More bad news for those betting their futures on the internet emerged during E3 last week, with American's Interactive Digital Software Association releasing the results of their latest survey on the state of the gaming industry in the USA. According to their research, although 31% of regular games players now play online, only a third of those people prefer playing online to traditional single player games. Hopefully this statistic means that single player games still have a future, and we're not heading towards a nightmare world where every big new release is an online game, as Microsoft's J Allard recently suggested. It's also worth noting that only one of the top twenty selling games in the US last year featured online support (Tony Hawk 3 on the PS2), and only around half of them included even split-screen or link cable multiplayer options. The good news for publishers and manufacturers touting online gaming as the wave of the future is that 30% of those who don't play online at the moment said that this was at least partly because they weren't interested in any of the games currently on offer. This is something that a new wave of online titles might help to solve, as long as they're not all Counter-Strike and EverQuest clones. The downside is that only 6% of these people would be willing to pay to play games online. Meanwhile a slowdown in broadband take-up in the US threatens to "be a drag on the prospects for online games", according to IDSA head Doug Lowenstein. So is online gaming really the future, as people have been claiming for the best part of a decade now? Is the revolution just around the corner, as it has been for the best part of a decade now? And will anyone actually pay to take part in it once it arrives? Related Feature - Online gaming overhyped
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