Microsoft’s show at E3 this year was probably their best in years. A lot of that simply had to do with the great pacing and focus on showing off content, but a huge part of that was Microsoft finally managing to assure people of their seriousness and long term commitment to the gaming market- the best example of which was when they announced that they had doubled the size of their first party, having acquired four studios, and opened up a fifth one.

Is this the kind of thing that can help Microsoft’s sales performance, which has consistently lagged behind Sony and Nintendo, going forward? We asked that question to the NPD Group’s Mat Piscatella. The NPD Group, of course, is the organization that delivers information on hardware, software, and accessory sales for video games in the United States on a monthly basis, so he would have his finger on the pulse to be able to tell.

“Well, having more studios means having more content to appeal to the market, so I think it’s great,” Piscatella said. “I think this helps prepare them for the future, whether it’s in future generations on the console side, but also on the PC or streaming side, wherever that ends up leading. [It’s] hard to find a reason why this wouldn’t be good news for the market.”

Which is fair- a steady stream of appealing content gives more people to pick up your hardware on a routine basis- just as Sony and Nintendo! Microsoft may have been late in getting the memo, but at least they did. Now, we wait for the fruits of their acquisitions and studio openings to bear out.