Friday, January 7, 2011

Mobile War – Gaming Front and How Pivotal It is

For folks who don’t use their iPhones or Droids for gaming, that’s fine. You’re a Facebook, Foursquare kind of dude or gal. For the rest of us do are in this for more than casual gaming, having a wide selection of top tier games is important and gaming itself is a very big deal to those companies that provide the mobile platforms.

It’s important to Apple, Google, and anyone else who want to topple them. It’s why Microsoft is pushing the games they’ve got and what Windows Phone 7 can offer in terms of gaming. Don’t’ think that there isn’t a special Halo version coming to Windows Phone 7. Yours truly will be the first in line to get one.

And now, gaming will become instrumental to even app stores. Just this weekend, Amazon opened up their own Android app store. JB knows that there’s a lot of bucks in selling those 99 cent apps. And even more importantly, some app stores, in order to stand out, will likely request exclusives.

Earlier in the year when Angry Birds became available on the Android platform, it was available exclusively to GetJar and no one else. Not even Google’s own Marketplace that sits on every Android smartphone. How’s that for a coup?

Oh, and the wireless carriers have their own app stores in case you’re wondering. And soon, just about every hardware maker, if don’t they already have one, will have their own flavor of app store. Dell, LG, Samsung, Sony already has a vibrant PSP store that it'll likely channel over once their Android-based PSP phone is ready, HTC, and many others.

And who started all this? Apple. But there were app stores even before Apple came along and created a market for the iOS. That’s another matter entirely.

Back to gaming. This year at CES, the headline seemed to be about tablets and which one would dethrone the iPad.

Unfortunately, there’s was something just as important but it got lost in the media blitz. Nvidia’s dual core CPU, Tegra 2, that just about every Android tablet worth buying is running on and a few new mobile devices running on it.

Soon, hardware for WP7 will also sport the same Tegra 2 chip or similar ones.

And Apple is probably readying and itching to unleash their next generation hardware running on newer chips that I reckon will rival anything Nvidia has to offer.

All that graphics muscles and what for? Games. What else could be for? To run Flash? Puuuleaze.

When Steve Jobs gets onto the stage in a couple of months to introduce the iPad 2, he’s not going to demo how cool 3D mapping is. He’s gonna have an army of guys from EA, Sega, and others demo what the iOS platform has to offer in terms of next generation mobile gaming for hard core gamers. And bloggers will drool all over themselves reporting it.

And that could make the difference in the mobile war.

Going forward, I continue to believe that exclusives will be offered on one platform or another just like what’s going on now in the console war. And that will be just as pivotal as the processing power and the sheer numbers of gaming apps.

So, look around. As pretty as some of the UI coming out of RIM or Web OS is going to be on their smartphones and tablets, without games and apps in general, the 18-35 year old demographics are gonna avoid them like the plague.

And while the majority of millions of mobile warriors, who were good in 2010 and found themselves rewarded with iPads underneath their trees this Christmas, probably aren't hardcore gamers, having more gaming apps than what they know to do with is is better than having none at all.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod touch

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