The industry will continue to diversify and add new platforms, but distributed growth is still significant growth, says Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian -- who says that Google could become the gaming space's big winner for 2011.
In a new financial note to investors laying out the year's prospects, the game industry analyst feels confident about Nintendo, too, expecting that a strong 3DS launch will help bolster the company.
"We believe that initial popularity of 3DS will offset recent steep declines in DS sales, and could also set the stage for a debut of a new Wii in 2012," he suggests.
"However, we would also anticipate the adoption of 3D [glasses-free stereoscopic] technology in Android handhelds in the future," Sebastian suggests.
The Android platform is on rapid rise, which might also lead Google to follow Apple's lead into the connected television space -- with game apps part of the picture, he suggests.
As for the core market, the analyst sees good things ahead for THQ, which will begin showing the fruits of its core market strategy with the launches of Homefront
and Red Faction
in the first half of 2011. And Activision benefits from its stable, visible earnings, Sebastian adds.
And when it comes to what's not visible, the analyst expects more information soon: "We expect more details on the launch of Diablo [III]
and Call of Duty in Asia
in coming months from Activision," he says.
"For Electronic Arts, despite ongoing challenges with its core portfolio and a somewhat rocky transition toward mobile and social games, we expect investors will increasingly turn their attention to the long awaited launch of Star Wars
[The Old Republic
MMO] in 2H-2011," the analyst concludes.