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Feature: Will Summer Games Give Hollywood A Run for Its Money?

Feature: Will Summer Games Give Hollywood A Run for Its Money? Exclusive

May 20, 2008 | By Eric Caoili

With summer game sales debuting alongside Hollywood summer smashes, Gamasutra asks Wedbush Morgan, EEDAR, and OTX analysts: out of the games being released over the summer, which games will shine, and which will succumb?

OTX Research's Nick Williams doesn't see much to the movie-verses-game debate, believing that consumers will make time in their schedules to enjoy both, provided that they continue to provide different experiences. Of this summer's big video game releases, Williams sees Silicon Knights' Too Human for the Xbox 360 as the game to watch:

"Platform exclusivity has always had a significant influence on hardware sales, and this console cycle is no different.

Microsoft has done a superb job of minimizing Sony's historical advantage with regards to exclusive software content. But with the PS3 launch of Metal Gear Solid 4 this summer, the pressure is on Microsoft to continue putting out quality exclusive content.

Too Human is next in line for the Xbox 360, and I would not be surprised if it had a similar impact on the market as BioShock did last August.

Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter thinks Nintendo's Wii Fit is the game that will shock people with its performance. He also sees video game sales as having little impact on the movie industry and other entertainment:

"I think that the logic that Hollywood and video games compete is flawed. At the current rate, game sales are running at an annualized rate of around $2 billion above last year's U.S. levels. To the extent that "other entertainment" is impacted, you need to consider all entertainment, including sporting events, DVD purchases, book purchases, concert tickets, free TV, VOD, Internet surfing, etc.

So at best, box office represents around 10 percent of the entertainment hours consumed, meaning that the annual impact on box office is around $200 million -- 10 percent times $2 billion video-game growth. That's a rounding error, and you certainly won't be able to discern the impact over the summer only.

You can read the full feature to hear more predictions for this summer's games from the industry's analysts (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from external websites).

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