Gamasutra goes right to the source, starting with the first column in a new series querying analysts directly about gaming-related issues. Today they've got several views from the big thinkers about the importance of online gaming services
in this round of the console wars. From the article: "Anita Frazier, The NPD Group: As technology and capabilities advance, not having some of these [online] capabilities would simply make the system appear to be behind the times. Core gamers are technology lovers and, whether they actually use online play features all that much, having that capability helps games appear more cutting edge. And we do know that, with teens and young adults 'hanging out' online so much these days (a la MySpace), there is an appeal of an online community."