POV: Will Mobile Gaming Suppress the Growth of Console Gaming in India?

By Kapil Ohri , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | October 15, 2009
Mobile gaming seems to be marching faster and faster. But will it eclipse old-favourite console gaming?

Mobile gaming seems to be marching faster and faster. But will it eclipse old-favourite console gaming?

Alok Kejriwal, chief executive officer,

Mobile gaming will improve console gaming. Mobile phones can help stimulate the adoption of larger format gaming (like a console) and will expand the market.

& #BANNER1 & #Demographics like women and older folks who are not the console 'types' will learn gaming on their cell phones, and then if a Nintendo Wii title like Yoga Game comes out, they will convert to consoles also. But if gaming starts on this screen, it does impact the potential of consoles. In the West, the Apple iTouch and iPhone have taken away a bit of the console market.

The console experience is completely different and it costs money, like buying an iPod versus listening to the radio (which is free). There is a certain set of consumer that values that experience and pays for it.

Jaspreet Bindra, regional director, EDD, Microsoft India

According to a FICCI KPMG 2009 Report, the mobile gaming market in India has grown from Rs 140 crore in 2008 to Rs 320 crore in 2009 while console gaming grew from Rs 410 crore to Rs 500 crore which proves that both the segments can grow together.

For us, it is great if a person gets introduced to gaming through a mobile or a PC, since he eventually does aspire to move to the console, which offers the richest and most complete gaming experience.

The differentiator is going to be the concept of connected entertainment. This means that a multifunctional device should be able to let you play, watch movies, music, share photos or connect with anyone across the world for a game of Halo 3. Console gaming continues to have an edge by providing a better experience with graphics, game play and user interface.

Raghav Anand, segment champion, gaming, Ernst & Young

The fact that all five platforms for gaming (Online, Mobile, Console, PC and Arcade) are simultaneously growing in India differentiates us from the world, where they evolved at different points in time.

A first-time user can experience gaming on any of these platforms, mobile or PC. This experience could later evolve into casual or hardcore gaming depending on the gamers' socio-economic status with adoption of console or mobile or both. The keys to sustain growth are quality of content and compatibility. If a first time user pays for a game and realises that the quality is not good or is not compatible with his hardware, he may never take up gaming again. Hence any platform or game, which is substandard will kill the budding gaming culture.

Manish Malik, general manager, Gaming, Hungama

Gaming is a growing business model across various platforms, and one medium cannibalising another is rare because content-owners are porting their intellectual property across multiple platforms giving consumers access to the latest content across the board.

Mobile gaming is growing at an aggressive pace and will lead to creating more entry-level gamers. But over the next five years, I see the gamer owning a mobile phone that supports gaming, PC/Online gaming and console.

The DTH and IPTV environment will also play an important role in driving gaming consumption. Console gaming is for the evolved gamer who wants an experience and has tasted gaming across other platforms. The main medium, however, to watch out for is 'online'. With broadband penetration on the increase, this will have a positive effect on the content consumption on consoles as well. Console gaming is also getting affected due to availability of pirated content.