It's the most playful time… of the year…

As just released by the ESA

Washington, DC – December 11, 2013 – Approximately 79 million Americans intend to purchase video games during the holiday season, according to new market research and analysis released today by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA).

The report, “Holiday Purchasing Study 2013,” found that nearly 30 percent of those who said they intend to buy games and game-related items as gifts also plan to spend more on these items than last year. This demand is driven by a strong line-up of video game releases, and the launch of new next generation video game consoles, including the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Wii U.

“With a new generation of consoles and growth in expanding genres such as mobile and social games, video games continue to be among the most sought after holiday purchases this season,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of ESA, the trade association representing U.S. computer and video game publishers. “This new research underscores the industry’s ability to continually innovate and anticipate consumer demand, making it an economic engine, especially during the holidays.”

Other key findings in the report:

  • Video games and related items are among the top five categories of gifts that Americans plan to buy this holiday season;
  • Physical games and next generation consoles are among the top three categories of video game items most likely to be purchased by gamers; and,
  • Consumers aged 25 to 44 are planning to spend an average of $219 on video games and game-related content.

The NPD Group conducted the survey for ESA among a U.S. representative sample of approximately 3,000 individuals over the age of 13. Survey respondents said they currently play video games on at least one system or device, such as a smartphone, video game console, portable game console, computer, or other game system.

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Platform Mayhem: Xbox One versus PlayStation 4?

Today I got a phone call from a journalist who was writing an article for 14 local newspapers. He asked me about my opinion on the ‘battle of platforms’ and wanted a response to the quote that ‘the AAA hardcore game platforms are doomed to die’…

I wrote an item about this recently when I saw new platforms were emerging like the Ooya, the Gamestick and the Steam Box.

If you saw the release of the Xbox One (great name by the way) yesterday you know that Microsoft is trying to claim the battle for the living room entertainment with a ‘all-in-one’ content solution (music, moveis, TV, series, games, etc.) and I must say I was impressed that finally one company dares to really claim that spot. However… shouldn’t (or didn’t) Sony have taken that spot years ago…??? They have the hardware (TV, Audio sets, PlayStation), software OS, content (Sony Music, Sony Pictures, Sony PlayStation)…?? I still wonder why they never managed to make it happen….

What Sony PlayStation does is claim to make gaming social and play ‘anywhere – anytime’ on different devices (cross platform gameplay). Finally the integration of devices revolving game content! And finally ‘social connections and ‘instant share’ of ‘in-game moments! They even added a button on their controller that facilitates that. Sony PlayStation sees that gaming has truly become a ‘social activity’ and understand that gaming is accepted around the globe. Thanks to Apple of course! Because if you can say one thing about the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad…they are all game devices and Apple has made ‘gaming’ cool, easy, accessible and mainstream! I remember when people looked at me when I told them I am a fanatic gamer like: but you are not fat, hairy, smelly and eat chips and drink coke all day??? Not without rum at least… and I DO SMELL! 😉

I sincerely thank Apple that they made gaming as an ‘anytime – anywhere activity’ acceptable and that they managed to make touch screen devices work in a superior manner.

Where is Google Play by the way? Oh yes of course. Well Android is a great follower in this matter and the Ooya will bring Android games to our living room on a big screen for who ever wants that. It will be great I am sure. And as for Nintendo? I respect their choice of target group: family and children. And that’s just fine and swell.

So… back to my main question: who will win the battle of the platforms? My answer: ALL OF THE ABOVE and more…

It’s just a matter of context, target group, interface and game genre. It all depends. Example?

I love to play shooters and strategy games on PC, because I need an analogue control to react quickly in shooters and need a lot of buttons to control my armies in Shogun 2 (a strategy game). I love to play ‘The Walking Dead’ and Machineria with my girlfriend on the PlayStation 3 in the living room. I love to play Angry Brides (just kidding: birds – BIRDS) and Ridiculous Fishing on my iPhone where ever I have to wait for an appointment… so there is no ONE game console (except for the XBox One but that’s not a game console anymore, it’s a HES – Home Entertainment System, just like the PlayStation 2, 3 and 4… and Apple iPhone, iPad and Apple TV…).

This video above is a joke of course…

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Is the iPad the next gaming platform?

>A special thanks to Distimo for their monthly research in the Mobile business! 

Gfk predicts that end of this year there will be 750.000 iPad’s in The Netherlands. I think there will be MUCH more tablets towards the end of this year. 

Here are some facts about the iPad and downloaded content… 
One year after launching the iPad, Apple will be confronted with its first serious competition as both BlackBerry and Google enter the emerging tablet market. Apple has already seized momentum and grown the App Store for iPad in the first year to 75,755 applications developed by 21,975 publishers. Daily downloads in the Top 100 Overall paid and free applications for iPad combined exceed 500,000, while the daily revenue in the Top 100 paid is approximately $400,000 excluding in-app purchases.

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Stunning research about iPad usage


Information (the numbers) taken from website Advertising Age:

Research done by Ipsos shows that over 50% of parents let children play games on their iPad that are not really suitable for them. I’ve been hearing this around my social network as well, but is that really a bad thing? I remember I was playing cops and robbers even before I had seen Miami Vice. Shooting people with fake-revolvers was fun. Can’t we compare playing shooter or aggressive games with playing in real-life? If you look at what Tom & Jerry did to each other you might wonder if those animation series should be rated 18+ or ‘Adult-only’… for some reason, no one seems to care….until it comes to games…?

By the Numbers

  • 18% of parents will let their tween boys aged 9-12 play video games rated adult only, and 36% will let them play games rated mature, provided a parent is playing too.
  • 20% of parents will let children 6-12 go with them to R rated movies.
  • 23% of children 6-12 regularly visit social networking sites and 41% of kids 11-12 do so, though membership in the sites is supposed to be limited to 13 and up.
  • By age 11, half of kids have cellphones. Half of the time it’s the parents’ idea.
  • Kids in the household are huge drivers of iPad penetration. 10% of households with children under 13 now have iPads, vs. only 3% in households without children 6-12.
  • 35% of households with children 6-12 plan to purchase some brand of tablet computer in the next year.
  • Over half of parents say their children should be able to go online on their own by age 6.

Read the full article at Advertising Age

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iCade! – Arcade control for iPad

>This is ‘Da Bomb’ for all you arcade-classics game lovers and Atari fans.

As most of you know, I used to work for Atari over a decade ago and this surely brings back memories!

Check out this Arcade-control hub for iPad!

Together with all your favorite classic Atari games (The app is called ‘Atari Greatest Hits‘ in the iTunes store) you can replay the legendary games on this great console!

The screen below shows you how it works. I WANT TO PLAY DONKEY KONG !!!

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3D Lightboxes

> impressive if you learn how this technique comes to live. The result looks cool, but once you hear ‘how it’s made’ … respect!

Making Future Magic: iPad light painting from Dentsu London on Vimeo.

More information about Berg and Dentse London is to be found here:

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Angry Birds Peace Treaty


the video is not THAT funny, but watched by over 2 million people and since it’s about a game that has been played by more than 40 million people* – I thought I’d share it…

* 12 million played the full version and 30 million the light version.

Posted in Apple, inspiration, iPad, iPhone, iPod | No Comments »

Games still the most popular apps on smart phones

>Research done by Nielsen amongst 4.000 US Smartphone users shows that games are still the most popular downloads.

Interesting to see that social networking websites (Facebook & Twitter I guess) are more popular than ‘communication apps’ like Voice over IP (Skype) and Instant Messaging (MSN). Also the weather and news is high in the list.

The charts speak for themselves I guess 😉

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Gorillaz – Escape to Plastic Beach: The Game (iPhone + iPad app)


Game for iPhone and iPad to promote the new Gorillaz album. Basically the cool characters always looked like game heroes, so no surprise there. The only thing I don’t get is why we can’t play with the music?

Why not use your multitrack and facilitate consumers to create remixes bases on the beats, basslines, chords and vocals!?
Why don’t you use the brandessence of what you are? A cool innovative brand.
My associations with this band are merely graffiti, art, urban style… and not a hang-gliding guy that shoots on flying targets above the sea….?

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An update on iPhone apps & games in two pictures


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