Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Friday, August 13, 2010

Mobile Games: Threat or Menace?

Mobile games are a viable competitive threat to consoles, according to iSuppli. It's hard not to acknowledge it (unless you're Nintendo) when you look at the numbers; handheld videogame sales actually dropped last year by 2.5%, down to 38.9 million units. While Google recently announced that they are activating 200,000 Android phones every day. And Apple is selling well over a million iPhones a month, and over a million iPads, and over a million iPod Touches... it all adds up to big trouble for the DS. The PSP? No one even thinks of that as a viable competitor any more; major publishers are dropping PSP versions of titles (LucasArts, for one).

Mobile games are even threatening the console market in the family room, as the iPad takes hold (and Android tablets begin arriving). Sales numbers are down for console titles this year (by around 10%); it may be the economy, but it may also be due to the proliferation of low-cost alternatives like social games... and mobile games.

There's no clearer illustration of the threat than the fact that if you look for EA's Madden Football on, say, a Wii, it's $60. On a DS, it's $30 (or $20 used). On an iPad, it's $12.99, and on an iPhone, it's $7.99. The same game... Oh, and your iPad or your iPhone can be used for other things than gaming, and you store the game on the device and never have to worry about finding the cartridge or the disc. And buying it just takes a couple of clicks and a few moments.

And soon we'll see Android and Apple app stores in family room devices... whither the console business then?

No comments:

Post a Comment