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Nintendo confronts a changed video game world


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Showing 1-15 of 15 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 25, 2012 3:59:14 AM PST
This is a long, 3 page article. I'm only going to post an excerpt from the end. In a nutshell, Nintendo has a challenge ahead of them, the future of consoles is questionable, mobile games are a threat, etc, etc, etc...

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/25/technology/nintendos-wii-u-takes-aim-at-a-changed-video-game-world.html?pagewanted=3&_r=1&hpw

Cellphones and tablets have given people a nearly bottomless supply of games that typically cost a few dollars at most. Web and Facebook games are usually free, with the option to buy, say, a faster car or another virtual item that enhances the game. Industry veterans argue that you get what you pay for: mobile and Facebook games that are shallow entertainment experiences, compared with those of console games.

Mobile games are also instantly accessible online - and while it takes seconds to start a game on a smartphone or tablet, it can take minutes to get a console up and running after turning on all of the relevant equipment.

MOBILE games have hurt sales of dedicated portable game devices from Nintendo and Sony, but analysts and game executives say they don't think the threat stops there.

Mitch Lasky, a veteran industry executive and now a venture capitalist at Benchmark Capital, says he has walked into his living room, which is brimming with all the major game consoles, a library of new titles and a 60-inch plasma TV, only to find his children crowded around an iPhone playing Temple Run, an app-powered game available free.

"They were very much more interested in the immediacy of the mobile experience," says Mr. Lasky, who has funded several online games companies. "I'm looking at the $60 game the way I am a big-budget Hollywood movie. Yeah, I'm buying three or four a year - Call of Duty, Uncharted - but for the equivalent of television, I'm going to mobile platforms and free-to-play."

Mr. Fils-Aime says game developers can offer free games for the Wii U that generate revenue through the sale of virtual items. Sony, too, is allowing that approach with games for the PlayStation 3, and it is expected that Microsoft will more seriously embrace it as well.

It's likely that Nintendo will eventually face a more direct challenge in the living room from the same technology companies that have reshaped the mobile games business. Amazon, Apple and Google are all strong contenders to be in that camp, given their innovation track records. None have yet developed direct console competitors that have serious game-playing capabilities.

Still, Nintendo has overcome the odds before. Mr. Bach, the Microsoft ex-executive, says he doesn't underestimate the company. "I've learned not to count the Nintendo guys out," he says.

Posted on Nov 25, 2012 6:08:14 AM PST
NYT ftl. No read all option on the bottom of the page, just to feed their hit count.

Posted on Nov 25, 2012 6:16:54 AM PST
Holy crap how hard of a concept is this. There are TWO gaming markets, core games and casual games. Casual gamers are...well casual. No real allegiance to a product and easily move on to what is easy, available, and popular. Core gamers want great games and will buy hardware specifically for that. Both are huge markets with lots of money to be made.

Seriously folks.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2012 6:53:42 AM PST
Anthony says:
anyone who really thinks mobile games are a threat to consoles is a moron.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2012 7:15:59 AM PST
Harmicky says:
They're a business that is fighting to stay alive. Is it really that hard to click next page?

Posted on Nov 25, 2012 7:50:59 AM PST
Pick 34 says:
They coasted on the same stuff since the mid-eighties, it isn't my thing but apparently people like it. I don't really see that changing.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 25, 2012 8:05:26 AM PST
This right here and I've been harping on this issue for years now. Just like how in the world of sports Football isn't going to kill Baseball, in the world of racing indie cars aren't going to kill off NASCAR, so why on Earth would the casual market suddenly kill off the core market?

I seriously don't see how these "industry veterans" don't see this beyond the fact that they aren't gamers and only see the bottom line. In fact Mitch Lasky is one of those people who only sees the bottom line, the article even points out how he's started several companies before. He's not a developer, he's not a gamer, he's an investor who wants to maximize his return.

Have people forgotten that Zygna is tanking it hard right now? They were supposed to be leading the charge in the casual market and yet their business model has more holes in it than Swiss cheese because none of them thought about the long term. They saw an emerging market, assumed it would be the next big thing, and their thought process stopped there because they saw dollar signs.

I'm not suddenly going to stop buying the games I've been buying and loving my whole life because a new market is there offering a totally different experience for the most part. I doubt many of you are suddenly going to shift away from the games you know and love because Temple Run is free on the iPhone.

Both markets can and will exist together. The sooner we stop listening to people like Lasky the better.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2012 1:06:44 PM PST
"Mitch Lasky, a veteran industry executive and now a venture capitalist at Benchmark Capital, says he has walked into his living room, which is brimming with all the major game consoles, a library of new titles and a 60-inch plasma TV, only to find his children crowded around an iPhone playing Temple Run, an app-powered game available free."

Whenever I get home, my 10-year old and her friends are on Netflix, the Wii, or the PS2 or PS3. The only time she plays on the 3DS or iPad is on long drives or trips.

My friend's family with kids ages 6 - 12 are true blue Nintendo fans with their N64 and Wii, and they plan on getting the WiiU as a family Christmas present. They play the occasional app if they're outside of the house or if other family members are already using the consoles.

The way this article insinuates that Mitch's family's gaming habits are now suddenly the norm is misleading and doesn't represent reality.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2012 1:40:03 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 26, 2012 1:40:53 PM PST
D_Strasse says:
I like the take that that Mitch Lasky guy had - Big Budget games are like movies and App games like TV. I'm a movie guy but LOTS of people like TV.

Also, the difference isn't that there are two markets but that there is a shift happening in the split as well as some of us "core" gamers now spending some more of our time on the casual stuff.

Posted on Nov 26, 2012 2:35:06 PM PST
Nightmare says:
Hardcore gaming isn't going anywhere. The fact that consoles are still selling at impressive quantities is enough to prove this. Free flash games simply don't offer the same experience that consoles can offer. You won't find Zelda, Uncharted, God of War, Mass Effect, Mario, Pikmin, etc. on your Iphone. It just isn't going to happen. These big name franchises are enough to sell consoles on their own.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2012 2:36:32 PM PST
OK there is a Venn diagram of markets...

Posted on Nov 26, 2012 3:51:58 PM PST
Aku says:
"it can take minutes to get a console up and running after turning on all of the relevant equipment."

If you can manage to make it from your current position to your console without ramming into the wall fifteen times or mistaking the controller for a pudding cup, I'm pretty sure this statement doesn't apply.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2012 4:27:52 PM PST
"Hey Johnny, I'm firin' up the ol' 360. Make sure we have plenny o' coal fer at least 3 hours o' gamin'. I'll be taking a shit while it loads up our CoD...gotta get me one of dem new-fangled insta-games on the iPac..."

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2012 5:39:36 PM PST
Sounds like you have a pS3 to me.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2012 11:02:09 PM PST
Nicos says:
but didn't you read the article!? this guy has every console ever made and a 900 inch laser hardlight hologram prism tv and his kids just wanted to play Temple Run!!!! clearly consoles are doomed!@!!!!!
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Discussion in:  Video Games forum
Participants:  13
Total posts:  15
Initial post:  Nov 25, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 26, 2012

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