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Chris Jurgens

Game Console integration: best practices for your cross-device strategy

The game console market has rapidly evolved, from the inception of the "brown box" in 1967 to today's multimedia juggernauts. It stands as one of the most lucrative and fiercely contested markets globally.

>> Download: “Tactical guide, the 5 best practices for a unified cross-device strategy”

In recent years, to differentiate and enhance console offerings, providers have introduced OTT video apps. The target demographics for gamers and OTT are remarkably similar, with 80% of console users subscribed to at least one OTT service.

By incorporating OTT apps and capabilities, the value of consoles to consumers significantly increases. This presents an extremely attractive opportunity for Pay TV providers aiming to expand their reach.

Here are several key reasons why you should include the game console in your cross-device strategy:

  1. Why including the Game Console in your strategy is a smart move?
  2. What are the focus areas when porting to Game Consoles?
  3. Conclusion: a low-risk, high reward strategy

1. Why including the Game Console in your strategy is a smart move?

Game consoles have emerged as a dominant entertainment medium, showing no signs of slowing. Integrating them into your cross-device strategy presents a risk-free opportunity to significantly enhance your potential revenue and market share, especially among younger audiences.

The reason behind this low-risk, high-reward scenario is the strong promotion of Pay TV on consoles by tech giants with substantial brand recognition, such as Netflix, Disney+, YouTube and Prime Video. With US households spending over 21 hours per week streaming digital media - equivalent to the commitment of a part-time job - and with access to features like Ultra HD and 8K video, we are in a golden age for content creators and video platform providers. As a video platform operator, accessing the vast Xbox and PlayStation audiences is crucial. With the right product and launch strategy, achieving high subscription rates and profits is highly feasible.

It's crucial to note that game consoles often serve as alternatives to Connected TVs or STBs, particularly for accessing Pay TV services. The loyalty customers have to specific consoles suggests your service could experience a lower churn rate compared to other mediums, considering the average lifespan of a console is around five years.

Pay TV applications can either be deployed on consoles as a web user interface, accessed through a browser, or developed with native components specific for each device – e.g Playstation or Xbox. While browser mode UIs are less expensive, as part of the code can be applied to other environments, they don’t offer the same performance and features as native components-based UIs.

A critical consideration is the expectation of game consoles' predominantly younger audience for media to be available across devices. If you cannot deliver this, they are likely to move to a platform that can. Building the game console into your cross-device strategy is not only an offensive manoeuvre, but also a way to guard your customer base from established competitors and new upstarts who have similar aspirations.

2. What are the focus areas when porting to Game Consoles?

Game consoles are powerful devices often with cutting-edge technology so video performance will not be an issue. Today's gaming consoles feature browser modes and UI integration with other devices, including basic Pay TV services. This enables them to seamlessly support both linear and non-linear content.

However, we recommend using native components to enhance enriched features and use the full power of the devices to provide a best-in-class experience to your users. This will pay dividends in the long-term.

Here are some key areas to focus on when deploying to game consoles:

a. 4k support

Ensure that your strategy includes 4k support. Remember to choose a partner with experience on Playstation and Xbox native players integrations. The Shaka player could also be an option, depending on the feeds and DRM that need to be supported.

b. UX and ergonomics

Different consoles use specific gamepads to ensure high quality gameplay. Due to this, your UI will have to take into account the specific gamepad navigation of the target console. For extra clarity for the user, displaying navigation and tutorials on the UI might be something to consider.

c. Key features

One of the most powerful features of game consoles is their ability to closely interact with social media platforms. This opens a wealth of opportunities for user engagement, such as user-generated content or rewards for activities.

d. Successful application for publication on stores

Getting published on app stores is part art and part science. The quickest and easiest way to guarantee publication is to partner with a technical provider with experience on these platforms, who can guide your app submission.

The submission process can be extremely complex – far more so than app submissions for Apple and Android – so attempting to do it yourself, with no prior experience, can lead to long delays and avoidable mistakes. Wiztivi can help you navigate this environment quickly and effortlessly – talk to the team today to find out more.

3. Conclusion: a low-risk, high reward strategy

Including the video game console in your cross-device strategy is a smart move with very little risk. Not only will you automatically increase your potential audience, you will improve brand recognition as your offering appears alongside tech giants such as Netflix and Hulu.

In the next few years, gaming is going to be moving away from hardware-dominant mediums and moving into the cloud. This offers operators a unique opportunity to enter a fast growing market, and to not only consolidate but expand your reach with access to untapped audiences.

Wiztivi’s cloud gaming solution Streamava is the world’s leading cloud gaming service for operators. It can be easily integrated into your existing environment and plugged into your billing system for fast deployment, and with a pre-existing catalogue of games you don’t have to worry about sourcing new titles.

For the end user, a cloud gaming solution such as Streamava is a whole new world to explore, with countless games and no need to purchase expensive hardware or the games title itself.

Want to find out more? Get in touch with the Wiztivi team to find out if Streamava is the right cloud gaming solution for you.

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