Apple’s iOS App Store and Google Play experienced huge game sales growth during the third quarter of 2013. This surge in App spending has vaulted these platforms above the Nintendo 3DS and the PlayStation Vita for the first time ever. Analytic firm App Annie reports that the App Store and Google Play spending on games combined was three times the amount of that on dedicated handhelds in the third quarter of 2013.
“Smartphones’ ease of use, low price point (due to subsidies), and multi-functional use as gaming and primary communications device have given them a ubiquity across a broad demographic that portable consoles will never have.”
“Add apps that are fun and engaging, and that deeper penetration can equate to big dollars for game app developers.”
- Marcos Sanchez, VP of corporate communications at App Annie
Nintendo revealed that it has changed the name of the Google Street View application for Wii U, which was first announced in December 2012. The application will still be powered by Google, and its official name – in Japan, at least – is Wii Street U. The application allows users to tour the world from the comfort of their own homes. Wii Street U was initially scheduled to launch in Japan this month, but Nintendo confirmed that it will instead be released in the country in mid-February.
Ngmoco, the company that makes free-to-play mobile games for iOS and Android has said that Nintendo’s handheld division is at the brink of falling apart due to increased competition from both Apple and Google. Ngmoco CEO Neil Young says that consumers can’t justify spending $30 on anything other than a Mario, Zelda or a Pokemon title.
“I think that Apple has done a number on Sony, and Apple and Android are now doing a number on Nintendo. What they’re really doing is defeating the Nintendo hardware machine.
“The ecosystem that they’ve created, it’s just really difficult to justify spending $30 on a game that is anything other than a Mario, a Zelda, a Pokemon. I think that ultimately their ecosystem starts to fall apart.”
As is customary Google has once again delivered a brilliant April Fools joke this year. The firm has heard your cries for help and has create Google Maps for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Maps 8 bit is a cartridge for your ageing NES console, and once inserted, allows you to view the world in 8 bit glory. You can read more about Google’s fabulous new project at the official blog here.
Google has released its annual report for the most popular video game search terms for 2011 and Call of Duty: Black Ops came out top. Black Ops was closely followed by Call of Duty, Halo Reach and Super Mario. Surprisingly Modern Warfare 3 didn’t even make the list. Here’s the full top ten game searches of 2011:
1. Black Ops
2. Call of Duty
3. Halo Reach
4. Super Mario
5. Mortal Kombat
7. Battlefield 3
8. Dragon Age 2
9. Diablo 3
10. Mass Effect 3
David Edery, founder of Fuzbi, a consulting firm focused on video game development has told Gamasutra that Nintendo needs to keep an eye out for both Google Android and Apple iOS.
David Edery was speaking to online gaming publication Gamasutra about how free-to-play games and online microtransactions are now affecting the video game market.
“In the very near future, it’s very possible that Nintendo could wake up and find that Apple has eaten their lunch — or Google through Android has done it,”
“If the console makers don’t start the transition process immediately, well, history is littered with companies that waited too long to embrace a revolution that was threatening their core business,”
- David Edery, Fuzbi
Internet giant Google has announced a collaboration with Nintendo to produce a new game in which players compete to generate the most search engine results for the Nintendo Wii.
The game which has been titled Ando Kensaku is due to release in Japan, April 29th. The game is played by correctly guessing the most popular web search terms, and the word with the most hits wins.