Thursday, 1 October 2009

Changes in gaming

(By Richard Holway 12.00pm Thurs 1st Oct 09) As I have said in countless posts, and in my ‘State of the ICT Nation’ speech on 21st Sept 09, there is a major shift going on in the devices that people use to play games. Console based games – Sony Playstation, XBox and, most significantly, the Nintendo Wii – were all the rage just two years back. In the last year, console hardware sales have slumped 38% and software is down 29%.

Conversely gamers turned to handhelds with the Nintendo DS leading the pack. But sales here have also stalled. Gamers have moved to their iPhones/iPod Touches. With 50m+ such Apple touch-screen devices out there and now over 2b Apps Store downloads, the gaming market is facing tough new competition. Apple says that it now has 21,000 games compared to 600 for the Sony Playstation and 3700 for the Nintendo DS. Apple App Store games cost a fraction of the $25-$40 demanded for console games.

Both seeing the trend and reacting to the competition, Sony has launched the PlayStation Portable – or PSPgo. At $250 it’s still a lot more than the iPod Touch.

Bluntly, I believe that people – including gamers – would be happier with a piece of hardware which did many things. The iPod Touch and, indeed, the upcoming Tablet, do just that. I’ve never, ever been into computer games before but seeing my grandson playing with his Mum’s iPod Touch just convinces me of its merits! It kept him quiet during many a meal out!

For further comment on this subject see FT today – Sony launches new PSP to make up lost ground.

No comments:

Post a Comment