Will Google’s entry into the games console market result in Android style dominance?
According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is set to make a foray into the world of video game consoles. Spurred to act in response to the planned release of Android consoles from Nvidia and Ouya, as well as Apple’s assumed desire to increase its own presence in the gaming sector, Google has a games console and smartwatch in development.
With current discourse in the games industry focused upon the imminent release of the next generation of consoles from Sony and Microsoft, can Google come out of left field and stake a claim in an increasingly saturated marketplace?
Google’s machine won’t be pitched against the two big consoles, but will instead be aimed at a more casual audience, the millions upon millions who invested in a Nintendo Wii for example. If Google can pitch it just right, there is a potentially huge market to be exploited.
But do consumers want a casual console? Sales of consoles and related software are on a protracted decline; while this could be assigned to generation fatigue, it remains a concerning trend. Apple look set to elegantly sidestep this issue by employing current devices such as the iPad and iPhone in novel ways to provide an expanded gaming experience.
This looks an ideal solution, as the mobile and tablet sectors seem increasingly like the natural home of casual games.
The worry for Google is that its touted console simply doesn’t need to exist, unless it offers something truly unique that consumers cannot get more easily elsewhere it is hard to see where the Google console fits in. This could end up like another of Google’s attempts to muscle into already occupied territory, Buzz was the company’s abortive effort to take on Twitter and Facebook. It offered nothing new and was quickly consigned to history.