Gaming Director, Mindshare North America
1. Games Games Games. The kinks have been overcome and the adjustments have been made - the second generation of next-gen titles is here for #XBoxOne and #PS4 ! With new, eye-popping titles, players will get deeper stories, richer graphics, and first-of-their–kind interactive experiences. But there's more: Rumor has it that games such as Halo and even GTAV will be updated and ported over for next-gen. Seeing such games on the new consoles will make players feel like they are playing them for the very first time all over again. For brands, this means the games audience will just continue to grow. With new titles attracting more first-time players, and potentially-ported games bringing back people that may not have played for a while, the reach that games provides will continue to expand.
2. More Oculus Rift And More VR. After experiencing it once, you will become a believer, and it will leave you addicted, only wanting more. With #OculusRift hype growing after the Facebook purchase, and rumors of Sony jumping into the space as well, virtual reality interest has finally crossed over into the mainstream. For brands, this means exploration of an entirely new interactive channel. Imagine being able to offer a tour of a cruise ship or a first-look at a new car, to show how a new hair product works in a spa setting or placing a person in the middle of a movie scene to promote a new release. The possibilities are endless…and quite exciting.
3. Mobile Madness. What will we see from studios? More titles? More innovative ways to incorporate the second screen into a console-based experience? More interactive opportunities for brands to consider implementing in game partnerships or their own programs is a given. How will the reveals evolve the mobile space? We can't wait to find out.
4. Technology Updates Abound: From a new and improved Xbox LIVE service, to updated engines for which games can run on, and of course Nintendo's inclusion in the Near Field Communications game, we can't wait to see how the entire entertainment experience around gaming as a whole will be changed. For brands, this means more touchpoints to incorporate into programs and more program opportunities as a whole.
5. Where Does e-Sports and Video Go Next: With over 2.4B e-sports followers in 2013 and the Twitch sale to YouTube topping $1B, e-sports is bigger than ever. This has become an entirely new space for brands to get involved in and the activity continues to blossom. As we head into #E3 , we will look to see how video and gaming continue to evolve, both individually and collectively, as we await the reveals.