Walmart? Who shops at Walmart for state of the art gaming stuff?
Well, pretty soon it may be me and YOU, as Walmart corporate has allowed its key buyers to blog information they obtain from consumer electronics shows.
Now you can preview the newest games, gadgets and gotta have techno toys at their new blog.
BUT before you click away, here are some of the up-and-coming trends in the market as put forth by Tifanie Van Laar the Walmart game buyer.
Expect Packaging to Matter – We spoke with quite a few folks about their publishing. It is time for our industry to mature and take more responsibility. Look at movies and music and some of the efforts they have undertaken. No need for heavy plastic packages that really are way overbuilt. We challenged quite a few suppliers on this front. We can, and must do better.
Expect More Street Dated Releases – Here too, we have much to learn from our brethren in music and movies. You know that Tuesday is the day for big releases in movies and music. Even smaller releases are out on Tuesday. With some of the marketing and development costs makers are talking about, there is no need to just ship date these titles. A street date serves as a call to action for the consumer. Hey, if I were spending $10 MILLION on just marketing a title, I would want a street date. Only one retailer does not want street dates, the other retailers want them. Seems that less than 30% of the industry is trying to have it their way. It just does not make sense to the industry or the consumer.
Expect Differences on Platforms – It was a tough lesson for the industry to learn, but it looks like they got it. Members with Wii’s do not want ports of PS3 and 360 games. They want Wii specific games that utilize motion on their console of choice. 360 gamers expect a great on-line experience. PS3 gamers demand utilization of the Blu-Ray gaming experience. Give each of us a unique experience and let us decide. That adds development costs for certain, but it should also increase sales and make the experience richer.
Expect More Downloadable Content – Soon we should be able to get a similar experience to Apple TV via the PlayStation Network. Microsoft has already gotten some of the way there with Xbox Live. ‘Warhawk’ was the first BIG downloadable that I recall. There will be more. Not just new maps, but full games, add ons and whatnot to make the experience immersive. For a few dollars more, it is like getting a new game, or it could be.
Expect More Games for Females – Yes, you heard that right. Look at Imagine and the success there. Women are gaming too. It is no longer a boy’s club. The DS has paved the way and we should expect female gamers to embrace this and grow the audience. It is good for the industry. Who says a guy cannot play a game written for women? Women play ‘Call of Duty’ too. If the game is fun and entertaining, why not? One side note, the absolute coolest title that I saw last week was ‘Saint’s Row 2.’ I cannot say much about it, but the customization is amazing. GTA IV is also incredible, but it is clear that they no longer exclusively own the genre. Be looking for ‘Saints Row 2’ and be prepared for an experience you will enjoy. THQ really stepped it up in the new version, and while we only saw an Alpha (pre-Beta) version, it was something I know all gamers will enjoy.
The Walmart Blog can be found here.