Are Android gaming consoles doomed?

Android gaming consoles may die a quick death in the marketplace

Cost of Android Console Games

How much will the games cost on Android consoles? The Mashable article doesn't mention the cost of these games, beyond the $6.99 content subscription for the GamePop (I don't know exactly what you get for $6.99 either).

If the games cost significantly more than they do on Android mobile devices, I think it will be a huge turn off to gamers. And let's not forget that these Android console games will probably have to be priced significantly lower than games for the Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo consoles. If the games for the Android consoles are too high (even anywhere near the traditional consoles) then I suspect most gamers will pass on buying them.

Slow Growth for New Gaming Consoles

Speaking of gaming consoles, the EE Times has a story out about slower growth being projected for new gaming consoles.

If slower growth is being predicted for Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony systems, what will that mean for yet another batch of gaming consoles? It certainly does not bode well for sales of Android gaming consoles.

Shipments of eighth-generation gaming consoles from gaming's big three -- Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft -- are expected to total about 133 million cumulatively in their first five years on the market, less than the 140 million units sold in the first five years of seventh-generation consoles, according to market research firm ABI Research.

More at EE Times

The story also notes that the Android consoles might be hurt by a lack of differentiation in their gaming libraries. That's a point I hadn't thought of, and it seems like a darned good one. If all of these Android consoles are running the same games, what's left to differentiate one from the others?

I guess it will end up being hardware and the cost of games. Over time though, the features and capabilities of the hardware may end up being a wash. And if they are all selling the same games, more or less, than how much pricing power will they have?

Google's Android Gaming Console

Of course, the really big fish in the pond has not yet weighed in fully about an Android gaming console. I'm talking about Google, of course.

The Wall Street Journal indicates that Google is interested in the Android console market. But the article lacks specifics about how far along Google is, what the system would be like, and how much it would cost.

Still, if there's a company that could make a viable Android gaming console, it's probably Google. We'll have to wait and see what they come up with.

Google had better watch it though, if they release a successful Android gaming console, then Samsung won't be far behind them. Samsung has made more money off Android than Google has, and they could eat Google's lunch in an Android console market the same way they have in the Android phone market.

Google Inc. is developing a videogame console and wristwatch powered by its Android operating system, according to people familiar with the matter, as the Internet company seeks to spread the software beyond smartphones and tablets.

With the game machine and digital watch, Google is hoping to combat similar devices that Apple Inc. may release in the future, according to the people.

More at Wall Street Journal

We'll see how this plays out, but I'm not optimistic about the future of Android gaming consoles. I suspect they will be viewed as gimmick gadgets that will die a quick death in the marketplace.

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