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Android and the Iphone are a threat to Sony and Nintendo good reason why !

Forums - Sales Discussion - Android and the Iphone are a threat to Sony and Nintendo good reason why !

Qays said:
There is the iphone starter kit (the ipod touch) which is more or less the same as the iphone minus the calls. Then theres the iphone and now theres the ipad which can easily be ported to if you've already made an iphone game. This gets you in at all price points and avoids the contract and phone bill problems that keep those 13 and under out of the high end phone market.


Which is exactly why Sony needs to make the PSP2 a real iPod/iPhone competitor.

  The only way that is viable is if they put together a full platform of games and phone calls in one family of devices.  The big reason the iphone has taken off is it has combined all the functions (ipod, phone, game system) into one single device so it just seems like a waste of time and space to bring another device that only does one thing (like the PSP is).  

 

   The PS3 has had a hard time finding its footing and it was only a year behind the 360, if Sony was going to make their own phone platform from scratch they would be 85 million behind the iphone if they released it today which hurts.

 

   I have to think that Sony, like it or not, will be headed the way of Sega and the gamegear sooner then they think unless they really throw everything behind Android or something (Android REALLY needs it, the slate of games on that platform is awful.  There are more games released on the iphone in a month then on Android...ever, and the ones there are tend to be really low quality with a handful of exceptions like the baseball game and the survival horror game which end up on the iphone too).




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Impulsivity said:

  This is why I think the future of gaming is the apple side of things and not Android.  There is the iphone starter kit (the ipod touch) which is more or less the same as the iphone minus the calls.  Then theres the iphone and now theres the ipad which can easily be ported to if you've already made an iphone game.  This gets you in at all price points and avoids the contract and phone bill problems that keep those 13 and under out of the high end phone market.

    There is also a big weakness to Android, it has no real central phone or platform or spec.  This means that if you develop a game for the Droid there is no guarantee it will work on the upcoming phones from Sony or with older phones like the G1.  Developers can patch the games and programs for now because there aren't that many programs and there aren't that many platforms but as both programs they have to support and android platforms grow exponentially the way there are no standards will become more and more of a problem.

   This huge discrepancy between phones, especially in terms of power, is part of why iphone and ipod touch games (and especially ipad games) look loads better then Android titles.  Nova, Need for Speed Shift, Street Fighter 4 and Real Racing HD look amazing.  Android games tend to not look as good and lag pretty badly especially if you don't have the exact phone the game was designed for.  

   The ipod touch/iphone platform will really be the next big thing I'm reasonably sure especially once gamecenter gets going and Apple pushes the gaming platform thing harder.  There is a HUGE billboard in Vegas across from the Wynn where I was staying last time I went a month ago and it non stop has this Apple commercial of great looking games in a montage and the games look at least as good as anything on the PS2 much less PSP (with the exception of a few late titles like God of War 2).  

   Right now the ipod touch+iphone platform sold over 75 million devices by January of this year and should be over 100 million by midyear even without counting ipad sales.  It's not impossible for the iphone platform to overtake the DS in total sales by the end of the year by hitting 150 million first.  The platform went from 50 million in Sept 2009 to 75 million in January so at that rate of increase (100% year over year) its not impossible to see 150 million worldwide within the realm of possibility.

   Yes not all of these are sales to gamers, but as Reggie from Nintendo used to like pointing out a lot of non gamers bought the DS too.  Anyone remember the pretty bad E3 of last year where he kept showing how mom friendly the DS was? I wouldn't be surprised if game sales on non gaming dedicated platforms weren't higher then on dedicated platforms like the PSP and DS by 2012 or 2013 at the latest.

   Alternately the android platform has sold a total of about 10 million phones (or the amount of iphones sold in a quarter) and doesn't have a non phone counterpart that shares the OS and apps like the iphone.  Until there is an android touch and some better quality hardware with more consistency I don't really see Android as the future of gaming any time soon.  It is pretty hard to break out how many people get Android just to avoid ATT (and would otherwise buy an iphone) but I have to guess its a decent share of Verizon Droid customers.  I can only hope a big V iphone comes soon.

First off, I really repsect your opinion. You have a lot of great thoughts on the smartphone wars, and have thought them out.

However, I do have some disagreements:

 

Impulsivity said:

  This is why I think the future of gaming is the apple side of things and not Android.  There is the iphone starter kit (the ipod touch) which is more or less the same as the iphone minus the calls.  Then theres the iphone and now theres the ipad which can easily be ported to if you've already made an iphone game.  This gets you in at all price points and avoids the contract and phone bill problems that keep those 13 and under out of the high end phone market.

Android has actually had tablets for a long time. Archos has had multiple types available running Android. Other tablets are coming out, and will feature many different things which give them a lot of variance with form factors.

As for the low-end product like the iPod, I agree there isn't a device out there....Yet. That is the key. Like the iPod MP3 player many years ago, it took a little while for others to come out with knock-offs which took a nice little share of the market away from Apple. Likewise, companies will roll out touchscreen iPod Touch ripoffs. The caveat with them is the market, so its only safe to assume that they will begin to adopt another OS, which would likely be Android. Although that is speculation, I'd imagine it'll happen in the next year or two. Zii was/is supposed to come out with an Android-based uber-pod for ~$200 with the same specs as an iPhone 3GS, but I haven't seen enough to make a definitive note on it yet.

 

    There is also a big weakness to Android, it has no real central phone or platform or spec.  This means that if you develop a game for the Droid there is no guarantee it will work on the upcoming phones from Sony or with older phones like the G1.  Developers can patch the games and programs for now because there aren't that many programs and there aren't that many platforms but as both programs they have to support and android platforms grow exponentially the way there are no standards will become more and more of a problem.

Very true. However, the same can be said for older 1st-gen iPhones and iPod touches being unable to run high-end iPhone games. Its not as severe, but it does exist.

Having said that, developers will have to choose which platform they want - a more closed one, or a more open one with a much larger (likely) userbase. Lets not forget that devs can simply make multiple versions of a game for different OS versions...Or simply make a game that will work on everything. 2 examples are Farm Frenzy which has multiple versions, and the other being Robo Defense. Both have sold real well on Android.

   This huge discrepancy between phones, especially in terms of power, is part of why iphone and ipod touch games (and especially ipad games) look loads better then Android titles.  Nova, Need for Speed Shift, Street Fighter 4 and Real Racing HD look amazing.  Android games tend to not look as good and lag pretty badly especially if you don't have the exact phone the game was designed for.  

I would disagree that is the reason as to why games aren't as good on Android. The real reason is that developers haven't focused on Android very much, due to it being much smaller...There isn't as much money in Android (yet) so they aren't trying.

   The ipod touch/iphone platform will really be the next big thing I'm reasonably sure especially once gamecenter gets going and Apple pushes the gaming platform thing harder.  There is a HUGE billboard in Vegas across from the Wynn where I was staying last time I went a month ago and it non stop has this Apple commercial of great looking games in a montage and the games look at least as good as anything on the PS2 much less PSP (with the exception of a few late titles like God of War 2).  

Certainly agree that the iPhone is going to be the next big thing. I'm just thinking more in the 5+ year timespan, and not the 1-5 like what the iPhone is set to do great in. Right now, we're in the PC-Apple-Commodore battle of the 80s. We're at that point that closed systems dominate. However, I believe that will change in a few years.

   Right now the ipod touch+iphone platform sold over 75 million devices by January of this year and should be over 100 million by midyear even without counting ipad sales.  It's not impossible for the iphone platform to overtake the DS in total sales by the end of the year by hitting 150 million first.  The platform went from 50 million in Sept 2009 to 75 million in January so at that rate of increase (100% year over year) its not impossible to see 150 million worldwide within the realm of possibility.

I agree that it should see great sales this year. However, lets not forget that the iPhone does have 2 great weaknesses:

  1. Its limited by carrier. In the US, its on AT&T. Comparatively, WinMo, BB and Android are on all 4. That is a much bigger piece of the pie than what the iPhone has the potential for.
  2. Its limited by form factor. Not everyone likes phones without keyboards. Apple will not (or at least is very unlikely to) make a slider, flip, or other device....Android has, and will in the future.

   Yes not all of these are sales to gamers, but as Reggie from Nintendo used to like pointing out a lot of non gamers bought the DS too.  Anyone remember the pretty bad E3 of last year where he kept showing how mom friendly the DS was? I wouldn't be surprised if game sales on non gaming dedicated platforms weren't higher then on dedicated platforms like the PSP and DS by 2012 or 2013 at the latest.

Agree here. I think we'll see the iPhone rival DS software revenue in about 3 years, and Android rival the iPhone in about 5.

 

   Alternately the android platform has sold a total of about 10 million phones (or the amount of iphones sold in a quarter) and doesn't have a non phone counterpart that shares the OS and apps like the iphone.  Until there is an android touch and some better quality hardware with more consistency I don't really see Android as the future of gaming any time soon.  It is pretty hard to break out how many people get Android just to avoid ATT (and would otherwise buy an iphone) but I have to guess its a decent share of Verizon Droid customers.  I can only hope a big V iphone comes soon.

Lets not forget that there are a lot of other kinds of phone buyers out there - business professionals, texters, people that don't care, ect. There are a lot of people out there that won't buy an iPhone or a smartphone in general just because they are cost-prohibitive. About 85% of all phones sold are featurephones or dumbphones. The thing about that, is that featurephones always get more....Features...And dumbphones get smarter. Eventually, these phones will become less balkanized and adopt central OS platforms as opposed to the horrendous ways they work now. I believe that when that comes, Android will be in the best position, as its really just between it, WinMo and Symbian for cross-manufacturer abilities.

When that happens - and I believe that will be in about 3-4 years - Android will sell really well, as Apple's marketshare really isn't that large when you look at the BIG picture. There are 1 billion phones sold a year. What happens when these billion phones must have a central market place? It can't be iTunes, because Apple won't sell it to others.

That is where I see Apple take a backseat to Android. Yes, its about 5-6 years in the future, but I see this like Mac vs. the PC in the early 90s. In the end, weather we like it or not, consumers and manufacturers prefer the model that can be custom suited to their needs. That is not the iPhone. That is not the iPhone by a long shot.

 



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mrstickball said:
Avinash_Tyagi said:
mrstickball said:
Avinash_Tyagi said:
And how is any of this a threat to Nintendo? Gaming on Iphone and Android is an afterthought, not to mention, Nintendo has the games that keep bringing in people, not to mention, Nintendo is about to launch a completely new platform which will likely see explosive growth

Despite it being an afterthought, gaming on the iPhone and Android sure are growing at a breakneck rate.

Nintendo does indeed have games that bring in people - but so do many developers. If these developers start supporting phones seriously (and many have to success), then the phones will be very prominent gaming devices.

I'll gladly take on a bet with you: Android hardware will outsell 3DS hardware 2:1 after launch.

 

How many games have outsold Nintendo's big titles, like Mario and Pokemon?

They are growing, but are they a threat to Nintendo, well I don't believe so, as we can see from continued DS sales, even now in its last few years.  So even if it grows larger than Nintendo in sales and hardware, will it in any way affect Nintendo?  All signs point to no, at worst it'll just be another split in the market.

Sorry stick, you know my long standing policy of not taking any bets, I think the whole bet thing is stupid

How many years did it take for Nintendo to establish titles that would sell like Mario and Pokemon? The iPhone is 3 years old. Android is about a year and a half. Of course, if your talking free titles, then I'd imagine there are a few that easily rival Pokemon and Mario. Top paid titles have sold around 2 million copies so far, which is decent for the platform.

I think your being very premature on the subject. I know your one of those diehard Nintendo supporters, but in a few years, we will see a strategic shift to phones. There are too many advantages for developers to go to mobiles. You can argue that Nintendo may not, but if they lose a significant portion of their 3rd parties, they will not make it out unscathed.

Why go to mobile development? Money. The distribution model for cell gaming is much, MUCH more lucrative than any other platform available. It has the advantages of digital distribution (no need to ship copies of titles, much higher revenue share, more control over sales) without the negative aspects (namely the requirement to have an internet connection to download products, as all mobiles have a connection that allows for product downloads).

In time, developers will choose a 70% rev share over a 50% rev share with the DS or PSP. Look at Square - they've already begun to port their portable Final Fantasy titles to the iPhone, and have seen some pretty good success. GTA: CTW has done very well on the platform, and has sold about 300,000 copies (give or take). Not a bad success for a DS port, eh?

5 years. In 5 years, we won't be having these kinds of conversations, because we'll be looking at very convincing sales data that points to mobile gaming. Don't believe me? Ask the developers. I belong to a business group of professional developers via LinkedIn. The question was asked 'how will gaming change over the next 10 years?' - the unanimous answer was that mobile gaming would supplant traditional handheld gaming.

Stick, Nintendo has been in this game for decades, they know what it takes to make great games, its why they can keep beating off larger companies, Sony, MS and Now Apple, nothing new, just different actors

 

How many times have we heard Nintendo is doomed, or a company is a threat to Nintendo?  Seriously you can keep thinking apple and android are a threat, but the song remains the same



 

Predictions:Sales of Wii Fit will surpass the combined sales of the Grand Theft Auto franchiseLifetime sales of Wii will surpass the combined sales of the entire Playstation family of consoles by 12/31/2015 Wii hardware sales will surpass the total hardware sales of the PS2 by 12/31/2010 Wii will have 50% marketshare or more by the end of 2008 (I was wrong!!  It was a little over 48% only)Wii will surpass 45 Million in lifetime sales by the end of 2008 (I was wrong!!  Nintendo Financials showed it fell slightly short of 45 million shipped by end of 2008)Wii will surpass 80 Million in lifetime sales by the end of 2009 (I was wrong!! Wii didn't even get to 70 Million)

I AGREE CAUSE I GOT A DROID!



Avinash_Tyagi said:
mrstickball said:

How many years did it take for Nintendo to establish titles that would sell like Mario and Pokemon? The iPhone is 3 years old. Android is about a year and a half. Of course, if your talking free titles, then I'd imagine there are a few that easily rival Pokemon and Mario. Top paid titles have sold around 2 million copies so far, which is decent for the platform.

I think your being very premature on the subject. I know your one of those diehard Nintendo supporters, but in a few years, we will see a strategic shift to phones. There are too many advantages for developers to go to mobiles. You can argue that Nintendo may not, but if they lose a significant portion of their 3rd parties, they will not make it out unscathed.

Why go to mobile development? Money. The distribution model for cell gaming is much, MUCH more lucrative than any other platform available. It has the advantages of digital distribution (no need to ship copies of titles, much higher revenue share, more control over sales) without the negative aspects (namely the requirement to have an internet connection to download products, as all mobiles have a connection that allows for product downloads).

In time, developers will choose a 70% rev share over a 50% rev share with the DS or PSP. Look at Square - they've already begun to port their portable Final Fantasy titles to the iPhone, and have seen some pretty good success. GTA: CTW has done very well on the platform, and has sold about 300,000 copies (give or take). Not a bad success for a DS port, eh?

5 years. In 5 years, we won't be having these kinds of conversations, because we'll be looking at very convincing sales data that points to mobile gaming. Don't believe me? Ask the developers. I belong to a business group of professional developers via LinkedIn. The question was asked 'how will gaming change over the next 10 years?' - the unanimous answer was that mobile gaming would supplant traditional handheld gaming.

Stick, Nintendo has been in this game for decades, they know what it takes to make great games, its why they can keep beating off larger companies, Sony, MS and Now Apple, nothing new, just different actors

 

How many times have we heard Nintendo is doomed, or a company is a threat to Nintendo?  Seriously you can keep thinking apple and android are a threat, but the song remains the same

I never said Nintendo was doomed. I just said thier handhelds are going to face a market-changing move after the 3DS generation. I fully believe Nintendo will make the right moves to stay in the game, as they always have. Look at what they did with the DSi with downloadable games, a camera, and other phone-esque features. Same can go for the Wii and Netflix. Nintendo isn't dumb, you are right in that they are very smart. That just doesn't mean that they have to have a 80% stranglehold on the handheld market ad nauseum.



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mrstickball said:

I never said Nintendo was doomed. I just said thier handhelds are going to face a market-changing move after the 3DS generation. I fully believe Nintendo will make the right moves to stay in the game, as they always have. Look at what they did with the DSi with downloadable games, a camera, and other phone-esque features. Same can go for the Wii and Netflix. Nintendo isn't dumb, you are right in that they are very smart. That just doesn't mean that they have to have a 80% stranglehold on the handheld market ad nauseum.

What do you mean by handheld market? Personally, I believe they'll be close to have 100% in handheld market when PSP is gone and Nintendo once again the only player on the field. If we do include mobile gaming though it's already less than 50%, and neither iPhone nor Android have anything to do with it, since the market that contributed most to this growth is Asia. Mobile gaming revenue was close to $3 billion a year before iPhone was introduced. I wonder why only now people make a big deal out of mobile gaming when it was here for quite a while? From my perspective Nintendo already did "right moves" and stayed in the game, otherwise the fast-paced growth of mobile gaming would have cannibalized them a few years ago. Instead I see market growth occuring on both sides, in mobile AND handheld gaming businesses.



I'd say the big difference is that the $3b/yr has come from hundreds of handsets, OSes and carriers.

Whereas in the future, that same $3 billion USD (or much more) will come from 5-10 operating systems and market places, thus making them actual competitors to handhelds.



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mrstickball said:
I'd say the big difference is that the $3b/yr has come from hundreds of handsets, OSes and carriers.

Whereas in the future, that same $3 billion USD (or much more) will come from 5-10 operating systems and market places, thus making them actual competitors to handhelds.

Honestly, I don't know how exactly those ~$5 billion/year of today's mobile gaming revenue are segemented by carriers and platforms. My guess, though China Mobile is the biggest mobile operator by subscribers (below 15% around the globe), but by revenue generated from gamesapps Vodafone should be the biggest for now, simply due to the fact they're serving more wealthy clients. But not for too long, chinese mobile gaming is about to explode soon. Speaking about platforms, Symbian is the largest (a little below 50% of smartphone market afaik), again quite popular in Asia.

 

But I'm not sure how exactly market concentration will change much for handhelds. Carriers and platforms are only top of the pyramid, there're dozens of final sellers who have a cut in these billions of revenue (Giant Interactive, Tencent, NetEase, Sina, kong.net, d.cn etc. in China, god knows how many of those in Japan, Korea and South Asia).



But think about how one deploys to said carriers.

If someone wants to sell 'Final Fantasy' on a mobile, they have to:

- Build the game
- Test it on whatever phones they want it on
- Test in on whatever OS is on the phones (or multiple OSes depending)
- Get permission from carriers/negotiate revenue shares
- Negotiate with retailers like Handango (which have horrible rev-shares)
- Launch product

Whereas with a central marketplace, some of those steps - like negotiating rev share, and getting permission from carriers are taken out of the equation. Thing like that really have an impact on costs, and availability.

Although Symbian is the largest, if you look at their statistics when it comes to ad serves, and internet statistics (metrics that can weigh in on availability of downloading games), Symbian does horrible. So I'd imagine that even though they are #1 in terms of OS penetration, their actual revenue from gaming/apps is nowhere as high. Looking at developer forums paints a similar picture - their devs aren't too happy with what is there, AFAIK.



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@mai: That's because of the emerging phone markets in US and China, where people have woke up to "wonders of mobility". Basically the current discussion about the topic is something that people have had a decade ago.

Then there's the japanese market, where they had 3G networks running at the time when the 3G networks were still auctioned in the central Europe.

The smartphones will likely have the biggest impact on the laptops. Laptops as mobile computers will shrink in the same fashion as mobile phones did from the 80's to 90's.



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