viernes, 16 de marzo de 2012

Android gaming needs software more than hardware

You may have noticed our awesome giveaway that starts today: two ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime tablets, with an extra two chances to win courtesy of SlashGear. The promotion is made possible by NVIDIA, and we thank them kindly. NVIDIA’s probably done more than any other single company (with the possible exception of Google itself) to advance gaming on Android. But here’s the thing: awesome hardware isn’t enough. As great as the Tegra 3 and other next-gen platforms are for gaming, the games themselves have to be the focus if Android is going to be a major contender in the mobile gaming space.

I don’t mean to knock Android game developers – they do a great job and have a variety of awesome titles available. But here’s the thing: for the most part, consumers will buy an Android phone or tablet, then seek out games. That’s the opposite of what happens on iOS, where Angry Birds and Infinity Blade sell more phones and tablets than Siri does. Games make up a whopping 25% of app downloads in the Google Play Store, but Apple still has an undeniable advantage. This is an extremely general statement of course, but the gist is that people seek out games on iOS, while people settle for games on Android.

A perfect example is Mass Effect 3. BioWare’s epic conclusion to its trilogy is easily one of the biggest releases of the year, so naturally they prepared a mobile strategy to go along with it. This includes a paid mini-game and a companion app – but only on iOS. On Android, we have to settle for a live wallpaper (NVIDIA’s influence again) despite the almost certain fact that more Mass Effect 3 players are carrying Android-powered phones than iPhones. A lot of this can be attributed to Android users’ lack of enthusiasm for paid apps, but all the same, it’s a definite dis to players who want the full experience but have the “wrong” mobile hardware. Publisher EA has developers for Android – just today they released two new sports games in the Google Play Store. Where’s the love?

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