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 MULTIFORMAT FEATURE

The PocketGamer.biz week that was: Amazon's Kindles, Nokia's Lumias and Ballmer's big bet

The past 7 days in bite-sized portions
Product: PocketGamer.biz | Publisher: Steel Media Ltd
 
PocketGamer.biz Multiformat, thumbnail 1
This week, in a startling display of efficiency, Amazon managed to update Kindle Fire, unveil the new Kindle Fire HD range, and insult the Android tablet market all in one night.

"Customers are smart," said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at the company's Santa Monica press event. "Last year, there were more than two dozen Android tablets launched into the marketplace, and nobody bought 'em.

"Why? Because they're gadgets, and people don't want gadgets anymore."

For a tablet-manufacturer to deride its competitors as makers of mere gadgets seems incredibly disingenuous.

Of course tablets are gadgets – the Kindle Fire included. They're the solution to a problem that no-one had 3 years ago, and in the time between the iPad's announcement and its launch, people were incredibly fond of pointing this out.

But then, once we all had the opportunity to experience the iPad's premium heft and paw at its glossy screen, we collectively decided that it would be positively antiquated to not have a tablet within arm's reach at all times.

Services are essential too, particularly for 'content consumption' tablets such as the Kindle Fire. After all, if you're selling a tablet at cost, it's the services that are generating your revenue. However, I'd wager that the reason that most people buy a Kindle Fire is because it's a gadget – and a cheap one at that.

Customers are smart, after all.

Now, I think that's quite enough opinion from me for one week. Instead, let's move on to our bite-sized overview of the last seven days' worth of news.

Platform wars
  • Where the PS Vita has failed, PlayStation Mobile must succeed, argues PocketGamer.biz editor Keith Andrew.
  • PocketGamer.biz's weekly dose of app store analysis – The Charticle – made its debut this week. In its inaugural edition, we examined how DeNA's Mobage titles have been performing on iOS and Android.
  • Microsoft takes the Xbox brand cross-platform, announcing 40 games due to launch on the 'Xbox Games' app for Windows 8 devices.
  • PocketGamer.biz has it on good authority that Rovio will use Unity to power its forthcoming game, Bad Piggies.
  • As Nokia unveils its forthcoming Windows 8 handsets – the Lumia 820 and the flagship Lumia 920Steve Ballmer predicts that "the next app developer to hit it big will be on Windows 8."
  • While Android activations surge to 1.3 million per day, RIM is seeing its market share shrink. BlackBerry now account for less than 10 percent of the US smartphone market.
Monetisation
  • Revenue from in-app purchases and advertising now accounts for 60 percent of Gameloft's sales.
  • Games research specialist EEDAR outs the biggest fish in the mobile spending sea – the $70 a month 'killer whale.'
Discovery and user acquisition
  • Last week, our editor-at-large Jon Jordan claimed that user acquisition is killing the industry, so this week, we asked the PocketGamer.biz mobile mavens whether they thought the industry's obsession was producing poorer games.
  • Lack of app store discoverability is driving developer demand for publisher support, says Josh Presseisen as he launches new label Forest Moon.
  • Guohe launches MIX, its cross-promotion platform for the fast-growing Chinese iOS gaming ecosystem.
Industry voices
  • OnLive had a flawed business model, but there's still plenty of potential in cloud gaming, claims Agawi CEO Rajat Gupta.
  • Continuing their regular game design column, the Pickford Brothers discuss the development of the line-drawing genre.
  • PocketGamer.biz editor-at-large Jon Jordan trawls Facebook and Twitter to compile a handy infographic showing which mobile games companies are the best at working social networks.
  • Marmalade's head of SDK products Tony Waters talks to PocketGamer.biz about the latest version of the company's cross-platform dev framework, and how it opens Steam and the Mac App Store to mobile devs.
  • VSCpr's Ken Johnston expounds the benefits of turning your mobile game into a brand, and explains how while he's at it.
Amazon's announcements
  • Frenzoo CEO Simon Newstead reckons Amazon was right to roll out its Appstore slowly.
  • At a press event in Santa Monica, Amazon unveils an update to its existing Kindle Fire, as well as a new Kindle Fire HD range.
  • PocketGamer.biz editor-at-large Jon Jordan argues that Amazon needs to focus on taking its hardware and Appstore global, rather than getting into a specs battle with Apple.
 

Reviewer photo
James Nouch 8 September 2012
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