Online Gaming Revolution
US Console Video Gaming Hits Online Era
"An online revolution is happening ... It's an important piece of the economic puzzle going forward,'' said Gartner research vice president Van Baker.
EA, the world's biggest video game publisher, is making big investments to prepare for the coming transformation. Frank Gibeau, EA's executive vice president of North American publishing, said that move is based in part on the thought that online-connected consoles will alter the business.
EA, which is experimenting with download pricing, has said its digital download sales were a relatively small $10 million. But those sales are quickly becoming a meaningful contributor to EA's PC gaming business, said Gibeau.
Gibeau expects that around 40 percent of people who buy the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii will tap the consoles' online services.
Microsoft has 3 million paying Xbox Live subscribers and aims to have 6 million by next year's E3. When you consider that analysts expect next-generation console units to hit around 150 million in this product cycle, it's easy to understand why the ranks of console-connected online gamers could explode."