Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Video Games Go Mainstream ; Harry Potter Software Expected to Drive Up Demand

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Video Games Go Mainstream ; Harry Potter Software Expected to Drive Up Demand

Article excerpt

Bragging rights for who has the most bits and bytes are becoming a thing of the past when it comes to video games.

For most of its young life, this industry has ushered in each new stage of its development with hype about the power of its latest hardware. But those days are gone, primarily because the audience for video games has expanded beyond technoids who live and die by technical specs.

"The demographic for [video] gaming has broadened dramatically beyond the traditional teenage-boy audience," says Doug Lowenstein, president of Interactive Digital Software Association. "Today, video games are mainstream entertainment. They're played by people of all ages; they're played by people of all tastes; and they've become as important a part of our culture as TV and movies."

The major players - Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft - are jockeying to get their latest-generation game machines (GameCube, Playstation2, and X-Box, respectively) into homes for the holidays. But the reality is that most consumers don't choose by hardware - they choose by entertainment value.

"Pretty graphics and other cosmetics are now just the ante to get into this business," says Peter Main, executive vice-president of Nintendo. "[Computing] horsepower is what makes us all the same, but today's video-game players are focused on what makes [each manufacturer] different." Translation: Who has the coolest games?

Today, software developers are rushing to produce games for the broadest possible market. Not surprisingly, Harry Potter video games on four different platforms will appear as the film hits movie screens this November.

"There are Playstations in 70 million homes now," says Danny Billson, an Electronic Arts (EA) developer working on Harry Potter games. "Wait till the games come out. People will be buying the hardware just to play the Harry Potter games."

Efforts to mainstream video games are everywhere. According to Jupiter Media Metrix, as of August, some 5 million American singles use the Internet for online dating. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.