By James Nouch 12 January 2013
PocketGamer.biz | Manufacturer:
Steel Media Ltd | Format:
Android, iPhone, PG.Biz, PS Vita, Windows Phone, Windows 8
This week, PocketGamer.biz editor-at-large Jon Jordan has created a new word: unconsole.
Dissatisfied with the 'micro-console' terminology that's being thrown about, Jordan argues that the era of consoles is, in fact, drawing to a close.
The current crop of Kickstarted games machines all belong in a single category, though, and 'unconsole' is the best descriptor for the job. Or so he reckons.
Regardless of designation, I'd argue that a device such as the Ouya could conceivably carve out a niche for itself – catering to indies and tinkerers, while offering a price point that'll seem mighty tempting when compared to next-gen hardware.
Nvidia's newly announced Project Shield, on the other hand, will likely be pricey. And what's more, Nvidia will want to achieve scale, rather than being content with courting a small subsection of the market.
The company seems committed to achieving this – promising annual hardware revisions for its handheld – but its hard to see how the first version Nvidia's unconsole will be anything other than unsuccessful as a mass-market proposition.
But that's quite enough high-falutin' chatter for one week. Instead, let's move on to our bite-sized overview of the last seven days' on PocketGamer.biz.Platform wars
- Fresh figures from Google show that almost 40 percent of all Android users are now running Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean, as updates surge.
- Microsoft refuses to confirm an early 2013 launch for Windows Phone 7.8, although Nokia Spain breaks the silence.
- In the latest PocketGamer.biz inforgraphic, we take a look at the growth of the Windows Phone Store – and it might just surprise you.
- Microsoft announces that cumulative sales of Windows 8 have reached 60 million, and the Windows Store has served up 100 million app downloads.
- PS Vita sales are "on the low end" of Sony's expectations, admits CEO Kaz Hirai.
- Nvidia unveils Project Shield – its Android-based gaming handheld powered by Tegra 4. Pocket Gamer editor-in-chief Kristan Reed reckons the device is a bit ridiculous, but likes it nonetheless.
- As the Ouya begins shipping to developers, its creators announce a worldwide Ouya game jam with $45,000 of prize money on offer.
- PocketGamer.biz editor-at-large Jon Jordan argues that Nvidia needs to make the TegraZone work before the Project Shield can be a success.
- In an interview with GameStick creators PlayJam, Jon Jordan discovers that there's already interest in bringing the device to retail.
- Developers discuss Project Shield, and the consensus is that the device represents a "bold move" for Nvidia, although it's not without its issues.
- The company will launch "one model a year" of its Project Shield handheld, says Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang.
Funding and start ups
- Apple announces free-to-play favourites Clash of Clans and DrangonVale generated $100 million in 2012.
- In this week's edition of the PocketGamer.biz Charticle, we take a look at Kabam – the publisher behind the US App Store's single highest grossing iPhone game of 2012.
- OpenFeint-style social gaming network Heyzap raises $4.3 million in Series B funding round, bringing the company's total investment to just under $8 million.
- Chartboost kicks off 2013 with a $19 million Series B funding round led by Sequoia Capital.
- What does Chartboost need $19 million for anyway? "It's big money for our huge plans," says CEO Maria Alegre.
- Industry veteran Trip Hawkins joins with former Moshi Monsters lead Ben Geliher to found educational gaming start up If You Can.
- Appromoter MD Ed Vause delivers the sixth commandment of app marketing – though shalt get to grips with cross-promotion.
- Our US correspondent Carter Dotson examines the key issues that will define 2013 for the industry, looking at hardware, funding, monetisation and – of course – unconsoles.
- PVP success is great, but we're looking 'beyond core' gaming in 2013, says Kabam's Steve Swasey.
- Fraser MacInnes presents his list of ten predictions that will definitely come to pass in 2013. Probably.
- Developers react to Apple's App Store screenshot clampdown, criticising Apple for the lack of notice and potential pitfalls of its anti-scamming efforts.
- This developer discontent prompts PocketGamer.biz editor Keith Andrew to opine on the issue, and he argues that Apple's attitude could soon harm its business.