Michael Pachter has certainly made a name for himself in analyzing the video game business, but I can't help but think that he misses the mark often enough to relieve him of any sort of real op ed credibility. Take this article over at Gamasutra for example. In it, Pachter says that (one of) the most important announcements at E3 was the addition of Twitter, Facebook, and Last.fm functionality to the 360's dashboard.
Who knows? Maybe he's right, and that added functionality will blow all other systems out of the water. Or maybe he's completely off his mark. Such is the balance of analysts in the video game industry.
I can see where he's coming from. Microsoft originally sold the Xbox to those who would buy consoles, toys at prices upwards of $300. Now that they've gotten millions of these units under TVs and hooked up to the internet, they've begun to add functionality and accessbility for the rest of the family. 1 vs 100 is a good example of adding content and things to do that don't necessarily require twitch gaming skills like Halo 3. Project Natal is another step in a direction that opens the Xbox to a market that includes the entire family, not just the 16-25 year old males.
Where is it all going to bring us? I think that the next step in this console evolution will come in the next generation of the Xbox. It will still be marketed heavily to gamers, but it'll also come along with tons of features for everyone in the house. Maybe it'll also include DVR capabilities. Time will tell if Facebook, Twitter, and Last.fm were the biggest announcements of E3 2009, but lets be honest. If the future turns out the way we've postulated here, you know you'll be looking at the Project Natal reveal over those other features.