Monday, October 31, 2005

Mobile Games

Carlo over at MobHappy has a great synopses of a recent talk at the Austin Gamers Conference by Greg Costikyan of Manifesto Games. I am going to pull out a couple of quick points that resonated with me.

1) Does the mobile game have to take on all of the attributes of standard video games?
2) Like Trip of DChoc said at CTIA, mobile games need to utilize the basic function of the device, voice communications, to "produce pleasing player experiences," that probably revolve around social facilitators (meeting potential mates.)
3) The latency issue is still a problem for multiplayer experiences.
4) Location based services and applications still don't work due to inaccuracy and interference in urban areas.

So, to recap - mobile games need to be social experiences, with immediacy and need some location based data. It will be interesting to watch how that plays out over the coming months.

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Mobile Services: Prodigy, CompuServe and AOL

Back in the late 80's and early 90's I had, at one point, all three of the early online services. At some point around 91 I learned how to type in Vi and switched to the "real" internet. Those walled garden services and proprietary email systems made the online experience a limited service value.

Wireless carriers in the US are slowing moving out of a similar closed service offering. I can finally send IM's to people outside of my carrier (most of the time.) However, content and applications are still walled up for many users.

One of the speakers at CTIA/MECCA was Andrew Bud of Mblox. Andrew had a number of interesting points about mobile content in the EU and Asia. He said that up to 70% of carrier's data revenue comes from off portal, third party content sales.

As US carriers move towards more content partnerships I think the whole market will benefit from greater variety and more engaging experiences than they can create on their own.


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Mobile TV and wireless service

I recently changed from T-Mobile to Verizon after having a T-Mobile account for over 8 years. I suffered through bad (really bad) coverage forever but still stayed with the brand. I finally decided to make the move sitting in an airport. I wanted to check email and found a "Hotspot." I decided to sign up for a one day pass and entered my log in information. Didn't work. I had to create a whole new account and re-enter all my billing information. That was it for me.

I switched to Verizon because they have great coverage, even in a little corner of North Carolina I visit often. I also wanted to see what the Mobile TV thing was all about. (And one day I would like to cut all cables and monthly fees from companies I don't really need otherwise like RBOCs and cable TV providers and get Wireless Broadband.)

I have used the Vcast service right about twice. Both times to show it to someone and say - "Wow! Isn't this cool!" Other than that I don't have much use for it and will probably drop it.

Which leads me to believe that Mobile TV is going to be adopted in countries where mass transit is a way of life - i.e. not the US. If I rode the metro for 45min a day I might like to see the Daily Show clips on my way to work. Otherwise I don't really have much of an opportunity to watch TV on my cell phone - who knew?

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Another MVNO enters the market today. Helio has been announced all over the place. In general I think that MVNOs are going to be hard to create from scratch.

While I was at CTIA last month I saw the Amp'd device and it looked really good. I saw the Amp'd CEO, Peter Adderton, speak on a panel with Cingular and Verizon executives and after throwing out a couple of "you guys are so old/slow" comments, the Cingular guy said, "we know we are not content people and that's why we are partnering with the best content creators to deliver the best possible experience for our users. I hear you are starting you're own studio, good luck with that."

Kind of my thoughts about creating a brand new brand MVNO. By the way - its been a long time since I saw a website that we so incredibly hard to use as the Amp'd site. Do I really have to sit through a video clip to get to the main menu - well, yes, I do.

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First Post

As of this morning my blog is worth $0.00. Maybe that will change. I look forward to posting some thoughts on Mobile D2C content and other technology trends and interesting tidbits. Thanks for stopping by.

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