By Chris Sorensen - Sunday, December 16, 2012 - 0 Comments
Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft are struggling to reinvent video games as touchscreens and tablets take over the living room
Nintendo’s 2006 launch of the Wii console marked a new era for video games. With its innovative motion-sensing controllers, used to mimic the swing of a tennis racquet or golf club, the $250 Wii immediately struck a chord with gamers and non-gamers alike. Amazon sold out of its initial stock of sleek, white Wii consoles in just seven minutes.
The Wii’s unexpected success catapulted third-ranked Nintendo to the top of the video game industry, ahead of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3—both of which are more powerful (and more expensive) machines. More importantly, it suggested a much wider potential market for game consoles beyond basement-dwelling teenagers.
But the renaissance has proved short-lived. Console sales have declined dramatically in recent years as existing systems grow long in the tooth. Nintendo posted a loss of $530 million this year, its first since 1981. And competition from tablets and smartphones, with their cheap, downloadable games, threatens to steal away millions of casual gamers. “Tablets and smartphones are the black hole of the consumer electronics industry right now, sucking the growth out of everything else,” says Kaan Yigit, the president of Toronto’s Solutions Research Group, a consumer research firm. “The growth rates we saw after Wii first came out are but a distant memory.”
By Kate Lunau - Thursday, December 16, 2010 at 3:20 PM - 1 Comment
Angry Birds, the world’s most popular smartphone video game, gets a festive update
Over the holidays, those looking to vent some frustration away from family might consider hurling an angry bird at a bug-eyed green pig—if they’ve got a smartphone and the hottest mobile game available, Angry Birds. (Evil pigs have stolen these birds’ eggs, the plot goes, and the birds are out for revenge.) A festive new edition, called Angry Birds Seasons, features a wintry landscape, an Advent calendar theme and, of course, pigs and birds in Santa hats.