How does the Interactive Entertainment Market look like in the future?

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  • Who are the main players in the console market today?

The mainplayers in todays market (2005) are Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.



  • What are differences between these main players?


Sony PlayStation: Populair, family and party oriented console

Strengths:

  • DVD compatibility
  • Backwards compatibility
  • Firewire/USB compatibility
  • PlayStation reputation
  • Currently in bed with SquareSoft
  • Eye-toy camera for interactive gaming


Weaknesses

  • Expensive when compared to competition
  • Allegedly hard to develop for
  • Needs more A-list titles


Microsoft: Primary target market, gamers who want high performance

Strengths:

  • Backed by Microsoft
  • Embraced by PC development community
  • Includes modem/hard drive for online connectivity out of the box
  • Based on spec sheets, the most technologically advanced console in history
  • Massive advertising budget
  • Easy to port games from PC


Weaknesses:

  • Japanese developer support fairly small
  • Microsoft relatively unknown outside of PC circles
  • Abundance of PC-styled games may turn off typical console gamers


Nintendo: Primary target market childeren

Strengths:

  • Easy to develop for
  • Exclusive Nintendo 1st party titles
  • Inexpensive
  • Portable gaming


Weaknesses:

  • Nintendo often labeled as a "kiddie" company
  • Range of 3rd party support unknown
  • Heavy reliance on existing Nintendo properties (Mario, Zelda, etc)



  • What are the software revenues by platform?

According to DFC Intelligence the world wide software revenue per platform is as follows (for 2003):

  • Sony playstation 44%
  • Nintendo gamecube 10%
  • Nintendo GBA 11%
  • Microsoft Xbox 11%
  • PC games 19%
  • Others 5%



  • What are the advantages & disadvantages of a game console?

Advantages:

  • A console is a fixed, unchanging platform
  • Ease in use play a game within minutes
  • No operating systems to configure or drivers to update
  • Many people prefer to play games sitting on the couch consoles are extremely well-suited for this.
  • Console games tend to have a relatively low learning curve. You might need fast thumbs, but you certainly won't need to spend hours to understand which buttons to use.


Disadvantages:

  • Launch prices of game consoles are almost equal to the price of a simple PC (mac mini)
  • The price of a game is higher than a pc game
  • Consoles perform only one task really well (gaming)
  • There is a distinct lack of inter-connectivity between the different console brands. Many games are available for one type of console but not others, and when it comes to online play, each is typically restricted to its own network. This means that people with Xboxes can only play against other people with Xboxes. So maybe in the future: cross-platform gaming?



  • How will each game console brand develop in the future?

Sony PlayStation:
Sony strived with the PS2 to make it a home entertainment system, rather than just a stereotypical games console. This proved to be a key to it's success and part of the home entertainment system plan was to include online gaming. By the time Sony releases their nnext generation; a huge percentage of homes across the world will have access to broadband.


Microsoft:
Influenced by microsoft mediacenter Microsoft also focus at home entertainent. Microsoft probably will end up owning a major part of the online gaming infrastructure.


Nintendo:
Nintendo has a good position in the handhelds market. They will probably follow the portable DS route and create a console very much like what’s out today, but with innovations on top of it, like the DS’s touch screen and microphone. The DS is, at its heart, just an evolution of the Game Boy, but with extra features. Nintendos vision is that forcing a new feature while eliminating one gamers already like will not be good for business. It can’t be something inherently different than today’s videogames. Consumers will be hesitant and developers even more so—the current videogame model works.


According to Nintendo’s strategy:"We don't have a massive consumer electronics division out there, we don't own film studios, we don't own a lot of record labels -- we're not really that concerned about having a piece of the online distribution of electronic media. We really want to make a great machine for gaming. That's what we do and that's what we know." So probably Nintendo will not integrate their console into an entertainment device like Microsoft and Sony.


On the other hand when they fail again with their system, they could merge with Microsoft. Microsoft can handle the advertising and creations of a good system, Nintendo can handle the games, just like Sega is doing today. The ability to play Halo and Zelda on the same machine is gamer’s dreams come true.



  • Who are the secondary competitors or substitutes for the next generation game consoles?

Mobile Gaming (mobile phone): The mobile gaming market addresses a mass-market audience to a much larger extent than PC or console gaming do. This has implications when considering the content of the mobile gaming service as well as how to market the service. Datamonitor7 lists key issues from their research as follows:

  • Wireless gamers have more free time than the industry currently believes. Their play is not restricted by the time they spend commuting. They may respond to games which have more than the usual five to ten minutes of game play
  • Games should consider basing themselves on evening activities such as dating, movies, shows, television and socializing. Users are less likely to be commuting than they are to be out, waiting for their friends or at home relaxing
  • Internet to mobile phone penetration is high. Use the Internet to continue the game experience for users and should be made of as a marketing tool to virally draw new users to the game service
  • Device ownership data show that in markets where WAP ownership is low using the Internet to market and attract these consumers is likely to have the potential to reach almost all WAP users.
  • The global mobile gaming market will be worth €5.25bn by 2010, according to a report by media research firm Screen Digest.
  • Market research firms expects that the Indian mobile gaming market will generate $26 million (US$) in revenue in 2004, and will increase to $336 million in annual revenue by 2009.


PC:
Gamehalls:
Fitness: Games are stimulating people during their exercises. Your workout can be fun and effective at the same time.



  • How do consumers choose for a game device?

More and more people like to stay at home playing video games than go out to the movies. Why? Because some of the storylines in video games are better than what is on the silver screen. So cool games are ultimately the reason why people buy a machine. In addition, with a game console nobody has to change the video card, because of the fact that there are no problems with system requirements. But the most important reason why people choose for a game console is the user comfort. The user only has to put the game in his console, switch on the television and go with it.


Network effect: The network effect is where consumers tend to buy the same system their friends own. This occurs in the console market, but it is even more pronounced in the portable market. With wireless networking capabilities, consumers will want to own the same system their friends own so that can play multiplayer games.



  • Resources


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