My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Apple iPad in the Summer of 2010 - The Death of the video Game consoles

Monday, April 19, 2010

Apple iPad in the Summer of 2010 - The Death of the video Game consoles

Whenever it rains, I read. Books, magazines, documents archived over the past eight (8) years on my computer. The internet does not hold my attention, as it lacks depth and are cacophonies of “noise” that make the falling rain appear comforting.

But comfort I do eventually find as I peruse old news articles, especially in the recent declaration in April in Tokyo by Hideo Kojima that "In the near future, we'll have games that don't depend on any platform. Gamers should be able to take the experience with them in their living rooms, on the go, when they travel -- wherever they are and whenever they want to play. It should be the same software and the same experience” as stated in the article “Japan’s video game visionary: the console is dying” published Wednesday April 7, 8:44 am ET by Kevin Krolicki, Reuters, Yahoo! News.

For those who are not initiated or worse, have been living under a rock for the last twenty five (25) years or so, Hideo Kojima is the creator of the Metal Gear Solid series game saga of video games that began in 1987 and made this bold declaration at no more fitting a place and time than the launch of the new Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker game for PlayStation Portable (PSP) for Konami Corp. – much to the discomfort of the Sony Computer Entertainment Japan President Hiroshi Kawano who nervously intoned: "It's a bold prediction. We hope he continues to develop for platforms, but we deeply respect his sense of taking on a challenge.”

 This is absolutely amazing. All the way in Japan, and already the debut of the Apple iPad Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) version on Saturday 3rd April 2010 and the impending summer launch of the Apple iPad 3G and Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) version in the Summer of 2010 is rattling the sabers of the Japanese executives, no doubt that day seeking comforting words from hired geisha to ease their troubled minds.

The memories of the Nintendo comeback probably still hurts, but this new threat, the Apple iPad, is clearly worth worrying about, as combined with 3G and Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n), it effectively gives credence to the declaration of Hideo Kojima and the nervousness of the Sony Computer Entertainment Japan President Hiroshi Kawano. It has not been a good four (4) years for Sony Computer Entertainment, creators of the PlayStation and pioneers of DVD (Digital video Disc) popularity via porting video games on the storage format, ever since the comeback of Nintendo and its silly sounding name: The Nintendo Wii. By now readers must see the connection between the Nintendo Wii and the Apple iPhone and Apple iPad, all three (3) of which have a silly name but great design and game play capability based on motion sensing.

Just goes to show that a product is not all name, especially in the case of the much mocked Apple iPad as stated in the article “iPad's Widely mocked name won't stifle sales”, published March 28, 2010, 10:51PM EST By Connie Guglielmo, Business Week - Computers, now being uttered in hushed tones in the United States of America as not only the Netbook-killer as stated in the article “iPad, tablets expected to dampen Netbook sales”, published April 6, 2010 8:17 AM PDT by Lance Whitney CNET News – Crave and “Netbook Sales Sag as the iPad Arrives” published April 7, 2010, 12:27AM EST By Cliff Edwards, CNET News – COMPUTERS.

It was also as a game changer in the mobile apps and gaming market as stated in the articles  iPad Already Changing the Way Web Sites are Built”, published Thursday April 1, 12:01 pm ET Dan Hope TechNewsDaily Staff Writer Yahoo! News and “iPhone vs iPad: 20 games compared”, published April 6, 2010 4:00 AM PDT by Josh Lowensohn CNET News  - Web Crawler.

Putting aside the question of whether Hideo Kojima is planning to defect to Apple as he later chillingly intoned that “I looked at this [Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker on PSP] in part as an experiment aimed at the future”, the Apple iPad recently received kudos by Tom Merritt in CNET Top 5, aired March 26th March 2010 by Tom Merritt, Senior Editor, CNET TV News, in which he listed the top five (5) reasons to purchase an Apple iPad, the topmost on the list being gaming as the device comes with nearly one thousand pre-loaded (1000) game titles on the device and motion control accelerometer and launches with support for Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) and 3G later in the Summer of 2010.

Gaming is the most obvious use for the Apple iPad, despite its originally intended purpose, which was to beat the Amazon Kindle in the eReader wars, which the Kindle was winning comfortably ahead of the Barnes and Noble Nook and the Sony Reader, both of which were tailored for reading books only.

Its gaming potential, straight out of the box makes it a clear challenger to not only the  PSP , the Nintendo Game Boy, Game Boy Advance but also to the fixed consoles such as PlayStation 3 (PS3), the Nintendo Wii and the Microsoft xBox, all of which the Nintendo Wii beat hands down and is still beating – until now.

Back then, the Nintendo with the Nintendo Wii was making its comeback against its main rival the Sony and its PlayStation 3 on November 19th 2006, a date to be remembered, a date that will be etched in my mind forever as the day when the gaming world changed forever.

It was this console that was much lauded by most reviewers as being the most fun gaming experience with its unique motion controlled intuitive games as stated in the article “In the Wii-PS3 Playoff,nintendo upsets Sony on the fun Factor” published Thursday, November 23, 2006 By Mike Musgrove, The Washington Post.

Back then in 2006, people also though the goofy name was a joke and on its debut, its low resolution display compared to the Microsoft Xbox 360 and the cutting edge PlayStation 3 would see it as another failure just like the Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo’s earlier failed attempt to claw back to the top of the Gaming World after PlayStation DVD format games left its cartridge games gathering dust on shelves.

It appears back then Nintendo was back on its way to the top with the Nintendo Wii, and I know all too well, as I was and still am possibly the biggest fan and defender of Nintendo and all of its games and game systems, from the Super NES to the current Nintendo Wii, with the lovable Mario and his fellow characters that make video gaming so fun. As the months rolled on from its launch, the obvious became apparent: this game system was something new.

Never before had so many people who did not know how to play video games, much less those who never displayed any interest in video games, taken so readily to a game who interface was so intuitive that video began popping up of not only women playing games on the Nintendo Wii but also little babies picking up the Nintendo Wii Motion Controller and playing the game straight out of the box.

Suddenly everyone could play video games, and it wasn’t hard or required any knowledge or remembering the buttons or keys, just natural intuitive movement of the Wii Motion Controller that would normally be required in real life to play the game. The article “Nintendo warn Wii Owners: Don't Let Go”, published Thursday December 7 2006, 3:26 AM ET, by Reuters Yahoo! News, SAN FRANCISCO highlighted how much people got so into the games that they literally were throwing the motion sensitive controller all over the place.

This resulted in the creation of a website at one point to address the problem of Wii Motion Controller wrist straps breaking due to the “youthful exuberance” of the people playing the game.

Even Europe caught the Wii Fever, with promotional tie-in involving rabbit ears and a fun rabbit killing game as stated in the article “Wii fever hits Europe”, published Friday December 8, 8:07 AM ET by Marc Burleigh, AFP Yahoo! News.

Despite its weakness in the graphics department, its lower pricing point was its main clincher with the buying Thanksgiving and Christmas public making research group NPD declare that it was the winner of the console wars, with the PlayStation 3 and the Microsoft Xbox being relegated to sideshow status as the Nintendo Wii literally romped to a fun filled victory, with projections to sell four million (4,000,000) unit worldwide, nearly twice that of its nearest rival the PlayStation 3  as stated in the article “Nintendo Wii U.S. sales top Sony's PS3: NPD” published Thursday 14 December 2006, Reuters, Yahoo! News.

By early 2007, it was becoming clear that despite the overarching superior home entertainment design of the Microsoft Xbox and the Sony PlayStation 3, the Nintendo Wii simple “gaming first” message and it attraction of making gamers out of non-gamers showed early signs by NPD as being the clear winner in the console wars as suggested in the article “Wii are the champions? published Monday April 2 2007, 3:57 AM ET By Antony Bruno, Reuters, Yahoo! News.

And as they say, the rest is history. The Nintendo Wii went on to have more developers join their bandwagon, designing games for the unique handset, even inspiring Apple to debut the Apple iPhone in 2007 that featured an accelerometer and its well researched patent pending tough screen technology. As I had said before, the world of gaming had changed forever.

Since then the Apple iPhone began showing signs of being the next gaming platform when the Apple iPhone 3GS was debut in 2008 with a growing Apple Apps Store that featured apps that were not only downloadable over Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) and 3G networks, but were also games and an improved accelerometer and magnetometer and GPS that made motion controlled games and games involving geo-location on a handheld as intuitive as the Nintendo Wii was for consoles.

Suddenly it was Nintendo’s time to start worrying, as the Apple iPhone 3GS, it begrudgingly admitted in 2008 was a challenge to it Nintendo Game Boy and Nintendo Game Boy advanced platform, ironically using its unique patented motion control technology, the same trend that Nintendo had used to dethrone Sony in the Console Wars in 2006.

But it is now the launch of the Apple iPad in 2010 that has everyone in the Gaming Industry standing up and taking notice, as the Apple iPad, both the 3G and Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) has mobility, playability and all the bells and whistles of its cousin, the Apple iPhone, and thus the chillingly prophetic words of Hideo Kojima.

With everyone changing and redesigning their apps and web pages to place all manner of content on this device, from Marvel, owned by Walt Disney, which is hoping to return to its roots as a big seller of its published comic book heroes both past publications and fresh new material on this new media platform as stated in the article “Comic Book Publishers Plot comeback via Apple Ipad”, published Wednesday April 7, 2010 By Douglas MacMillan Business Week - DIGITAL ENTERTAINMENT.

This is akin to Rupert Murdoch owned New York Times which as far back as 2007 had begun, like most newspapers to move online as their newspaper sales plummeted as stated in the article “US Newspapers look to online editions as possible saviours”, published Wednesday March 28 2007 by Catherine Hours, AFP, Yahoo! News.

Even recent plans by Skype to launch VOIP Video calling by having Skype pre-loaded on broadband compatible HDTV Sets from heavy hitters in the HDTV market such as LG, Panasonic and Samsung as stated in the article  Skype reaches the living room via HDTV's  published January 5, 2010 5:27 AM PST by Larry Dignan, CNET News - 2010 CES.

Nintendo’s launch of a Game Boy with a 3D display that needs no glasses as stated in the article “Nintendo to launch 3D portable game console”, published Tuesday March 23, 11:08 pm ET, TOKYO, AFP, Yahoo! News, will not be enough to stop the Apple iPad as its portability would make video calling a pleasure – as soon as it gets a front facing and rear facing camera.

Rival in the wings and potential Apple iPad killer, the HP Slate by printer maker Hewlett-Packard has debut its Tablet as having all the features the Apple iPad lacks sans the games as stated in the article “HP preps its would-be iPad Killer, the Slate” published Tuesday Apr 6, 11:13 am ET By Ben Patterson Yahoo! News.

The HP Slate’s lack of major game titles may not be too much of a problem as another new piece to the puzzle in the form of a company named OnLive that has developed a patent pending technology that can stream high end video games licensed from game developers to any broadband internet connected device as stated in the article “OnLive game streaming service to start in June”, published Wednesday March 10, 3:19 pm ET by BARBARA ORTUTAY, AP Technology Writer, Yahoo! News.

This will place the Apple iPad, the HP Slate, the Microsoft Courier and any other would be Apple iPad killers, including revamped Netbooks, smart phones and other handheld wireless broadband gaming devices in the same position to serve up video games to broadband customers, with the Telecoms Providers benefiting in the process.

Thus Telecom Provider America Movil is being presented with a unique opportunity to distinguish itself from the competition by not only introducing the Apple iPad, both the Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n) and 3G versions in either the Summer or Christmas of 2010 on the Telecom Provider CLARO Network, a potential killer of any Netbook to be launched by Telecom Provider Digicel when they finally roll out their much anticipated WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) Network to Jamaica and Mexico

They may also include Online Video Gaming, which they could introduce to Jamaica via the provisioning of DataCenter hosting services for OnLive, Apple, and Google with its Google Android smart phones and Google MarketPlace which requires the construction of a DataCenter on their 5th floor, and moving all staff on that floor down to the 4th floor, as that floor is currently empty and it is best to have a DataCenter on a high elevation to make Unauthorized Access difficult.

Gaming is the best possible use for the Apple iPad on a 3G network and when Telecom Provider CLARO eventually makes the decision to port to higher speed LTE, gaming will be the main use for ultrahigh speed wireless internet and Telecom Provider CLARO has the advantage, both for the Summer and Christmas of 2010 as it is the leader in personal wireless broadband, as Telecom Provider LIME is nowhere near the horizon.

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