GamesIndustry.biz reported that 40 percent of Xbox Live subscribers are female. This isn’t a surprise given the direction that the Xbox 360 has taken over the past several years. With the goals of making the system a whole family entertainment device and gaining control of the living room, women were the natural target to expand the market.
Microsoft says that 42 percent of XBLA subscribers watch more than 30 hours of TV per month. Given the games tab is now four tabs in from the front page, I would expect those numbers to grow both in terms of hours watched, and the percentage of the audience watching more TV than they play games. And, as the new console systems come out, expect to see the pass down effect where these systems hit the back bedroom or den and households with multiple systems capable of streaming Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, Amazon, etc. drive those numbers up.
According to a recent NPD report:
- 3 million SmartTVs shipped in China in Q1 2012
- This represents 30% of all TVs shipped in the country in the quarter
Lenovo recently launched a SmartTV that features an embedded system by JiaJia TV, which is a lite gaming console on a chip within the SmartTV. This means Chinese gamers will have a legal alternative to physical game consoles, which are still banned in the country. The Chinese SmartTV console systems likely will become a viable market, potentially even for western games over the next several years. Given the state of play in China, content for now will be homegrown, Chinese content from Chinese publishers.
With streaming online games, there is an emerging market that I predict will start to see parallels in North America and Europe over the next 2-3 years. Expect to see Samsung, LG and Sony watching Lenovo’s moves very closely in China as they all look to embed console technology into their SmartTV offerings as well. By 2015, you should see some high quality games coming to SmartTVs in Europe and North America.