Archive for August, 2003
Japan leads mobile game craze
Game makers have been offered a glimpse of the latest in games for mobile phones, with insights into the sort of things keeping Japanese thumbs busy.
They include virtual pets which are fed by photos, pronunciation puzzles and games that are the quality of PlayStation One titles.
“The Japanese market is years ahead of Europe and the US,” explained David Collier of Namco, one of the most successful Japanese mobile game publishers.
The games currently popular on mobiles in Japan hint at the sort of thing you could be playing on your phone in the future. He told his audience of industry professionals that the quality of the games was improving all the time, as handsets pack more and more computing power.
One of the games on show was the console racing title, Ridge Racer, which has been adapted for the mobile.
“You now have a PlayStation One game running on a mass market handset in Japan, delivering a fully interactive 3D game,” said Mr Collier.
But gamers are being asked to pay a premium for such high quality games. Ridge Racer is being sold in Japan for $11, about double the price of other titles.
More -> BBC Online
Text messages play games with TV
Your TV and mobile are coming closer together, with game shows played by text message set to grow, say experts. Voting via SMS is already immensely popular in programmes such as Pop Idol, Fame Academy and Big Brother. But soon you could be shooting, kicking or punching other people on screen over a mobile handset.
“We want to react to what happens on TV and SMS acts as a form of communication,” said new media consultant Ashley Smith.
There already are shows in Finland, the Philippines and Poland where people can become part of the action on screen.
“But you have to be creative. You have to think beyond votes,” he told the Game Developers Conference currently being held in London.
“We might see the mobile device influence what you see on the TV,” said Mr Smith, who is part of the new media consultancy Van Dusseldorp. He pointed to the success of multiplayer TV games such as WaterWar in Finland. The programme is shown in the afternoon on a small youth channel which has between 5,000 and 10,000 viewers. In the game, two teams battle each other for a few minutes using water pistols. A player sends instructions to their character in a text message.
Up to 50 people are playing at any one time, with others waiting in the wings to join in.
Despite its niche appeal, the show has provided a lucrative source of revenue for the TV channel. Mr Smith said the average player sent 26 texts at a cost of around 50 pence each.
More -> BBC Online
Mobile gaming ‘set to explode’
People are going to be spending millions of pounds to play games on their mobiles by next year, say experts. Mobile gaming is seen by many as the next big thing, as phones become more powerful and come with colour screens.
“This has been a very good year for mobile gaming,” said games consultant Robert Tercek.
“With what’s happening in Asia, Europe and North America, we’re well on track towards a billion dollar market in 2004,” he said.
Data vs voice
This is good news for mobile phone companies, which have become increasingly desperate to find ways of getting more money from their subscribers.
They are looking at how to get people to do more with their mobiles.
Camera phone sales set to rocket
More than 55 million people will soon have a mobile which can do more than just make a call.
Wireless industry analysts ARC Group say users will be seduced by new camera phone features and better multimedia messaging packages by Christmas.
It will mostly be existing rather than new users who drive the demand for better, upgraded handsets.
This almost doubles the current number of those with phones able to take and send pictures.
More BBC Online