The past three generations of consoles have been dominated by three principles players: Microsoft’s Xbox, Sony’s PlayStation, and Nintendo’s GameCube and Wii. Collectively, these three providers pull in tens of billions of dollars in sales, yet sluggish performances and low profit margins have made some wonder whether or not the video game industry is dying out. Yet, Google takes the view that the console wars have not yet begun to fight, having decided to produce their own console platform based on their popular Android operating systems.
It should surprise no one that Google looks to increase its ever-growing customer share by making new developments in new markets like video game consoles. Though their computer-powered eyewear, Google Glass, have yet to hit shelves, anyone can browse Chrome using an Android mobile phone or a Chromebook laptop.
Users can run Google documents, upload information onto Google Drive, and integrate all their life and work onto Google platforms of email, social media, and maps. Some users have claimed that after a “Google immersion,” they do not plan to go back to their Microsoft or Apple products.
The State Of The Console Markets
Google’s announcement comes at just the right time to win over the hearts and minds of gamers. Nintendo’s poor success at moving the Wii U — having been outsold by its Wii predecessor since release — has left the company scrambling to sell units. Microsoft backed off their initial policy for the upcoming Xbox One platform after gamers and critics furiously denounced the company’s stance that it would need to be connected to the Internet at all times, that only registered Live gamers could play, and that pre-owned games would not load.
Google need only release a console that can play the games already available on Android platforms as well as third-party games in order to have a fighting chance. These Android games already outsell triple-A console titles, while the only accessories necessary for phone play, like T-mobile’s cell phone chargers, cost a fraction of console controllers or motion-capture systems. As such, Google can strike while the iron is hot.
Google may find little elbow room, however, as rumors suggest industry titan and e-rival Apple may develop their own console as well. These two corporations, who have had a rivalry of “anything you can do, I can do better” for nearly a decade, have the resources and customer base necessary to dethrone one (or more) of the current big three console platforms. Apple may have the upper hand on Google’s console, as their existing phones and tablets boast just as many games, but no other company on Earth enjoys a more loyal customer following. Apple computers, however, have long since lacked game developers that Microsoft users enjoy, with major titles taking years to be released for Apple operating systems. Game developers would need to kiss and make up with Apple, or vice versa, in order for the console to gain third-party game titles.
~ Kimberly Jackson