BBC News: The giants of the video games industry gather in Los Angeles this week for the E3 conference, and all sights are set on the mass market.
Microsoft and Sony are both expected to follow the Nintendo Wii’s lead and push into social gaming. Observers say the recent cut for the Xbox 360 is Microsoft’s bid to make the console more appealing.
“There is a strong move to pull in women, young girls and older people,” said analyst Piers Harding-Rolls.
“It’s not just about the traditional gamer anymore. More casual, lifestyle and family-orientated products are going to appeal to a wider demographic,” said the Screen Digest analyst.
Nintendo has had huge success with its Wii console, dominating rivals Sony and Microsoft by focusing on casual and lifestyle titles. “They have created a new category of gaming – lifestyle and training games and this social software genre is doing fantastically well,” said Mr Harding-Rolls.
One of the other key themes of E3 will be the continued growth in online content, he predicted. He said: “We’ll see more downloadable titles. It will be interesting to see if there any more premium titles delivered via digital distribution. Online gaming is becoming increasingly popular across the whole of Europe. Europe is not a small online gaming market anymore.”