Wednesday, November 12, 2008

On monkey balls and game changers.

I was going to post something about today's WSJ article on the iPhone/iPod Touch gaming segment, but then saw that Mark Sigal had already posted everything I might have written, and then some. So I'll just quote a few highlights here and send you there.

...Netting it out: the data points suggest that iPhone/iPod touch is emerging as a classic low-end disrupter to the dedicated handheld gaming segment.

First and foremost, the raw numbers show that iPhone and iPod touch owners have downloaded about 50 million games, representing about 25% of the 200 million TOTAL apps downloaded from the iPhone App Store to date.

This level of uptake so soon after the launch of the iPhone 2.0 Platform is a testament to a few things.  One is pure diversity of gaming options, with more than 2,000 iPhone games available, virtually all of which have been created by the third-party developer ecosystem that Apple is cultivating. 

Two is cost.  Simply put, a disproportionate number of the downloads are for free games, and virtually every game is priced under $10, placing them well under half the cost of the games available on dedicated gaming consoles.

Three is the seamlessness of the App Store distribution model. Enticing pricing is great, but when you couple it with the impulse buy friendlessness of App Store’s wireless browse, click, buy, download, use & enjoy model, you really have a winning combination.

Finally, the fact that the iPhone/iPod touch is not a dedicated gaming console, and as such, lacks optimized physical input controls and is technically less powerful (in the hardware sense) than its dedicated competitors, is arguably its greatest virtue. 

Why?  iPhone’s sweet spot are casual gamers, and the early data suggests that everyone at some point of the day/week/month has a casual moment for which gaming is the antidote.

Continue on Mark's blog

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