December 16, 2012

Gaming’s New Home

Times have definitely changed and this interactive hobby is for everyone now.

When people think of gaming, maybe a few years ago people would have the images of groups of teenaged boys gawking over an ugly box, spending countless hours of precious time that could’ve been spent in reality socializing or applying for jobs. Nowadays that image has less and less resonance with people due to the arrival of tablets, smartphones and handheld gaming systems. Now, these devices have been on the market and used for gaming for years, but this year, 2012 has really proven the statement that both consumers and analysts alike were saying.

Theses said devices have reluctantly become gaming’s new home. It may not be a sight most would like to see but it’s the obvious business move to make at this point. A bigger installed base, easier development and subdues the risk of unseen secondhand profit made by retailers like Gamestop who let customers trade in games and sell used games.

Now as for the installed base that should be a no brainer, obviously cell phones and tablets are the hottest selling items on the market today and is an arguable statement to say that the angry Birds have more of a presence in the market than Super Mario does. But can you blame these hot-tempered beaked mascots? They have adapted to the pace of today’s society, being everywhere from your cell phone to your browser window. What can you do with Super Mario? Well you’d have to sprint home and fire up your console and play a few levels before you’d have to go and do something else. These and other gaming apps have captured the interests and imagination of both the youth and adults alike, since well… both youth and adults alike have Smart phones, tablets or handheld gaming systems.

These mobile devices also have another advantage: internet connections. Now I know what you’re thinking, just about every home console has internet doesn’t it? That may be true, but think about what one would have to go through to get internet connection on a home console. First off, paying for an internet provider and on top of that some services provide you to pay for those as well (like Xbox Live). Plus having the added stress of lagging in online matches just because someone on your team decided his slow connection speed was adequate enough to participate in online gaming which brings the team down. And let’s not talk about the tedious process of getting your Xbox to configure to your settings.

With Smartphones and tablets you get an out of the box, sleeker and sexier internet ready experience that already has a very fast internet speed since most of you out there have 4G access.

Another factor in this situation is the social factor. Imagine not having to remember someone’s fake created username and just be able to invite your closest friends which you should already have their contact info. You see it’s easy and simple which is what America tries to make things (that’s why we have Disney Movies). Another part of the social factor is it’s more socially acceptable, not that you should care of what anyone thinks of any of your interests but just in general. Imagine someone started dating someone new and they walked in on them playing video games. Some people may like the fact that you have a hobby while others may think the person is immature and all that blah. But if someone were to catch their date sitting and playing Angry Birds The person might simply think they are just “passing the time” since of course that’s what people do when they have nothing else to do; they just sit and stare at their phone as if the world isn’t moving around them.

Now by this time some of you out there are standing with your console fanboy flags waving yelling out one simple solution: “when the next generation of consoles arrive people with be standing in line for weeks!”

I do agree with that statement but one thing you have to consider is that it has nearly bean a decade since the last console generation which allowed time for a newer, sleeker love to grab hold of the world’s interests.  Mobile devices are already the hot ticket items of today with tons of benefits for developers. You can see that this change in interest is evident with the failed sales expectations of Nintendo’s latest console to start off the new generation, The Wii U which didn’t even match the first week sales of its predecessor.

The people of the world just see more of the same in a new box, maybe better graphics but still.

With Mobile devices the people already know there will always be new was to innovate whether a new app or a new model (which they keep very consistent).

I myself play games on consoles and would like to see a happy medium between the two but it just seems like the huge boxes can’t keep up with the speed of life in society today.

Image Credit: Epic Games

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