Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Wanting

If you're looking for another reason to be pessimistic about the holiday sales picture for videogames, here's one: Nielsen's got a survey of kids about what they're looking for for Christmas. Number 1 for kids age 6-12: The iPad. Followed by a computer, and an iPod Touch. At least when you get to the number 4 slot it's a Nintendo DS, and then number 5 is a PS3. But it's kind of interesting how far down the Wii, and the Move, and Kinect are... and the Xbox 360.

The picture for kids age 13+ is also interesting:

A computer is number 1, followed by a TV (high-def, no doubt, not 3D); and then we get into smartphones and the iPad.

You can understand by looking at this survey why handheld videogames are lagging, and why publishers should be concerned about sales of them in the future. If kids are all going to be getting smartphones, it's harder to convince them to carry yet another portable device around to play games. If they have a spiffy smartphone that can play games (and games that are cheap), why have another device? Juggling two pocket devices gets tricky. And you have to have your phone... otherwise, how will you get and send text messages? (Gee, you'd think handheld consoles might be able to do that... what if you added a 3G chipset? The rumored PSP phone might be what you get.)

If you extrapolate this to see what can happen in the family room when you have mobile device app markets available, you can see where the whole industry is headed. The high growth rates are going to continue to be in the non-traditional areas. The old school industry, currently showing negative growth rates for the past two years, isn't likely to jump into high growth rates any time soon. Or ever.

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