I Dig Digital

As someone who is into everything gaming, I frequently buy digitally downloaded games. Sometimes it is for convenience, sometimes it is because the content is only available exclusively online, but more often than not, there is one main driver: price.
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If I Had a Dollar for Every Time I Heard the Word…Digital

Digital … every day, it’s the one word that I hear and think about the most.  How much of the market will be digital?  How fast are consumers shifting to digital content?  How soon until all content is delivered digitally?  When I think about these kinds of questions, I imagine a wizard looking into a crystal ball to see the future.

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All I Want For Christmas Is My IGTs

Two front teeth?

Who needs ‘em?  Instead, I think many kids this holiday will be asking for Interactive Gaming Toys.

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Game Changers: How The New Consoles Will Change Consumer Behavior

I’ve been fortunate enough to have early access to the Xbox One and PS4 and have experienced some of their new “game changing” features. Those features that I believe will alter consumer behavior over time – specifically, how they interact with each other, acquire content, and, of course, play games, are as follows:

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Xbox One and PS4: Holiday Heroes?

I am often asked about my thoughts and predictions for the upcoming releases of Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PS4. In order to wrap my head around what I think these new consoles will sell, I took an approach at what the consoles need to sell in order for software and hardware sales to be on par with last year, and therefore anything above that would yield growth in the all-important fourth quarter of the year.
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Is It One Or 4?

November is going to be an exciting time for me. I am a gamer, and a researcher; and the release of Xbox One and Playstation 4 couldn’t be a better combination for me as we head into the holiday season.
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I Believe That Children (GAMERS) Are Our Future

Children are the future – of everything, really – and gaming is not exempt from this truth.  After all, kids who start with gaming as a hobby early in life are very likely to continue into the future as gamers, so understanding their behavior now is important if we want to have a better understanding of how the market will evolve.

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Time For Change

Waking up to the recent chilly weather outside almost makes me forget that summer unofficially ended just a few weeks ago. For some of us we might be feeling proud that we successfully made it through the first week with the kids being back at school. As I headed up to the school yard for the first time this school year, I was captivated by all the colours and characters that donned the backs of both smaller and bigger kids alike. Now, I might be biased but what got really caught my attention was the amount of video game-themed bags I saw. From Angry Birds, to Skylanders, to the tried and true Super Mario, bags were seen everywhere. It seems that video games are on the minds of both children and teens these days.
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The Power of Experience – Oculus Rift

With 300,000 attendees, Gamescom, a week-long “trade fair” held in Cologne, Germany, during August, is quite the spectacle.  Two things struck me at the fair: the sheer number of people attending; and the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset for gaming (a la Lawnmower Man).

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More Than Just a Price Drop

Sony made some announcements at this week’s Gamescom that are worth addressing.

We now have an exact launch date for Sony’s PlayStation 4. As most of us expected, it is launching November 15, but more important than an exact date for their new console, Sony announced that all PS Vita SKUs available at retail will now sell for $199 (down from the original launch price of $249.99 for the Wi-Fi version and $299.99 for the 3G/Wi-Fi version).
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E3 and Microsoft’s Change of Heart

In my last blog post- “One Console to Rule Them All” – I mentioned how I expected Microsoft to speak to gamers during their E3 presser and other E3 announcements.   While they partly achieved this by showcasing a number of intriguing games, their messaging about some of their controversial policies was met with ire from many of the gaming public.  Things like the ability to lend games, how used games were going to be handled, and a need for an online connection were met with anger and frustration by many in the gaming community.

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“PLEASE EXCUSE ME IF I AM SHOUTING AT YOU” was the one phrase I found myself repeating endlessly while attending last week’s E3 tradeshow. I should start by telling you this was my first time to this extravagant video game expo. I was warned in advanced to be prepared what could be to some, a sensory overload. I, on the other hand, found the atmosphere at the show to be quite invigorating. Who couldn’t love all the lights, sounds and excitement over all that was being shown from the biggest names in the industry?
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One Console to Rule Them All – At Least That’s What Microsoft is Hoping…

Gamers have been anxiously awaiting news about the next console generation from Microsoft. With its reveal of the Xbox One earlier this week, Microsoft has made it clear: they want to rule your living room entertainment experience. However, those who attended the event largely came away disappointed by how much emphasis was placed on non-gaming activities like enhanced ways of watching TV and movies. Gamers wanted to hear more about the gaming capabilities of the Xbox One.
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The World Just Isn’t What it Used to Be

Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, the phrase, “The world just isn’t what it used to be” was often used by many of my elders, and it was one I could have done without. Today, as I’m in my mid 30’s, and beginning to raise my own family, I find myself not actually saying those words aloud but frequently thinking them to myself more often than I would like to admit.
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Exciting Your Core and the PlayStation 4

Whether in a presidential election, with a sports franchise, or the launch of a new gaming device, they all have one thing in common: the winners are able to engage and generate excitement that leads to action by their core, their base.
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A New Gaming System Might be Just What the Doctor Ordered

It is no surprise that the video game industry has been down in recent months.  Aside from the more casual gamers turning to their mobile devices such as notebooks, tablets, and smart phones for their quick daily dose of gaming, some believe the real primary contributor to the decline in video game sales might be a case of “console fatigue.”  Prior to the Wii U launch a couple months ago it had been years since the last major console release, and recent sliding software sales potentially point to a feeling of gamer fatigue with these systems. [Read more...]

A Look Back At Gaming in 2012

When I look back at the Canadian gaming market for 2012, I think we can all agree it didn’t perform as well as we had hoped. We completed the year with $1.2 billion in revenue, down 19 percent from 2011. While the gaming landscape is changing as mobile and online formats gain momentum, it’s important to note traditional gaming is still the lion’s share of the overall video game market. What we do know is the gaming community has been pretty quiet on the “new innovation” front over the past few years. Most of us are still playing the games from our favorite time-tested franchises, and it’s likely we’re playing on the same consoles we started on six or seven years ago. Despite the declines, it was still an exciting year for the industry.
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Mobile Gaming’s Future So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades

It certainly has been an extraordinary year for mobile technology news. In 2012, we have had announcements of the Galaxy S3, the iPhone 5, the third and fourth generation of iPads, the Nexus 7, a new line of Kindle Fires, Microsoft’s new tablet, The Surface, and as recent as last week, the iPad mini was revealed.  The great thing is that all of these devices play games, so it comes as no surprise that mobile gaming has grown to be a major part of the gaming industry. It’s also not surprising to constantly hear about new games, developers, and publishers all seeking a slice of the mobile gaming pie.

As seen in our press release on our Mobile Gaming 2012 report, due to their very nature of these devices, portability and convenience were cited as major reasons for increased mobile gaming versus last year.  The bounty of free content was another major reason for increased usage.  Mobile gaming’s growth is evident in all the people you see playing when commuting, in waiting rooms, or when someone has a few spare minutes, but we actually found the home was the location where most people are playing mobile games.

Quantifying all of this data into understanding what this means for the industry has been driving factor for our new report Mobile Gaming 2012.  We also know from our Games Market Dynamics: U.S. report that the amount of dollars spent on mobile app games has seen strong double digit growth from last year.  Despite growth in the consumer base, the amount of time and money being spent, there is still room left for mobile gaming to grow further.  Phones and tablets are not going away anytime soon, and we expect consumer spending on gaming apps, in-app purchases, and upgrades from free to paid versions of apps to increase over the next year as well.

It is great to hear some positive news about mobile gaming that is not only growing in use but is also generating revenue.

Going Mobile

There are a few of us bloggers who tend to like to find song titles to name our blog entries, and I am no exception. In fact, I tend to think and relate a lot of what goes on around me to lyrics of the songs that have resonated with me over the years. It’s probably not surprising then that the latest app I am “playing” with quite a bit is Song Pop, a turn-based version of “Name That Tune.” I personally don’t tend to think of it as a game, although clearly there is a competitive aspect and each turn you win, or lose. But I’m having great fun with it and playing it against a few of my friends, several of which are not your typical “gamer.”
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The Tale of Two Screens

I often look around my apartment, at the collection of smartphones (my wife has two), e-readers, portable gaming hardware, controllers, and tablets, and I’m reminded of an emerging trend hitting, not just the TV market as my colleague Ben Arnold discusses in his blog post, but also the video game industry: the second screen. Wouldn’t it be great if these devices could be integrated to offer more cohesive gaming experiences? Well, it looks like that question will be answered across all three major hardware manufacturers sooner rather than later.
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