[With the dismal economy and layoffs affecting the game biz, how will the trailing console platforms - the PS3 and Xbox 360 - fare this year - and what are the knock-on effects for the rest of 2009?]
They are the professional analysts who research, keep track of, advise their clients on, and opine to the news media about the video game business.
In Analyze This, we present a timely question pertaining to the business side of the industry, and then simply let a trio of analysts offer their thoughts directly to you. Each person's opinion is his own.
Nick Williams of OTX Research, Ed Barton of Screen Digest, and Jesse Divnich of Electronic Entertainment Design and Research considered these questions:
While the Wii continues to lead the hardware charts worldwide, with game studio closures at Microsoft and large-scale restructuring at Sony, how will the Xbox 360 and PS3 fare in the tumultuous market this year?
Major studios including EA, Midway, THQ and Sega have also had layoffs recently. Though we've mostly been assured this won't affect game-release output, what effect do these layoffs have on these companies' productivity and product mix?
Due to the economy, do you predict more mergers, buyouts, layoffs, or other financially-focused motion for the year?