How we define our individual identities and the forms of social participation that we pursue to shape these identities drive our engagement. Whether it's software or gaming, we shape the world around us.
The video game industry is a hotly contested space that's currently being dominated by three major companies: Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. And although companies like Sega and others have tried to solidify their brands in the console space, they've failed in the face of those three giants.
But just because the past is littered with companies that have failed miserably at trying to capture a place in the world of hardware, does that mean that no company ever will do it again? Microsoft is a late entrant into the space and Sony came on the scene in a big way when columns were being written about the same basic premise: companies can't break into the console war.
Sorry, but I just don't buy the logic.
That said, I don't think any company can break into the console space. In fact, I would say that only one company can do it. Not because it has worked in the video game business for such a long time or that it's uniquely positioned to break in. No, the real reason why I believe this company could make a splash in the video game business (and why it possibly will) is because it commands the kind of hype and respect that no other company in the space does.
If you ask me, Apple could (and should) release a video game console. And not just because it'll be a success, but because it's the only company that could make a dent in the market.… Read more
A game on Facebook's platform called "PackRat" has been causing some issues for the site, according to a thread in the game's discussion forum.
The aim of PackRat appears to involve amassing graphical "cards" to chalk up points--sort of like the original Pokemon game, some cards are easy and common while others are rare. One of the ways to get new cards is by "stealing" them from friends, so having a huge network of friends who are also playing the game gives PackRat players a big advantage. Reading on in the forum, … Read more
Despite a failed deal with Take-Two Interactive, and a Spore DRM backlash, Eidos Interactive signed an agreement on Monday with Electronic Arts announcing exclusivity to multiregional distribution and licensing rights to selected titles from the their catalog for EA Mobile.
Now, Eidos will provide licenses to EA across all existing mobile channels and mobile devices for four key titles: Tomb Raider Underworld, Just Cause 2, California Games X, and Minesweeper, with a future option on the mobile versions of the majority of Eidos videogames for three years.
If there is one thing that open source has taught us, it's that there are "users" and there are "customers."
Odds are that all of your customers will be users first, taking your software for a test-drive and then deciding if they want to pay for it. It's all about getting people to consume your software.
The video game industry remains one of the last hold-outs in the war against consumption. Instead of encouraging more use, EA royally botched the launch of Spore with a seriously misguided choice of DRM (digital rights management).
It'… Read more
In its first week on the market, the long-awaited evolution game, Spore, from Electronic Arts and The Sims creator Will Wright seems to be holding its own at retail.
In interviews with retailers across the country, there is ample anecdotal evidence that the game is doing well, especially for a PC title. However, its initial sales don't appear to be in the same ballpark as massive hits like Grand Theft Auto IV, from Rockstar Games, Guitar Hero III, from Activision or Wii Fit, from Nintendo.
There are no official sales numbers available yet, as industry analyst NPD won't … Read more
More than 2,200 one-star reviews of the new Electronic Arts game Spore, left on Amazon.com as part of a well-publicized and coordinated user revolt against the game's digital rights management restrictions, disappeared Friday.
And while Amazon customers reacted angrily to what they said was obviously Amazon's caving in on a bad situation, the retailer itself said that the take-down was the result of nothing more onerous than a glitch.
Users have been angry at EA because the game's DRM system appears to limit the number of activations per copy of the game to three.
And … Read more
In today's show, Rafe joins us for a discussion of useless video blobs, the implications of, uh, Internet "shopping," the NPD numbers that read Tom's mind, and the U.S. Senate's "enormous gift" to Big Content (per Ars Technica). Also, we rouse the Buzz Militia from their stupor to launch an attack on Apple's arbitrary and annoying App Store approval process. Save Podcaster!
Listen now: Download today's podcastEPISODE 808
Committee amends, approves 'enormous gift' to Big Content http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080911-committee-amends-approves-enormous-gift-to-big-content.html http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10039745-38.html… Read more
Sales of video game software and hardware in the U.S. rose 9 percent in August to $1.08 billion, the smallest monthly increase in more than two years, according to data released Thursday by market researcher NPD Group.
Hardware sales were up 3 percent to $395 million, led by handheld Nintendo DS, which sold 518,300 units. Nintendo's Wii came in second with 453,000 unit sales, and Microsoft's Xbox 360 claimed the third spot with 195,200 unit sales.
Software sales were up 13 percent to nearly $551 million, led by Electronic Arts' Madden NFL 09 … Read more
For a while, I've said that Microsoft needs to find a way to attract more customers and bring more people on board. The first step, I said, was to lower the price of the Xbox 360 all over the world to increase its value to consumers and finally make it an ideal solution for customers.
Just one day after writing that here on The Digital Home, Microsoft did just that. And according to its own internal figures, Xbox 360 sales over the weekend subsequent to its announcement of the price cut were six times higher than sales over the previous weekend. Granted, these are internal Microsoft numbers and we'll need to wait another month to see what the impact will be when NPD releases its official numbers, but I don't doubt Microsoft's sales numbers at all.
From the beginning, the Xbox 360 had the kind of potential the other consoles simply didn't. Sure, the Wii is selling well and there's no sign of it slowing down, and finally the Playstation 3 is catching up to the rest of the pack, but Microsoft has an advantage aside from online gameplay now that it has taken the pricing lead from Nintendo.
The biggest barrier to entry for many consumers in the video game space is price. Because of that, millions of consumers needed to decide which console they prefer based on their budget. Since the Wii was released, those choosing with their wallets picked the Wii. But now, they can pick up the more powerful console at even more affordable price.
There are two ways to be successful in business: product differentiation or pricing differentiation. The way I see it, Microsoft has the advantage on both counts.… Read more