I am sitting here in Seattle, Washington at my friend (and 352 Media Group’s original co-founder) Brian Keller‘s house. I am here with Peter VanRysdam, our VP of Marketing, as we are about to do a big pitch to Microsoft tomorrow.
As I sit here, Brian and Peter are jamming on guitars and signing into a microphone while they play EA’s Rock Band and Activision’s Guitar Hero III on Brian’s Xbox 360. They both play these games whenever they get a free moment, and they have become quite good at them.
These games offer extremely interactive experiences using unique input devices (different types of guitars, a microphone and even a drumset). I know the games must be incredibly engaging, because Peter and Brian have hardly said a word (other than singing lyrics) for the past few hours.
This, my friends, is the future of entertainment. Well, not Rock Band specifically, but rather interactive engaging experiences. And the age of the standard video game controller is dead! Controllers will detect sound and motion and will come in all kinds of shapes and sizes.
There is no better evidence of what the future will bring than the popularity of the Nintendo Wii, which is the first major console system to go away from the traditional controller and use an interactive motion based input system. The Wii system is still completely sold out, a year and a half after its release!
Game makers are starting to see the widespread appeal of breaking away from the traditional controller and offering more interactive gaming experiences. In fact, EA’s marketing campaign for their new Madden ’08 game for the Wii advertises “family play” and even encourages grandma to get involved in the action!
The future of interactive entertainment will extend well beyond the standard video game. Think of the possibilities of interactive skill lessons or job training using these types of devices. Learning could finally be fun!
The entertainment world is quickly going interactive, and it’s time for everyone to get on board. I just hope grandma is ready to take on that blitzing linebacker!