Sure we know that Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo are definitely going to produce the next console, but which companies are waiting in the grass ready to take a piece of the pie? Let us explore, shall we?
5. Walmart + Company X – Walmart is one of the largest brands in the United States and has a tremendous slice of the retail market. With over 8,500 stores world wide and over 400 billion in revenue Walmart easily has the capital and the ability to produce and sell a console. The problem lies in the fact that Walmart is a retailer and has no experience with the gaming industry. That is where Company X comes in, say someone like Sega. Sega already had experience in the console market and has a very successful software business and with a powerhouse like Walmart behind them pushing the product it could be a contender.
Likeliness to happen: 10%
4. LG – LG is a giant in the consumer electronics field and already produces the technology needed to put a console together. They also own a number of patents that other companies use in their consoles so they already have a leg up in development. With about $80 billion in revenue there is the capital behind them to make a push into the console market. With their recent lovers quarrels with Sony over blu-ray technology maybe they really want to go after Sony and produce the next console?
Likeliness to happen: 15%
3. Amazon – Amazon.com is one of the most popular sites on the web giving them a large presence already. With $35 billion in revenues they have plenty of cash to produce a console. The thing that makes Amazon more likely to produce a console is the fact that they made the Kindle. They saw a gap in the market and they found a company to help them produce the hardware to fill that gap and now its making a ton of money. I don’t see why they couldn’t do the same thing for gaming. I’d say Amazon is more likely to go after the mobile gaming area with a tablet like console but that isn’t to say they couldn’t go after hardcore gamers. They already have strong contacts within the industry and regularly have their own DLC for games sold through Amazon.com. Either way I see Amazon being a part of the gaming industry in some way in the future.
Likeliness to happen: 25%
2. Gamestop – A much smaller company that the others on the list but $9 billion in revenue is enough to get something off the ground. They already have strong contacts with game manufactures much like Amazon but why they take the cake here is they came out with a statement that all but assures them a place in the console market. They said “If we can work with our partners and the OEMs and they come up with a great tablet that is enabled with a great gaming experience and coupled with a bluetooth controller, then there’s no need to go out and develop our own. But if we can’t find one that’s great for gaming, then we will create our own.” That to me says that there is going to be a Gamestop tablet in some form sometime soon. The only thing I see stopping this is if they team up with Android and make a modified version of the Galaxy tablet for Gamestop to brand.
Likeliness to happen: 65%
1. Apple – You knew this was coming right? The iPad and iPhone were smashing successes and all but assured that Apple is here to stay. They already have a marketplace full of excellent games and a recent report suggests that over 80% of iPad and iPhone owners play games on the device. If that isn’t a call to Steve Jobs saying “It’s time to produce a gaming only device” I don’t know what is. Sure cameras and beefier stats are nice but developing a console is what is going to make waves and with $65 billion in revenue they have more than enough to do it.
Likeliness to happen: 80%