What does the casual gamer know about the consoles?
Xbox 360 is a gaming console just like the last-gen. PS3 is a gaming console just like last-gen, but they've got a next gen Blu-ray drive. Ofcourse both have better graphics. Wii is the same console as last-gen, but with a new motion controller.
This is what they know about exclusives: Xbox 360 = Halo, PS3 = Gran Tourismo, Wii = Mario. Ok maybe a few other games, but not much.
Anyway games don't really matter because the casual gamers likes Madden, FIFA (not PES), Spiderman and ofcourse a Halo, MGS, andso on. But that's not because those are good games. It's because these games get lots of money for promotion. There no casual gamer in the world who bought a PS2 for Shadow the Colosus or Okami.
You only need to know that movie games sell well and the highly promoted exclusives.
You don't have to play games to be a good console analist. Or do you need to wear lipstick to be a good fashion analist?
When Blu-ray has won the war in 2009: PS3 $300 Standalone Blu-ray player $100 360 $200 (premium). Consumers will think PS3 is as cheap as 360, because of Blu-ray. Wii $100 and we know it will get a boost in sales with this low price. But it can't stay at this lowprice until 2011.
Wii dominance will be over after 2009. Because they can't lower the price anymore. Before that 360/PS3 sales are low or average. Developers need to make games for Wii and a PS3/360. There will be no major exclusive from a third party developer, just because making these games costs a lot of $$$.
Microsoft needs there sweetspot this year. And buy some more exclusives. Best would be the 2 upcoming GTA games, after GTA4.
I believe that casual gamers look at value of there consoles AND the games they want (most likely multiplatform).