Going into E3, what is one genre of games you would like to see Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo individually tackle to diversify their own portfolios?
The interesting thing about the video game market is that it is self adjusted to some degree, at least in terms of game releases. Console have historically had their genre release trajectory defined by console gamer demographics. For instance, this past generation was defined by many party, child, and family-oriented titles headed to Nintendo’s Wii. This was because the Wii’s motion controls appealed to the 8-18 year-old crowd. The Xbox 360 and PS3 became well known, partially due to their controller’s ergonomic triggers, for first person shooters, racing titles, and fighting games. As a result, the crowd of gamers who sought out mature, action-oriented titles (namely the 18-35 year olds) headed towards those platforms. So, really their individual portfolios can only reach over a certain amount of genres while maintaining profitability. However, that’s not to say that we don’t need more of some genres and need less of others.
I’m tired of “hardcore” systems becoming consoles for dudebros. Let them have their Doritos and Budweiser, as they play Madden, Gears of War, and Army of Two — I want to play games with complex characters, meaningful store, and smart game design. With that said, I can’t picture myself buying an Xbox One or PS4 for the latest Killzone or Call of Duty. These two consoles can potentially do very impressive things, and I’d like to see them apply themselves on a sophisticated survival horror title or AAA role-playing game. These maybe “niche genres,” but they also sell systems to your core markets.
Nintendo’s Wii U needs games of all shapes and sizes really bad, but it certainly doesn’t need anymore ports. Make all of the special editions you like, it still isn’t going to prompt a secondary purchase from me. If anything, the big N needs some killer first-party apps to push the idea that a tablet controller is worthwhile. So far, I can’t say I’m tremendously convinced.
Sony’s PlayStation Vita has received a sales boost since hitting a minor price drop in Japan and the release of Soul Sacrifice, but the momentum hasn’t moved far since. This is an impressive piece of hardware that is also swimming in numerous, unappealing ports. What it also needs is some sexy first-party support, a ton of third-party support, and a NA price drop.
Nintendo’s 3DS has been flying high as of late with strong system sales and an impressive catalogue of games. However, the handheld is still lacking in must-have titles. The release of a new Animal Crossing has improved its standing as of late, but we need to see more AA and AAA software and fewer watered-down ports of console releases.
With all of that said, I doubt I’ll be tremendously satisfied by the end of E3. Make no mistake, friends — the console market is hurting while PC and mobile gaming is on the rise. If there isn’t a quick turnaround by gaming’s three biggest players, we may not see another console generation after this “next gen.”