PS3 and Revolution Will Drive Up Online Content Sales

Something tells us that the next-generation consoles will bring in online content sales enough to eclipse revenues from subscription fee models. A study by tech market analysts at ABI Research forecasts that gaming downloads for consoles will grow from less than $1 million in 2005 to over $3.8 billion in 2011, which can be attributed to free online services from Sony and Nintendo.

We all know that Microsoft has a content download service in the form of Xbox Live Arcade and Marketplace, but its online multiplayer is only available to subscription-paying Xbox Live Gold subscribers, and not to free Silver users. Something that might change in the near future once Sony and Nintendo’s online platforms are put into place, both offering free multiplayer gaming, supported partially by paid downloadable content. ABI speculates that Microsoft may be forced to drop its subscription model and opt for a primarily content-supported model.

Principal analyst Micahel Wolf said: Sony’s new PlayStation Network Platform – which will launch with its Playstation 3 console – and Nintendo’s Wi-Fi Connection service for its Nintendo DS and Revolution, are changing the market for online console and handheld services. With both of the dominant handheld gaming platforms and two of the next generation consoles doing away with fees for the majority of online gameplay, consumers will come to expect online multiplayer gaming as a core component included with the purchase of the game.

Looking further on to the future of online console gaming services, gamers would have to live with the fact that advertising will play an important role in this shift to content-supported model. So we can expect a bombardment of in-game ads. Take cover!
Something tells us that the next-generation consoles will bring in online content sales enough to eclipse revenues from subscription fee models. A study by tech market analysts at ABI Research forecasts that gaming downloads for consoles will grow from less than $1 million in 2005 to over $3.8 billion in 2011, which can be attributed to free online services from Sony and Nintendo.

We all know that Microsoft has a content download service in the form of Xbox Live Arcade and Marketplace, but its online multiplayer is only available to subscription-paying Xbox Live Gold subscribers, and not to free Silver users. Something that might change in the near future once Sony and Nintendo’s online platforms are put into place, both offering free multiplayer gaming, supported partially by paid downloadable content. ABI speculates that Microsoft may be forced to drop its subscription model and opt for a primarily content-supported model.

Principal analyst Micahel Wolf said: Sony’s new PlayStation Network Platform – which will launch with its Playstation 3 console – and Nintendo’s Wi-Fi Connection service for its Nintendo DS and Revolution, are changing the market for online console and handheld services. With both of the dominant handheld gaming platforms and two of the next generation consoles doing away with fees for the majority of online gameplay, consumers will come to expect online multiplayer gaming as a core component included with the purchase of the game.

Looking further on to the future of online console gaming services, gamers would have to live with the fact that advertising will play an important role in this shift to content-supported model. So we can expect a bombardment of in-game ads. Take cover!

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