Recently I saw the newly launched Playstation Move and thousands of thoughts crossed my mind. First was obviously the awesome graphics and lack of remote. Second, the fact that “It Only Does Everything” from gaming to Blue-ray makes it even more brilliant. Finally, I thought about how the industry is changing rapidly. Does anyone even remember Mario Bros and Contra?
Experts estimate that video games industry will grow to $700 million in India in next 2-3 years. Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PS3 have been in the market for almost 3-4 years but I would say with little success. So what is the issue? Are we not ready to play the high profile games or there are other factors involved.
The video game industry in India would need desperate initiatives by the players, marketing, and pricing of the games. These factors are not new and probably drive the growth in any industry. Let’s see each of these factors from the video gaming perspective:-
I would like to think that most video game players in India are between 14-25 years of age. This age group is most likely to be the buyer of sophisticated gaming consoles like Xbox, Playstation etc. The key point here is that majority of these age groups are dependents. Hence, the buying power is not in their hand. The recent gaming consoles hence have started bundling components like DVDs, Blue-Ray, Wi-Fi etc. The idea is to help these players persuade the actual buyers.
Recently the manufactures have starting positioning their consoles as lifestyle products Xbox 250Gb is an excellent example. The target consumers are urban consumers in Metros & Tier I cities. In the past, consoles were left to sell themselves, now makers are taking a proactive approach to sell their products. Their sale has also been boosted by product placement at retail stores by Reliance etc.
Pricing is perhaps the most challenging aspect to handle for any industry in India. An approximate price tag of Rs. 22K is way too high to lure Indian consumers.
The substitutes to these gaming consoles make thing even worse. Consider this you can buy a new desktop for Rs.22K which would do all the more stuff for you. As far as high graphic gaming is concerned grey market takes care of that. All you have to do is buy a PC and then any game comes at a cost of Rs.40-50. The popular PC games like Age of Empires and Counterstrike are examples of this ecosystem.
Nobody demands Rock band here! The proliferation of cell-phone is also another media which is changing the gaming perspective in India.
The gaming console manufacturers have to definitely work on pricing their products especially because they are way too expensive when compared to US price (normally around Rs. 10K).
I definitely think Indian markets have the potential what is needed is the right product at the right price for example Nintendo Wii, xbox kinect or other motion sensor games might become popular because of their ease of usage however they have to priced right. One look at Kinect will tell you how appealing and realistic these gaming consoles are getting in present age..
Do you think these gaming consoles would succeed in Indian market?