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Session Name:

Console Wars Revisited: Are We Breaking the Mold or Reliving History?


The current console cycle has not followed the script for what everyone expected when the 360 and the PS3 were first announced. The Wii was a surprise hit, but its demographics, sales patterns and top-ten-lists have all defied the lessons learned on other platforms. The 360 and the PS3 have been slow to reach the sales levels of their predecessors. XBLA and PSN have broken new ground, generating revenue that exceeded many projections. WoW looked like a strong new MMO and turned into a multi-billion-dollar behemoth. The iPhone has been a new phenomenon, but has its own problems for developers. Music games surprised everyone by generating billions... only to surprise analysts again by falling back in sales. The PC market has faded even as the success of Steam has grown.

Don Daglow has led development teams on every generation of game hardware going back to the Atari vs. Intellivision era, and he argues that we're re-living many patterns of games industry history. In this session he'll use specific examples to cover topics that include:

- Why PS3 and 360 sales are following historical patterns -- and what you can expect to happen next.

- How to look at a few key facts for any platform, from Social Media to iPhone, and quickly evaluate its potential for Developers

- Learning from People Generations as well as Tech Generations: What 2009 can learn from 1989

- Where are we writing new history? Trends that don't have their roots in past game cycles.

- History can be misleading: How to avoid having past industry trends blind you to new opportunities

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  • GDC 2010
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