The games console has evolved rapidly in the last few decades. From the famous ‘brown box’ in 1967 to the multimedia juggernauts that they are today, the games console market is one of the most lucrative and fiercely contested in the world.
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In recent years, in order to differentiate and enhance console offerings, console providers have begun to introduce OTT video apps. The target demographics for gamers and OTT are extremely similar, with 88% of console figures subscribed to at least 1 OTT service.
By including OTT apps and capabilities, this significantly increases the value of consoles to consumers, and presents an extremely attractive opportunity for Pay TV providers looking to expand their reach.
Here are several key reasons why you should include the games console in your cross-device strategy:
With games consoles being such a dominant entertainment medium, and with the market showing no signs of slowing down, adding them to your cross-device strategy is a relatively risk-free way to increase your potential revenue and market share – especially among younger audiences.
One of the reasons for the low risk, potentially high reward pay off is that Pay TV on consoles is promoted heavily by tech giants with incredible brand recognition, such as Netflix, Disney+, YouTube, Prime Video. US households alone are streaming over 300 million hours of OTT content per day. With access to incredible features such as Ultra HD and 8K video, this is a golden age for content creators and, by extension, for the providers of video platforms. As an operator, having access to the colossal Xbox and Playstation audiences should not be taken lightly – with the right product and launch, high subscription rates and even higher profits are possible.
It’s also important to remember that games consoles are often used as an alternative to Connected TVs or STBs, especially with access to Pay TV services. Customers are also very loyal to specific consoles, which means your service will have a lower churn rate than on other mediums – the average lifespan of a console is considered to be about 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.
One final thing to consider: the dominant, predominantly younger audience of games consoles now expect their media to be available cross-device. If you cannot deliver this, they are likely to move to a platform that can. Building the games 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.
Games consoles are powerful devices often with cutting-edge technology so video performance will not be an issue. All of the current games consoles allow for browsed modes and the mutualising of your UI with other devices, notably with basic Pay TV services, so they can play 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 games consoles:
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.
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.
One of the most powerful features of games 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, rewards for activities and watch parties for groups.
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.
Including the video games 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.
With that said, 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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