember those ads: "Sega does... what NintenDON'T" Back then, Sonic was actually pitched as the manly alternative to Mario. Some things never change, eh?

king_bobo
king_bobo

I agree with all of Matthew-Butler's points except the last one. I agree with ratm247, although the word 'surpassing' is a little too ambiguous for anyone to be arguing over the claim. I agree with Shlomiki, almost entirely. I agree with most of what Inuyasha55 said, but I feel the first paragraph was a little unnecessary, and I think you misinterpretted the tone of when he said "Arguing about video games on the Internet is pretty pathetic in general. But it beats doing work." - I think he was saying that everyone involved in the argument over video-games (including himself) are being pathetic.

king_bobo
king_bobo

I can see his point with most of the points here except for the following: "Those who own a PS3 are either loyal Sony fans or are considered technology innovators" - I for one, previously owned an Original Xbox and never owned a Playstation 2 personally (although my brother did). Additionally, I bought my Xbox 360, Wii and PS3 a considerable amount of time after their respective release dates. "Sony must...introduce more AAA exclusive titles" - this makes very little sense. From what I understand, there is more excitement generally speaking over the PS3's exclusive future releases than any other platform (although this may just be skewed by the number of fanboys on SW, and this could easily change after E3). "...you know you are a sucker for anything Nintendo releases. We all are, and that's why we love them. " - I completely disagree with this point. There are several Nintendo releases which I dispise, and most of my Wii games are 3rd party.

Vimanesba
Vimanesba

@Rottenwood "I guess referring to Galaxy and No More Heroes as the two best games of this generation doesn't count." LOL!!! are you kidding me? Super Mario Galaxy was such a BORING game! I played it for like 4 days and got bored of repeating the same **** all over again. And No More Heroes can't be awarded as "the best game of our generation". You old sir, are too trapped in your little pink I-love-nintendo bubble to actually see the best games of our generation: Little Big Planet, Bioshock, Call Of Duty, The Orange Box, Rock Band, FIFA 09, MGS4, HALO 3, Gears of War,.... I bet you wife doesn't let you out of her closet does she? And she buys you Nintendo crappy games for you to be entertained? And AGAIN, Nintendo focuses only on children customers, that is WHY their cheap lame console is still selling millions. Period.

nintendoboy16
nintendoboy16

I hate it when analysts just have to show up. I never trust these guys,

Fady117
Fady117

The man's right, first the PS3 must reduce price costs and make more DLC available, second Nintendo still haven't reached the PS3 and 360 levels so they would be wise to start following this trail... third, not every E3 is a success, at least when it comes to showing only the "plus" side and not saying anything about the downside of games...

Shlomiki
Shlomiki

This guy is practically saying the PSN still sucks - yet imo that's where he goes wrong. The PSN offers all of the features XBL does, except for in-game chat and a unified friends list. But should I pay 50$ just to have those features? And I didn't even address the fact that PSN offers more variety in it's downloadable games. Ofcourse: XBL offers exclusive DLC for Fallout 3 (3 episodes that are absolutely amazing). But opposed to that the PS3 offers exclusive GAMES, not DLC. Resistance, MGS, Infamous, MAG, LBP, Killzone, FF Versus, Motorstorm, and more. Personally, I'm looking forward to MAG and Infamous seems so good (review is available on IGN btw).

Adzey
Adzey

Microsoft are going to announce a AA title for live? Like what? Unless it's Goldeneye, which it isn't, I can't see how showing that M$'s online service is better than the rest and an unneccesary price cut will make such an amazing E3 for M$. Sony will need that price cut that they are supposed to make but other than that, showing God of War 3, MAG and FFXIII vs should make for a decent conference, especially as 2 of these are highly popular franchises and MAG should also be good. Nintendo is not just for kids, I hate how people think that it's a toy when honestly they have some of the best and most hardcore titles in their software line up, yea they don't have all the AAA titles that Sony and M$ have and ok most of the games that are advertised are Wii Fit or Wii Music etc. but take a look at the Wii's hardcore catalogue and compare them to some of the biggest and best games on the 360 and Ps3 and the Wii can still stand up to them if not surpass them in some cases, I expect them to show a new Wii Zelda or more Spirit Tracks stuff and a release date, the Mario game, I am hoping, will be a continuation from Luigi's Mansion, cause that would rock. Also, to this idiot analyst, DS has no core games...what world has he been on, or did he just watch the ads for Cooking Mama and Professor Layton or something, hello, Chrono Trigger (claimed the best RPG ever) and Etrian Odyssey, Metroid Prime Hunters and Call of Duty on DS, a system perfect for RTS and Point and Click. The DS has some of the best games of this generation core and casual, so, in summation, this guy's an idiot.

damaster101
damaster101

@Inyuasha You may be excellent at math but i'm still tougher then you infact anyone on this board could wreck you.Point is you may have the best math scores on the planet but the reality is:NO ONE CARES!

Cabal23
Cabal23

@Inyuasha If your so smart solve P=NP......

lukemularczyk
lukemularczyk

"it doest matter if youve sold 3 times more consoles, when your competition is selling 25 times the software." The last time they put out some figures showing software sales per console the wii was behind yes, but wasn't by that much, the ps3 and 360 were around 8-9 and the wii about 7 i think, but can't remember that much. When the wii was out it was the only console to sell for profit, so they made less software sales, but havn't taken a hit anywhere like sony are still doing (i believe, they may have finally got it into profit now) and MS were doing. from my own collection i have about 8 wii games, 6 360 and 6 ps3 games, i do however still have 10 GC games, 1 xbox game and 5 ps2 games, so overall ninty still wins for me :P

Rottenwood
Rottenwood

@inuyasha55 "2. Dude, ur talking about Vimanesba arguing over video games being pathetic? In one of your other commnets u said "i hope you all enjoy the irony of this guy's comment" well im shooting that right back at you and i bet you'll easily see the irony in it too. Because you're doing the exact same thing..arguing over videogames!." Really? Is that right? Wow, it's almost like when I made that comment, I was including myself in the insult as a form of self-deprecating humor. "most of the crap that you write is all insulting people with what they write previously, while youre try to defend Nintendo..but youre not even defending Nintendo because ur not listing points why theyre "good." I guess referring to Galaxy and No More Heroes as the two best games of this generation doesn't count. It's a good thing you're a math genius; your reading comprehension and short-term memory seem to be shot. Maybe you're just a stoner and I should cut you some slack. When I first went on benzos, I could barely remember where I left my IPod. That's self-deprecating humor again. I'll be sure to illustrate it in the future so you can keep up.