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Apple's iOS & Google Android command 58% of US portable game revenue - Page 2

post #41 of 46
I don't see consoles as having any role. The only reason why MS and Sony threw a gazillion dollars into developing this last generation of consoles is because they were seen as "convergence"devices. That never panned out, and it's the smartphone that's become the ultimate convergence device.

Yes, you can spend a couple billion designing and building a console that'll have awesome hardware specs the year it's released. But it'll be a year before a bunch of software becomes available for it, and two years before software which starts to really utilize that hardware comes to market. By that time the average PC will be shipping with better hardware, and given the plummeting price of PCs, for not much more money.

Worse, smartphones and tablets are on a yearly upgrade cycle, and allow you to game anywhere - home or away. They can't touch the performance of a brand-new console, but by the time that console gets established the performance gap will have shrunk considerably. And the mobile devices have enormous installed userbases, pulling in equally enormous pools of developers.

The economics of the console business just don't make sense. It doesn't make sense to spend billions developing a new console, it doesn't make sense as a developer to invest millions building games for a risky new platform with few users, and as a consumer it doesn't make sense to spend money on a new console when your PC will be playing better games in a year or two, and your smartphone has an enormous library of games selling for a fraction the cost that you can play whenever and wherever.

Hardcore gamers alone will not support the console business as it's currently constituted. They need the mass market to succeed, and they've lost it.
post #42 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunspot42 View Post

I don't see consoles as having any role. The only reason why MS and Sony threw a gazillion dollars into developing this last generation of consoles is because they were seen as "convergence"devices. That never panned out, and it's the smartphone that's become the ultimate convergence device.

Yes, you can spend a couple billion designing and building a console that'll have awesome hardware specs the year it's released. But it'll be a year before a bunch of software becomes available for it, and two years before software which starts to really utilize that hardware comes to market. By that time the average PC will be shipping with better hardware, and given the plummeting price of PCs, for not much more money.

Worse, smartphones and tablets are on a yearly upgrade cycle, and allow you to game anywhere - home or away. They can't touch the performance of a brand-new console, but by the time that console gets established the performance gap will have shrunk considerably. And the mobile devices have enormous installed userbases, pulling in equally enormous pools of developers.

The economics of the console business just don't make sense. It doesn't make sense to spend billions developing a new console, it doesn't make sense as a developer to invest millions building games for a risky new platform with few users, and as a consumer it doesn't make sense to spend money on a new console when your PC will be playing better games in a year or two, and your smartphone has an enormous library of games selling for a fraction the cost that you can play whenever and wherever.

Hardcore gamers alone will not support the console business as it's currently constituted. They need the mass market to succeed, and they've lost it.

Excellent analysis.

It will be interesting to see how Microsoft responds to all this with the XBox. It seems like a doomed product to me, and it's currently their centrepiece/lynchpin device. Should be fun to watch.
post #43 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Excellent analysis.

It will be interesting to see how Microsoft responds to all this with the XBox. It seems like a doomed product to me, and it's currently their centrepiece/lynchpin device. Should be fun to watch.

I agree it was a good analysis and will surely be fun to watch how it develops.

I think Apple sees this convergence, not only in iPhone, but also as needing a home base such as a Apple HDTV in the living room or their Mac. Even MS could license xBox hardware to OEM HDTV manufacturers and save having to build them in house.

To keep these mobile iDevices cheap, small, and competitive they need to put as little storage into them as possible and that's where a home base makes sense. Apple's iCloud will keep storage all synced up, as it does through iTunes now, only better. So the user sees freedom to roam while having the storage they need for their growing libraries right on the big screen in the living room.
post #44 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahmlco View Post

Anybody out there from the camp that was stating emphatically a year or so ago that the iPhone and touch screen-based smartphones were not going to have an impact on the portable gaming market?

That no "serious" gamer would stoop to playing on a phone?

Sony had based a whole ad campaign around it. The message: cool kids buy a 5-year-old PSP over a new iPhone that can do everything and look better while doing it.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #45 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunspot42 View Post

I don't see consoles as having any role. The only reason why MS and Sony threw a gazillion dollars into developing this last generation of consoles is because they were seen as "convergence"devices. That never panned out, and it's the smartphone that's become the ultimate convergence device.

I think it's a matter of timing. If the iPhone and iPad hadn't become so popular so quickly, MS and Sony might have been correct.

For that matter, I still think that if Apple and Bandai had done their jobs properly back in the 90's, Pippin could have caught on. A game console that functions as a complete computer for a couple hundred dollars. It could have been huge, but Bandai never did anything about it and Apple management at the time didn't know how to do anything with it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_Bandai_Pippin
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
Reply
post #46 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahmlco View Post

Anybody out there from the camp that was stating emphatically a year or so ago that the iPhone and touch screen-based smartphones were not going to have an impact on the portable gaming market?

That no "serious" gamer would stoop to playing on a phone?

I always thought that smartphones will have a huge impact on the portable gaming scene, however for myself there aren't any games that interest me. I like games on the PSP and the DS and don't care much for a million two-buck Angry Birds clones.

Touchscreen controls are horrible - I tried Street Fighter for the iphone, it's impossible to play, well, you can but it is a pale imitation of joystick/controller gameplay.

Smartphones and tablets are great for people who just want to lob some exploding birds for a few minutes, but if you want a strategy game or a RPG or a good action game then it's a wasteland compared to DS and PSP. Once again, controller is a big problem - until there is a standard controller for phones/tablets, no publisher will include support for a controller in their games.

Cut-throat pricing for phone/tablet games is another issue. Let's take a PSP jRPG like Legend of Heroes - tons of text, voice acting, etc. $30 is a good price but it won't fly in the smartphone market where people expect games for free or for a couple of bucks.

My fear is that with further expansion of smartphones and tablets we'll get portable gaming that's all casual stuff with nothing for a more dedicated gamer. Certainly very possible but I don't think I'll be too happy about this kind of future.
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