Tech companies always want to start the latest trend. They want to discover uncharted territories. They want to dictate the market. They want consumers to gleefully hand over their credit cards and buy the latest “it” product. Everyone who comes after the trendsetter is just a mere copycat, a fake, some wannabe phony trying to be like the leader. Trends will come and go, and with each new technology developed, it will take awhile for society to adopt and learn how to use the new product. Eventually though, people will learn about these products in computer classes.
Digital Gaming for The Big Three
Spurred by Apple’s success as a digital content provider, Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo (the big three in video gaming) have each launched their own digital marketplaces for gamers. While Apple has found success marketing to casual on-the-go gamers, the big three control much of the hardcore gaming industry.
The landscape of the industry will soon change by departing from having to buy proprietary cartridges and discs to purchasing digital copies of popular games. In their current console generation, each of the big three’s systems has offered digital downloads of popular games. The future indicates that the big three will abandon trying to sell costly discs and cartridges and focus strictly on digital downloads. With hard drive space getting cheaper and bigger, it’s difficult to argue why console manufactures would not strictly go digital.
Think about it. Game developers could sell their media directly to the consumer without having to package and ship to retailers. Publishers would save a fortune releasing digital copies reducing an already expensive $60 game by about $5-to-$10. The big gaming companies could also start to publish classic titles and rerelease them on new consoles instantly.
Industry leaders are beginning to see more and more companies go digital. Steam, OnLive and Apple have begun pushing digital content to gamers. It’s only a matter of time before new consoles start to push gamers into the digital era. We’ve seen it happen with the PlayStation Portable (PSP) Go, PlayStation Vita and it may happen with the rumored Xbox 720.
Kiss Your Text Messaging Plans Goodbye
Cell phone companies continue to lock-in customers with expensive data plans and text messaging rates. Gone are the days where users could buy $10, $15 and $20 texting plans. Your only option now: a $20 unlimited texting plan.
Companies like Apple see the benefit of offering free texting services to bypass those expensive rates. Of course, Apple’s iMessage technology requires a WiFi connection and an iOS device, but with wireless hotspots on the rise, cell phone providers are going to have to relinquish their expensive rates to keep customers happy.
Peer through the Android Appstore and Blackberry Marketplace and you’ll find dozens of applications claiming to offer “free text messages.” While these apps require both the sender and receiver to install the apps, soon, companies like Android, Microsoft and RIM will embed free messaging programs that can send information over WiFi and bypass texting plans.