So, when I saw that the company launched a new "Dunkin' Run" iPhone application today, I bought the shiny new Apple product. But then I was dismayed to learn that Dunkin' is not in the San Francisco Bay Area (or really west of the Mississippi.) … Read more
The Nintendo Wii has already changed the face of video games and recently started breaking new ground in advertising and social gaming. With the recent launch of the Wii-no-ma service in Japan, Nintendo has figured out how to make gaming a family event.
According to Cyber Media Japan, Nintendo researchers found that 87 percent of Wii users use it on the biggest screen in the house, which is still the one in the living room.Accordingly, Nintendo believes that new forms of advertising--especially those encouraging togetherness in viewing ads and watching videos on the Wii--are bound to make money.
I didn't think much of the initial announcements, but after talking to a friend in Japan, I realized that Nintendo may have figured out how to become the entertainment consolidator that so many other companies have been gunning for.
Cable companies, Tivo, Yahoo, and AOL all come to mind as groups that have tried to consolidate content and games, but the diversity of user experiences along with the way people choose to consume content has proven to be difficult to manage.
Nintendo is looking to broaden the variety of things you can do with a single gaming device by establishing the Wii as the machine that provides more options than those available from a handheld device like the DSi, or a more gamer-oriented product such as the Xbox. (I wrote about the Wii catering channel here.) … Read more
Widgets, portable pieces of Web code, have become synonymous with interactive Web page components, often Flash-based games and ads can stick out like a sore thumb. Functions are great, but they need to be seamless.
Instead of just offering a page function, the widget technology is turning out native applications that blend seamlessly with newsfeeds and spread virally through friend lists. Accordingly, the w-word had to go and this morning iWidgets became Transpond. Transpond, a word that actually doesn't mean anything, calls to mind words like "translate" and "respond," more positive connotations than the has-been … Read more
Start-ups peddling virtual goods raised $69 million in funding in the first quarter of 2009, holding at a steady pace from the previous two quarters according to data from Show Initiative LLC.
I've long held the stance that virtual goods and services are an interesting way to make money online. What's not clear is what business models work and what segments of user populations are the best targets.
The amazing thing about the 10 financings listed below is how large they are. This indicates that VCs are betting big, or that the companies are giving away a lot … Read more
Video game sales were down by 23 percent in May, according to the latest data from NPD Group. The bright spot of the report is the ongoing domination by Nintendo, whose hardware and associated games outsold the competition by nearly 2 to 1.
As CNET's Lance Whitney reported, "NPD blamed most of the decline on the lack of blockbuster games rather than the weak economy. The report noted that last year's sales were boosted by the launch of popular software titles such as Grand Theft Auto IV. Nintendo's Wii Fit also was a hot commodity in 2008."
While there are a wealth of new games coming in 2009, including what appear to be some winners for PS3 and Xbox, Nintendo platform games made up just shy of 50 percent of the top 10 sales in May:UFC 2009 Undisputed(THQ) Xbox 360 - 679,600 Wii Fit(Nintendo) Wii - 352,800 EA Sports Active(EA) Wii - 345,800 UFC 2009 Undisputed(THQ) PS3 - 334,400 Infamous(Sony) PS3 - 175,900 Pokemon Platinum(Nintendo) DS - 168,900 Mario Kart(Nintendo) Wii - 158,300 Punch Out!!(Nintendo) Wii - 156,900 X-Men Origins: Wolverine Uncaged(Activision) Xbox 360 - 120,700 Wii Play(Nintendo) Wii - 109,800 Total Nintendo software: 1,292,500 Total other vendor software: 1,310,600
The new Japanese Wii Catering Channel (Demae Channel) lets you point and click your way to food delivery right from your Nintendo Wii.
There are categories for pizza, noodles, sandwiches, curry, burgers, chicken, and many other snacks, complete with visual menus that let you select toppings and save your orders for next time.
Food is a national obsession in Japan, but as far as I know delivery isn't as common as in other big cities, such as New York. I suspect Wii players will be able to easily rationalize ordering a meal to augment all the calories they burn … Read more
In a recent report, research firm Screen Digest says that in-game advertising will hit $1 billion by 2014. Not bad, but nowhere near virtual goods, which may already be worth $5 billion in Asia alone.
Virtual goods have a low barrier to entry but a huge swath of virtual-world competition is trying to monetize users. Game play, branding, and the overall offering have to all mesh for virtual goods to sell well.
In-game advertising is complex and there are a few major players that control the games, consoles, and monetization, putting up some serious barriers to entry. To date, most … Read more
Using Facebook Connect, visitors can play directly on the Petsociety.com Web site, removing the the forced interaction with Facebook itself. You do still have to login, but you aren't forced to play games as part of the Facebook "experience"--rather you can interact with the game and other … Read more