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Espresso of Innovation: Gaming is Dead! Long Live Gaming!


By Dan West, innovations manager, Draftfcb UK


Hello and welcome to this week's Espresso of Innovation; the hottest news and strongest stories from the world of creativity and technology filtered into a quick shot of inspiration. This week we hadouken you into the battle for gaming supremacy.

This week Microsoft launched theXbox One. It not only integrates TV, Internet and gaming, but will also measure your heartbeat, recognises your voice and has social incorporated throughout. Xbox sees the future of gaming to be home console entertainment, the best way to fight off the trend of mobile and social gaming.

There is an argument to say that mobile and social is where the future of gaming is as70% of casual gamers are young women, who have a disposable income or control the family wallet. You can see why many companies are focusing their attentions here. In fact, one of the fastest growing gaming companies isSupercell which focuses on mobile gamers and attracts 8.5 million daily players who play their games an average of ten times per day.

As a testament to the popularity of value,Ouya are launching a console that operates on Android and allows you to play games on a freemium model. It also links up to existing apps so you can play music, listen to radio and stream films all through the console for a fraction of the price of the big boys. Other companies like Nvidia are also jumping on the Android platform with their consoleProject Shield going on pre-order this week.

It’s not all about the consoles, but the accessories too. People are always looking for more realistic and immersive experiences and theOculus Rift is set to do this with the demo units shipped last month. Essentially Rift offers commercially viable virtual reality. If you don’t want to put on a pair of goggle glasses then theIllumiRoom might be the option for you as it extends the gaming experience beyond the TV and into your living room.

Not only are the games and consoles themselves big business but so is in game advertising. Forbes magazine predicts that in-game ad spending will increase to$7.2B by 2016 with in game product placement being the future of product placement. In fact, Pizza Hut believes that the family unit is going to spend more time around the console and so they are launching a revolutionary newXbox 360 app that allows you to customise and order your pizza directly from the console using voice and hand motion interaction.

As we all know, gamers are no longer geeks playing on their own but potentially everyone who owns a mobile phone (remember snake) or a Facebook account. But knowing this is not enough: we can use the psychological insights of why people love gaming, like the brain chemistry of anepic win, to create more engaging and entertaining content. We can now communicate to them in the moment and supplytransmedia experiences that go beyond the usual TV, print and digital.