Apple and Google Steal Video Game Market Share

April 15, 2011 -

Apple and Google have stolen 8 percent of the overall video game market, according to analysis by Flurry, an analytics and recommendation service for mobile apps. The analysis is based on publicly available data as well as its own data. Apple and Google now have about 34 percent of the market revenue as well, says the research firm.

A year ago, Flurry claimed that iOS devices garnered about 5 percent of the U.S. video game market from 2008 to 2009. Now with three iOS devices and millions of Android OS devices on the market, it is easy to see why these mobile devices grew as much as 8 percent in the 2009 to 2010 period.

"The magnitude of disruption is increasing, in particular within the portable gaming category," said Peter Farago, vice president of marketing at Flurry.

Indeed. Everyone's lunch is being eaten by mobile devices and software applications sold in various App Stores.

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Nintendo Issues Statement on Black Screen 3DS Crashes

March 29, 2011 -

Apparently, a fair amount of Nintendo 3DS owners are claiming "black screen" crashes when using their freshly-purchased 3D hand-held. Nintendo has responded to these reports with some words of advice on how to deal with the problem:

"If anyone is experiencing any problems with their Nintendo 3DS console, we recommend that in the first instance they download and install the latest system update, now available online," read a Nintendo statement.

"If the problems still persist we recommend they contact their local Nintendo Customer Service centre to investigate the problem further."

The specific source of the problem remains unknown, and is not exclusive to any particular game or application.

We will continue to follow this story as it develops.

Source: TVG

4 comments

Nintendo Claims Record First-Day 3DS Sales

March 29, 2011 -

Nintendo claims that its first day sales of its new 3D hand-held - released Sunday - have exceeded expectations. Further, Nintendo says that the 3DS achieved the "highest ever" day-one US sales total of any Nintendo handheld released to date. While the company made this claim, it did not release actual numbers. Are they putting a brave face on 3DS first-day sales or did something amazing happen at retail?

We won't know until April 14, when first-week US sales figures will be released by NPD Group. Of course, since NPD does not share those numbers with the media anymore, we will have to rely on Nintendo to supply the final tally of those first day sales.

"Nintendo worked hard to get as much product as possible to retailers on day one to meet demand, and we will continue with these efforts moving forward," a Nintendo rep. told Eurogamer.

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Industry Push-Back on Iwata Comments

March 4, 2011 -

Reacting to Nintendo’s President Satoru Iwata's comments at the Game Developers Conference this week, equity research analyst Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities said that in the long term "Nintendo is doomed." He was referring to Nintendo's fight in the handheld space with Apple's iOS devices and Android based smart phones.

"Long-term, Nintendo is doomed," said Michael Pachter. "He’s under full frontal assault by Apple."

Others in the industry also had comments for Nintendo:

"He may be right, but then the 200 to 300 million people who play games on Facebook are wrong," said Jeff Brown, the VP of corporate communication for Electronic Arts. "Social gaming as a whole aggregates into a business that is undeniably big money. When it’s that big you are forced to pay attention."

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Iwata: Smartphone Makers don't Value Games

March 3, 2011 -

Nintendo CEO and president Satoru Iwata took a shot at hand-held smartphone devices this week during a speech at GDC. Iwata said that smartphone manufacturers do not value video games as much as they should with many seeing the quantity of apps as more important than the quality.

"We want consumers to appreciate the premium value of software through our platforms. Although Microsoft and Sony are different to us, I believe we all share this idea 100 per cent. We demonstrate a high value of game software. “However, smartphones and social platforms are not at all like ours. These platforms have no motivation to maintain a high value of game software. For them, content is just created by someone else."

“Quantity is how they profit. The value of game software does not matter to them.”

He went on to say that the amount of games creates a higher risk of failure and puts developers' jobs on the line:

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Survey Says: Adult Mobile Game Consumption on the Rise

February 28, 2011 -

A survey conducted by Information Solutions Group and paid for by casual game publisher PopCap Games claims that one-third of adults in the United States and the United Kingdom identify themselves as "mobile phone gamers." The survey also found that among mobile phone gamers, the mobile phone is now the primary gaming device of choice, surpassing consoles and personal computers in less than two years. The survey also found that smartphone owners are the most avid consumers of mobile phone games. These and other purchase and consumption trends identified in the survey suggest growth in the mobile games sector that will continue for the foreseeable future.

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LG Takes Sony To ITC over TVs, Blu-Rays and PS3s

February 8, 2011 -

Consumer electronics company LG has asked the International Trade Commission to block the sale of the PlayStation 3 console. The company is having a patent dispute with Sony over several Bravia television sets and Blu-Ray players that it claims infringe on four of its patents. The PS3 includes a Blu-Ray player, which is why LG has named it as one of the products it wants an injunction against.

LG has also filed a lawsuit against Sony in California, seeking unspecified damages. The court action is due to the ITC's inability to award cash damages.

Bloomberg reports that these patent infringement claims related to the PS3 revolve around "a way of dealing with multiple data streams, such as different camera angles, as well as a system to reproduce data that's stored on a read-only device."

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Iwata Defends Nintendo's 3DS Warnings

January 10, 2011 -

Does Nintendo know something we don’t?

Despite a slew of eye specialists stating there’s no evidence that 3D imagery is harmful to young children, Nintendo continues to bang the “no 3D for the kiddies” drum.  In fact, at this weekend’s Nintendo World event, Nintendo only allowed small children to play its 3DS demos in 2D.  It enforced this rule by having parents mark their children with a Toad character sticker.  (AE: Um, okay...)

Nintendo CEO, Satoru Iwata addressed the 3DS warnings in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Sunday.  As many of our readers have speculated, Nintendo’s simply covering its butt against potential lawsuits.

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3DS May Help Uncover Undiagnosed Vision Problems

January 6, 2011 -

Where did we come from?  Why are we here?  Is it okay for my 6-year-old to play Nintendo 3DS?

These are the questions that have plagued mankind since the beginning of time (give or take).  While we don’t have a solid answer for the first two, a consensus seems to be forming on the third – yes, it’s fine.

In addition to several eye specialists who see nothing wrong with the kiddies using Nintendo’s 3D handheld, the American Optometric Association also chimed in on the 3DS concerns via press release:

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Why the 3DS Might Be Bad for Young Eyes

January 3, 2011 -

Nintendo has been playing it very safe with the 3DS lately, publicly stating that kids under six shouldn’t view the 3D effects and providing parental controls that will lock the handheld in 2D-mode.

Is there really any danger to children’s eyesight though?  After all, we naturally view the world around us in three dimensions so what could the problem be?

Speaking to NPR, Ahna Girshick, a vision researcher at New York University, explains it thusly:

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Report: Gaming Second Most Popular Activity on Tablets

December 16, 2010 -

Gaming on the iPad and other tablets is the second most popular activity - right behind "surfing the Internet" - according to data released by entertainment market research firm Interpret. That data comes from Interpret’s quarterly New Media Measure study. The study tracks media behavior, device ownership, attitudes, and product consumption.

According to the study, 58 percent of tablet owners use the device for surfing the Internet. Gaming is the second most popular activity, with 52 percent of tablet owners using the device to play games. Active gamers are more likely to buy some type of tablet device in the next three months than the average consumers, the study found.

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Ogmento Shores Up Ranks with Industry Vets

June 29, 2010 -

Ogmento, a company that sees the future of gaming rooted in "augmented reality," (games that combine the real word with virtual worlds) is shoring up its ranks with three video game industry veterans. The company announced today that it has hired three people that have collectively worked for such companies as Looking Glass, Pandemic, Sony Online, Electronic Arts Mobile, Alchemic Productions, and more. The three new hires are Rick Ernst, who will serve as lead game designer; Tim Hernandez, who has been named Director of Production; and James Chung who has signed on as the company's new Art Director.

Rick Ernst is a 15 year veteran of the video games industry having worked for such companies as Looking Glass, Pandemic and Sony Online, and independently as a contractor and consultant. He is also the co-founder of Alchemic Productions in Los Angeles, a production company that works with artists, film makers and authors.

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DS Branching Out

March 23, 2010 -

Nintendo has been a master at reinventing the DS handheld, one way to extend the product’s lifecycle. Another way to lengthen the viability of a product is to find untapped markets for it, and this appears to be another road that the Japanese company is exploring.

Noting that the DS is already used in Japanese museums, art galleries and aquariums, Nintendo’s Shigeri Miyamoto discussed another pending use for the DS—Japanese classrooms. Miyamoto indicated that the compact game machine would serve as an educational aid and teaching tool when Nintendo rolls out DS systems in an unspecified amount of junior high and elementary schools early next year.
 

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Shrink: DS, PSP Making Young People Lonely

August 11, 2009 -

Is your handheld game system making you lonely?

Rika Kayama, a Japanese psychiatrist, thinks that it may be.

In an op-ed penned for a Japanese newspaper, Kayama claims that Nintendo's DS and Sony's PSP are partially to blame for a sense of isolation experienced by some of her youthful patients. On that score, Kayama writes:

Today’s youth immerse themselves in worlds of their own right before our eyes, where they can live secluded from the rest of us. Feeding into these one person worlds, personal devices such as mobile phones and handheld game systems like the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS come on to the market one after another.

The ‘make your own world anywhere’ idea has gone too far, to the point that even on the train one sees people shamelessly putting on makeup or eating cups of instant noodles as though the train carriage was their own room. …

I feel that an increasing number of people are coming to my office saying, ‘Even when I’m in a crowd I’m lonely.’ Even when they are at a popular singer’s concert or when reading a best-selling novel, these patients can’t feel any solidarity for those next to them or those reading the same book.

GP: Is Kayama onto something, or is she simply rehashing the old school notion that games are inherently isolating?

Via: What They Play

37 comments

Pokemon Panic Makes List of Most Absurd TIME Covers

June 16, 2009 -

Reason Online has posted a fascinating look at what it calls The Top 10 Most Absurd Time Covers of The Past 40 Years.

While TIME's investigations into the occult, dirty words and obesity are among the topics making RO's list, we took note of the November 22, 1999 cover which addressed what some parents and teachers saw as a scourge at the time: Pokemon. Reason Online explains:

This Time cover story breathlessly warns that children are printing counterfeit cards, cheating friends and classmates, and even stabbing one another over Pokemon trading disputes. Time doesn’t dwell too long on any substantive data (there isn't any) that might show what sort of sustained violence and mayhem would make Pokemon an “addiction" (Time's word). Instead, it quickly cuts to what the authors see as the real dark heart of the Pokemon phenomenon: crass capitalism! ...

GP: Ten years on, the frenzy over Pokemon seems so silly...

23 comments

Pachter Backs Off PSP Go "Rip Off" Comments... We Don't

June 12, 2009 -

Wedbush-Morgan analyst Michael Pachter has publicly apologized for saying that Sony was "ripping off the consumer" by setting a $249 price point on the PSP Go. The eminently quotable Pachter made the damning comment about the new handheld last week during an E3 segment of Bonus Round.

Apparently thinking better of his words in the interim, Pachter penned an apology yesterday as he debuted a new monthly column for IndustryGamers:

I sincerely regret the choice of words... where I said that Sony is "ripping off" the consumer by pricing the PSP Go at $249.99. I made a poor choice of words, and I do NOT think that Sony is doing anything nefarious in choosing their pricing strategy.

 

The company has the right to price its products at a point that they think is competitive, and has no obligation to sell products at lower than a competitive price. They have been subsidizing purchases of the PS3 since launch, to the tune of 22 million sold at a loss of $100 or more apiece (on average), so if they are able to make a profit on the PSP Go, more power to them. They are pricing at a point that positions the PSP Go competitively with the iPod Touch, and the PSP Go arguably has much more value than the Apple product. Notwithstanding my view that the price point is too high to generate more than a few million units sold, I really think my comment was unfair, and would appreciate your allowing me to clear the air...

GP: Pachter is a straight shooter and, apology notwithstanding, I believe he was speaking from the heart when he made his original comment. It's not too much of a stretch to imagine that there were a few angry phone calls from Sony HQ to Pachter between the airing of the "rip off" remark and yesterday's mea culpa.

But the fact is, Pachter got it right. Why does the PSP Go, which does away with the UMD drive assembly, cost $80 more than the current PSP-3000? There's no good reason, and gamers knew that even before Pachter spoke out. From the moment it was announced at E3, the PSP Go's $249 price point went over like the proverbial lead balloon.

Nor do I think much of the PS3 justification floated by Pachter in his retraction. Sony is losing money on the PS3, certainly, but that's no excuse to try to make a few million back by skinning consumers with the PSP Go. Personally, I love my PS3. But if Sony overdid the hardware, over-estimated their market and totally screwed up the worldwide launch, that's on them.

43 comments

Pachter: $249 PSP Go Rips Off Consumers... We Must Agree

June 10, 2009 -

For an industry that's supposed to be all about fun, the video game biz is tightly managed from a P.R. standpoint. Not too many people speak their mind publicly or wander too far off message.

That's why we enjoy Mike Pachter, who tracks the industry for Wedbush-Morgan. The guy may not always be right, but he always says what he thinks.

And when Pachter says the $249 PSP Go announced at E3 is "ripping off the consumer," we must agree. The analyst, who was otherwise complimentary toward Sony's E3 presentation, slammed PSP Go pricing to host Geoff Keighley on an E3 edition of Bonus Round:

$249 is too much. Period... The [current] $169 PSP-3000 is a profitable device - the disc assembly, for a UMD, costs more than 16 gigs of flash does. So this new device doesn't cost them as much to make as the PSP-3000 and they jack the price up $80...

 

I'm sorry to say it. I don't want to get bad fan mail from the Sony fanboys, but... They're ripping off the consumer until they sell a couple million and if consumers don't buy it then the price is going to come down... they're making a lot more money on the PSP Go than the PSP-3000. And the PSP Go helps them because there's no piracy...

Maybe I like Pachter because his take on the PSP Go echoes my own. Here's what I tweeted about the system during Sony's E3 press conference last week:

Kaz [Hirai] is holding up PSP Go, but sez PSP 3000 won't go away...

Kaz PSP Go $249... Too much. Sense Me feature will match ur PSP music to ur mood. Um, thank you, no...

 

[Jack] Tretton: Resident Evil Portable. Let's hope that's a working title. LBP for PSP looks sweet. Crowd not really into PSP news, tho.

Via: Joystiq

26 comments

Honolulu Bans Cell Phones, Game Playing While Driving

May 5, 2009 -

Gaming while driving will earn you a ticket in Honolulu soon.

The Star-Times reports that on Thursday Mayor Mufi Hannemann will sign into law a bill that bans the use of all portable electronic devices by motorists. The measure, recently passed by City Council, contains an exception for hands-free devices.

Earlier this year Mayor Hannemann, acting on the advice of his police chief, vetoed a similar bill which would have made texting - but not general mobile phone use - illegal while driving.

36 comments

Michigan Senator Wants Ban on Texting, Gaming While Driving

March 20, 2009 -

A Michigan State Senator has proposed legislation that would ban texting or playing video games while driving, reports ClickOn Detroit.

Sen. Buzz Thomas (D), the sponsor of the measure, said:

There is no need to be sending a text while driving your car, it’s one of the most dangerous things a driver can do. If it’s really that important, pull over and send your message, or just wait until you get to where you are going.

 

This is the second session in which I have introduced this bill, and hopefully we can all realize the urgency and just get this passed.

If the bill becomes law, violations would carry a $100 fine.

32 comments

 
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quiknkoldAndrew : Mostly I decided there were better people who could explain what was going on, or fight any battles that may come up. so I decided not to talk about it anymore.10/01/2014 - 8:49pm
Andrew EisenI don't recall you promising that. GamerGate is not a taboo discussion here. Anyway, thanks for the link. Very interesting.10/01/2014 - 8:47pm
quiknkoldI know I promised to not talk about Gamergate again, but Intel just pulled sponsership from Gamasutra over it http://techraptor.net/2014/10/01/gamasutra-intel/10/01/2014 - 8:40pm
quiknkoldP.T. is a game I just cannot play alone. I puss out hard on it. need somebody with me when I play that. Kojima was right. it is Pants Shittingly Scary10/01/2014 - 6:17pm
quiknkold@james_fudge not playin all the way through. P.T, Silent Hill(Not sure which), Resident Evil Gamecube Remake, Alien Isolation, Ghostbusters, Outlast, Super Castlevania 410/01/2014 - 6:04pm
james_fudgeI wish I could like that last shout.10/01/2014 - 5:48pm
MechaTama31Tried out Sims 4 on my brother in law's pc. Promptly got my sim exhausted, to soil himself, then sent him without cleaning up to mock people at the museum. Good times...10/01/2014 - 5:33pm
E. Zachary KnightSo they figured out how to share CPU cycles between pools and their advanced emotions engine? Sweet.10/01/2014 - 2:53pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/10/01/ghosts-pools-darth-vader-coming-to-the-sims-4/ Pools no longer impossible.10/01/2014 - 2:06pm
james_fudgeDon't eat angry.10/01/2014 - 1:49pm
E. Zachary KnightI am pretty hungry. I feel like I could smash some supper. Not sure if I am up for making a collage though.10/01/2014 - 1:00pm
Matthew Wilsonhttps://www.facebook.com/SmashBrosEN/events What a weird idea. Nintendo will be bringing Supper smash brothers for 3ds and wiiu to collage football games.10/01/2014 - 12:52pm
PHX CorpI'll give the hosting 2 Streams on twitch a spin during extra life marathon10/01/2014 - 12:41pm
james_fudgequiknkold:: oh yeah which games?10/01/2014 - 11:20am
Andrew EisenInfophile - Your comment is on the second page. Scroll to the bottom and click "Previous Entries."10/01/2014 - 9:55am
MaskedPixelantehttps://time.com/3450854/amc-netflix-imax-crouching-tiger-hidden-dragon-boycott/ Theatres refuse to show the new Crouching Tiger movie because... well, I'm sure they've got a good PR spin reason, pick one.10/01/2014 - 9:06am
IanCForza Horrizon 2 isn't even out yet, but theres already a 31 car DLC pack, along with a season pass....10/01/2014 - 8:42am
quiknkoldstarting my Halloween Spooktacular Stream today. Every day from 7-11, I'm going to be streaming Spooky games on Twitch.10/01/2014 - 8:37am
MaskedPixelanteSteam is going to start charging us Canadians in CAD. This is bad news... for people who don't use key sellers like GMG and GamersGate.10/01/2014 - 7:23am
InfophileSomething weird was going on with that comment. As soon as I posted it, it looked like it had replies from the past. And now I can't even find it. Ah well, it was getting off-topic for that thread anyway.10/01/2014 - 4:29am
 

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