Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

iPad Launches

The iPad is officially here... or will be in a couple of months. The big surprise is the price point, which starts at $499 and heads north to $829 for a fully loaded unit with 64GB of storage and 3G connectivity. What I found most interesting was the prominence given to games and game play. Games have been assuming more and more importance for Apple, at least judging from how they're being featured in Apple's marketing (when you see billboards devoted to iPod Touch/iPhone games, you can reasonably assume that games are important to Apple).

Granted, the first games will be iPhone games, since you can play those immediately without reprogramming (at native size or pixel-doubled). I'm sure it won't be too long before we see games built specifically for this new platform. The longer term is where it becomes interesting for game development... the iPhone/Touch market is already at 75 million devices, and the iPad could add considerably to those numbers over time. Will the iPad swiftly gain a large market? I'd say Apple's made their chances much better with their aggressive pricing. At the low end it's a pretty reasonable comparison to netbooks... netbooks at the same price have some better features in terms of storage and connectivity, but definitely don't have some of the sizzle factor.

I'd look for the Kindle DX to undergo a price drop pretty soon... this makes it look like a pretty poor deal. Certainly publishers will be happier to work with less restrictive conditions, though exact details of publishing through Apple remain to be seen. Hopefully Apple will open their iBookstore to anybody with a book, not just big publishers.

For marketers, if you can get a product onto the iPad in the next six months you can expect to get a nice shot of publicity just because everything will be newsworthy for a while... though I wouldn't expect sales to be great for some time (unless you have one of the Gotta-Have apps for the iPad that demonstrate its coolness).

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