It seems like only yesterday that I attacked an analyst for some questionable research here on Infendo, but today I’m going to switch gears and actually agree with one. Watch out for flying pigs everyone.
The analyst prediction today says that the online games market is set to reach $4.4 billion by 2010, driven predominantly by the likes of the Big Three’s next-generation consoles (yes, even Sony). The reason I’m not attacking this prediction is because, unlike the Yankee Group’s assertion that Nintendo and Microsoft should just pack up shop and concede the console war to Sony, I happen to agree with this. I agree that online play will only increase as developers continue to tweak and expand it, especially as broadband capability continues to grow into the farthest reaches of society where hampsters on wheels might still be in service as the primary producers of electricity.
But like all things, moderation is key. While some online play benefits some titles (Mario Kart), this is not a case where the rising tide of online speeds will lift all boats. The critics will say I’m being hypocritical by saying previously it’s ok for Nintendo to wait on third party online support while at the same time praising an analyst report that says online will quadroupal in size over the next five years, but it’s not. Not really. Like I said before, sit back and relax, and enjoy first party online play for now, and third party next year. There’s going to be plenty to get used to and experience over the next six months with the Wii that before you know it, it will be time for the second gen of titles, 3rd party online support and all, to arrive.