Publisher commitment is shifting significantly to Nintendo's Wii with 86 titles
|Publisher commitment is shifting significantly to Nintendo's Wii with 86 titles|
Screen Digest has launched the Games Bulletin, a new service for the video games industry. Providing periodic, data-rich updates on 256 bit games publishing, gamer demographics and industry forecasting trends, the first volume focuses on software publishing in the final quarter of 2007.
The Games Bulletin analyses aggregated data from all 256 bit physical retail releases scheduled for release in the final quarter of 2007, identifying trends in publishing, platform support, content (exclusives, IP, licensing, genre) and games development.
Publisher commitment is shifting significantly to Nintendo's Wii with 86 titles scheduled for release in Q4, compared with 47 for Microsoft's Xbox 360 and 38 for Sony's PlayStation 3. A quarter of Wii releases are exclusive to the platform – compared with eight for the Xbox 360 and five for Playstation 3.
Wii is proving attractive to publishers not only because of its rapidly growing installed base, but also thanks to lower development costs and the relative ease of transferring development resources to the platform compared with its 256 bit counterparts. As a result Screen Digest expects that the number of games available for Wii will surpass Xbox 360's library in early 2008 at current release rates.
Armed with the most exclusives as well as the release of Super Mario Galaxy, Screen Digest believes that Wii is likely to lead the 256 bit market in the final quarter of 2007. The Xbox 360 platform will be driven by an increasingly well est@blished US user base enjoying a combination of strong multiplatform releases and a persistent Halo 3. Given the competition, Sony's release schedule lacks the firepower to command consumer attention during this crucial trading quarter and it is difficult to see how the catalogue will drive hardware sales in such a competitive environment.
Further analysis of Q4 releases underlines the importance of the UK as a key territory for console games development, which leads the European territories and, given its size, is more than holding its own against the US and Japan.
Ed Barton, Screen Digest Games Analyst and author of the first Games Bulletin, commented "Halo 3 commanded the attention of the mass market and we expect Super Mario Galaxy for Wii to continue the process of educating the consumer as to the benefits of the current generation of home consoles. Given present publishing activity levels and hardware sales rates, we expect 256 bit gaming to have moved out of transition and squarely into the mass adoption phase by year end. While Wii and Xbox 360 are likely to look back on 2007 with some satisfaction, the same cannot be said for PS3. Given the platform's release schedule this Christmas, it is not a surprise that Sony is focusing on lowering the cost of entry to PS3 platform to maintain parity with its rivals this Christmas."
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