I think 2013 will be a defining year for the gaming business. Unfortunately I don’t have a crystal ball, but this is how I think things might play out in 2013.
Nintendo have all the goodwill in the world on behalf of gamers, but they have released hardware which is going to look out of date even by the end of this year, and this time their “gimmick” is just not innovative enough to make a difference.
2013 Prediction: Big price cut at the end of the year, to coincide with major game releases.
Sony have their TV’s, they have Gaikai, they have all the media they could need, but they don’t have an OS or App store to rival Apple, Google or Microsoft.
2013 Prediction: Purely depends on the details of what they announce on the 20th, but it’s hard to see where Sony can go with all of this apart from putting Gaikai into their TV’s
Microsoft, have Xbox live, which is basically an App store, but it’s already in the living room, but they don’t have the market penetration with their App store on mobile as Apple and Google have.
2013 Prediction: Microsoft have it all to play for as they have a major presence in the living room and have penetration in the mobile market. I suspect their mobile OS success depends on how well their console and any new version of XBL does.
Apple has the “best” App store, and is what most think of when they think of mobile games. They have which are seen as the “best” tablets, and probably the “best” mobile iOS. They have Apple TV, and Mac mini’s make great media centers, so they have some presence in the living room, but not the extent as Sony or Microsoft.
2013 Prediction: Even though it’s been said that Apple don’t want to get into the game console business I’ll be surprised if they don’t want to get into living room with some kind of device, and a new version of Apple TV would probably be it.
Google has Android. Probably 2nd “best” mobile OS, but has bigger market mobile market penetration overall.
2013 Prediction: With a whole load of Android console devices coming to the market, Google might win out just through weight in numbers, but it only takes some hit games which are exclusive to the other mobile platforms to make all those numbers not mean anything.
Valve has a lot of goodwill amongst devs and hardcore gamers. They have lots of interesting ideas but that’s about it so far.
2013 Prediction: That goodwill could take them a long way, but times running out for them. They need to release whatever the Steambox is asap.