The Cost Drivers of Video Games and Consoles

In: Console Games

The gaming industry has become a huge business over the last thirty years, and companies have been collecting a seemingly endless supply of revenue. As the years passed, games advanced through graphic design and innovation. Prices for these games and consoles increase with each new generation. The average new video game today costs consumers about $ 50, while the average console costs between $ 250 and $ 300. Why do they cost so much? What costs go into creating these devices that make it so expensive for customers? This article will explain what cost drivers, or factors that cause changes in costs for activities of creating products, affect the production of games and consoles. This should give the youngger demographic a better understanding of what it takes to create a game.

The best way to explain the cost drivers of gaming is to go through the five main steps of a product's cost life cycle: research & development, design, manufacturing, marketing & distribution, and customer service. First we will begin with research and development. This step in developing a product revolves around a single question: what can we do to add value to our products? Companies must answer this question in a way that not only will customers purchase their products again, but new customers will buy from them too. In this case, production managers and employees work on ways to add value to games to satisfy customers.

When creating ideas for the console, gaming corporations must determine how to innovate their products. For example, the Nintendo Wii ™, Nintendo's most recent console, offers innovation through the controllers used to play their games. These wireless controllers (with the exception of the wire connecting the Nunchuck controller to the Wiimote) use motion sensors that give the player a greater feel for what is going on in the game. If you are playing a golfing game, you swing the controller like a golf club in order to hit the ball in the game. This breakthrough in gaming is new to gamers and offers a better use of motion sensor activity than its competitors, Sony's PlayStation 3 ™ and Microsoft's Xbox 360 ™, which simply offer wireless controllers with their relevant consoles. Innovations tend to add costs to production, but the companies know that if these innovations are insufficiently intriguing to the customer, these companies can accumulate enough revenue to make up for these added costs.

After completing the research and development stage, gaming companies then design their consoles and games. They must pay attention to detail; what graphics card to install, along with the CPU (central processing unit, which serves as the "brain" of the system), RAM (random access memory), hard drive, and so on. Each new console requires more memory and faster processors to keep up with consumer demand. The new technology needed for games requires specific designs that will appear to consumers; designs that look attractive and at the same time be cost-effective. The Nintendo GameCube ™ was, as it implied, shaped as a cube, allowing for a maximum internal volume (given fixed dimensions) while using minimal surface area and taking up as little external space as possible. With these dimensions, Nintendo was able to put its technology into the console's casing and keep costs at a minimum. Once these costs are determined, the company must create a selling price in order to make a profit (this is called target costing).

The third step in the process is manufacturing the product. It takes a lot of money to build and manufacture complex technology like video games in order to sell them in mass distribution. Costs have to be allocated to the employees who build the games and consoles, as well as paying for the materials needed for production. A company must take into account how much material and labor expenses will cost the company so that it can maintain a budget. Once they products are complete, they are distributed to wholesalers and retailers.

Marketing and distribution are an important part of determining costs for video games. Companies have to know where to sell their merchandise, as well as who they should target their product to. Video game companies must advertise games and consoles in a way that is so appealing that customers will care less about the cost than what the product will offer them. Video game companies must pay retailers and wholesalers to sell their products to consumers, who in turn give money to the retailers and wholesalers and often back to the corporations that produce the merchandise. After the products are sold, they must keep track of the customer's satisfaction with the games.

The final step in this process is customer service. Video game companies create their games so so that they contain as little mistakes or defects as possible. These companies create a customer service program for consumers to call in case the products are defective or broken. If customers are happy with their games, they will continue to buy more games from these companies; however, should there be any problems, customers will contact these companies and explain the problems with the games. Once the companies gather this information, they can use it as research and develop newer models, thus creating a new cycle of creating games.

As you can see from the life cycle of a product, video game companies must spend a lot of money on different costs to create products that customers will be content with. When you take into account all the research and development costs, design costs, materials and labor, as well as so many other cost drivers, it is obvious that creating games and consoles are not as cheap as one may believe. The next time you play a video game, you should feel thankful that there are people that work hard and spend a lot of money on an enterprise made to make people like yourself entertained.



Source by Daniel Feigelstein

The Top 5 Most Popular Mobile Phone Games

In: Console Games

Mobile phone gaming has come along way over the years. Many phone makers have tried and failed, but it was not until Apple released the iPhone that we really saw the emergence mobile gaming for the masses. Nowadays you can see people from all walks of life tapping their screens on the train trying to beat their best scores.

Even though the graphics and processing power of mobile phones has improved by leaps and bounds the most popular games are not necessarily the ones with the most versatile gameplay or impressive visuals. Actually some of the most popular mobile phone games have none of these attributes. In some cases they simply provide a seriously addictive experience which you can quickly and easily play intermittently, while jumping on the bus or train while you are out and about. They are casual gaming experiences as opposed to hardcore gaming.

However with more powerful smartphones comes the opportunity to transfer console games to the mobile phone platform. And as such games like Call of Duty, Need for Speed ​​and Fifa are becoming more complete experiences on mobile handsets.

Angry Birds has been a runaway success on Android and iPhones. If you like games like Worms you will find Angry Birds hugely addictive. It is a physics puzzle game which involves trying to destroy pigs using a sling shot and some angry birds. The game was developed by Rovio and has been downloaded over 100 million times across all platforms; there is even talk of an animated movie. This has to get 5 out of 5 for a fun experience which you can play again and again.

Doodle Jump is an iPhone classic it is simple and easy to play making it appealing to almost everyone. You control an alien tilting your phone from left to right trying to jump to different platforms while being attacked by evil aliens. You can submit your score globally to see if you are the best jumper. This game was developed by Lima Sky and has been mentioned in various media across the world. So far it has been downloaded well over 5 million times. This game has to get a rating 4 out of 5 for a retro experience with a modern twist.

Bejeweled is very simple to play but very hard to put down. You have to match gems making horizontal and vertical lines during timed play which adds a pressure element. This game has been around for years and has stood the test of time due to its appeal and addictive gameplay. The browser version of this game was reportedly launched in 2001 and apparently since that time there has been over 150 million downloads making it one of the most popular games ever. Bejeweled has a rating 4 out of 5 it is an old favorite which is good fun for players of all ages.

Tetris is an old classic first developed by Alexey Pajitnov and released in 1984. It is another puzzle game this time using blocks to make as many lines as possible. Tetris was very popular on the Nintendo Game Boy and has seen similar success on mobile phones. This game has been downloaded over 100 million times. Tetris earns a rating 4 out of 5 for a strangely hypnotic experience which causes a strange addiction to making various shaped blocks into complete lines.

Fruit Ninja is a great game if you have a certain penchant for slicing fruit. All you have to is swipe your finger across the screen and cut fruit. It sounds dull but add the inclusion of bombs and various other elements and you have a seriously addictive iPhone game. You can submit your score and there are a few ways to choose from. This game was developed by Half Bake studios and has been downloaded over 20 million times. This game gets a rating 4 out of 5 simply because it has managed to make a dull domestic choir into a hugely popular gaming experience, who would have thought it?

Mobile phone gaming has taken on a big way and with the launch of the Xperia PlayStation phone games will become more far immersive and visually stunning.



Source by Louise Goldstein

Copying and Backing Up Nintendo Wii Games Just Got A Lot Easier

In: Console Games

Remember how difficult it was once to copy disc-based videogames? There was a time when multiple software titles had to be used, special DVD burners had to be installed, and hours were spent – just to copy one game title. In the past few months, that has all changed with the introduction of special software to make backing up discs, especially those for the hot, new Nintendo Wii, a breeze!

Several months ago, an early version of Game Copy Pro was released. The program was designed to be a one stop shop for users to duplicate any game disc, for any system. The initial release worked on Gamecube, PS2, PS3, Playstation, Gamecube, and Dreamcast titles. In November, Version 2.73 of the program was released, now allowing users to backup Wii titles as well.

So why would you want this software? After all, video game piracy is illegal in most parts of the world. The answer is simple. As technology in video game systems and the programming time required for their games has increased, so has the cost of those games. The superficial surface of the media discs most games are contained on is susceptible to scratches, knicks, and other forms of wear and tear. These mishaps can prove costly, often setting gamers back $ 70 or more a pop. By copying (also known as backing up) a game you legally own, you can use that game for regular play, then minimizing the chance of your original becoming damaged.

It is important to note, that Game Copy Pro is not intended for the illegal piracy of copyrighted material. It is important to ensure that you are only replicating disks that you legally own.



Source by James Topz

Should I Buy Grand Slam Tennis by EA Sports?

In: Console Games

Well, you've probably seen the advert on television. Like me you were probably think should I Buy Grand Slam Tennis? I can not really tell you to buy it, however, I can tell you that if you make sure you wrap the cord around your wrist for you Wii MotionPlus controller as if you get as carried away as myself and my little lad you will not break a window.

Do I buy this game by EA Sports? Ok, this game is specifically developed by EA Sports for the Nintendo Wii, you just will not get it or appreciate the power of this game on any other video games console. Buy grand slam tennis.

You can play tournaments all over the world which include Australian Open, the French Open at Paris' Roland Garros, the championships at Wimbledon in London and the US Open at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York. My second tip is to play the grass courts first, it is a little easier and the ball does not spin as much. You can chose difficulty levels, do not go for the middle or hard levels as this will really frustrate you and you will think why I did buy grand slam tennis. Take it slow and easy and you will get the swing of it – pardon the pun.

I am happy I decided to purchase this video game for the Wii, it is fantastic to play the big players like Pete Sampras, Johnny Mac (John McEnroe), Roger Federer and of course Rafael "Rafa" Nadal. Fantastic, buy grand slam tennis.

This game can even be played online. This game feels like tennis, it feels like you are in the truly recognizable grounds.

2 further tips use the training grounds as training does make perfect, do take advantage of the instructional pop ups they are amazing.

Finally, the Wii is a fantastic system for keeping fit – the Wii Fit has been an immense phenomenon and this game will b also.



Source by Brian Parnall

Download Wii Virtual Console Games For Pennies

In: Console Games

You can download Wii virtual console games easily from the websites available on the internet but it's very important that you get the latest games for a cheap price. When you want to download Wii virtual console games you could probably think about going to a superstore and order but if you are searching for a cheap solution then the Wii downloads websites are the best sources for the latest games, movies, music albums and more.

These websites help you get thousands of games by paying only a small fee and become a member of the website. So, after you pay 40-50 $ you can download and play on your Wii any game you want.

These websites have many advantages for you. The most important are the low prices. Here's an example for you: Mario Kart costs 49.99 $ if you buy it from a superstore, but the exact same game can be downloaded from a downloads website, paying only that membership fee. Better yet, after you download the Mario Kart you will still be able to download any games available without paying any further fees.

Another important benefit is that these website are 100% legal and you will not have to worry about doing anything illegal. The thousands of movies, games, music albums, tv shows can be downloaded 100% legal and 100 safe, because you will not get your computer infected with any viruses or any spyware.

People all over the world download Wii virtual console games from these websites and they are very satisfied.Why would not you do the same?



Source by Craig Torsen

Five Easy Tips to Play Card Games

In: Card Games

There are literally thousands of different card games that are regularly played by many people in the world. Poker is played by many people of all ages and is probably the most commonly known game. Solitaire is a game played by a single player and is almost as popular as poker.

Bridge is another well known game although it is losing the status it once had along with all other types of game play with cards. However, there are several games that are simple and easy to play. Go Fish is one of the oldest games around.

Each player gets seven cards and proceeds each turn by choosing one other player and asking them if they have a specific card. If the other player has that card they must hand it to one who asked. But, if the player does not have the card they were asked for then the asking player must go Fish and take a single card from the deck in the middle.

The point is to build pairs and the player who has the most pairs at the end wins. Old Maid is a simple game to play and all you need to do is go through a regular deck of cards and remove three of the four queens if you are playing with two players.

No more than four should play and you should have a queen for everyone playing minus one. Then you deal out seven cards to each player and set the rest of the deck in the center of the playing area. Then you take turns and choose to draw from the deck or from the hand of another player.

The only queen left is known as the Old Maid and when all of the pairs are made, and laid out, the one left with the Old Maid card is the loser. If you are looking for card games for children then those two games are perfect. The children will love them and adults like to play them as well.



Source by Paul De Vizard

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Cheapest Nintendo Wii Games – Wii Downloadable Games

In: Console Games

So, you have a ass kicking gaming console and you want to find the cheapest Nintendo Wii games. Everyday, a new game is released every day and the prices for these games start at $ 40 and can end up at $ 100-150. You will pay this price if you go and search for games at any retail store but your question: "Where to find the cheapest Nintendo Wii games?" has only one answer: Wii Downloadable Games.

You can find wii downloadable games on the downloads websites. These website will give you the opportunity to get the latest Wii games and start playing them in less than 10 minutes. An important aspect you should keep in mind is that the website are 100% legal to use, but there are exceptions and it's important to know which website to chose and get wii games, movies, tv shows and music albums.

To become a member of the legal downloads websites you must pay a small one time fee, usually 50-60 $ for lifetime membership. For this money you will get over 4000 files to download and use on your Wii. No downloads restrictions are applied so you can download anything and anytime you want. Also, the best Wii downloads websites have a money back guarantee and they are free from any viruses or spyware that you typically get from the illegal downloads websites.

Be aware that the legal websites also provide software and a guide to convert the games to your Wii format, and it will work no matter if your console is Pal or Ntsc.



Source by Craig Torsen

Just Games

In: Console Games

What an impact console games have had on our lives. A small TV in the corner with a games console connected to it is not enough. The ultimate games room is what us gamers dream about. 50 "TV, surround sound system, latest PlayStation or Xbox.

Then there are the games. A wide range of games are now available to suit everyone. Graphics and sound are astounding. The games just get better and better.

Street Fighter IV is no exception, it brings the legendary fighting series back to its roots by taking the beloved fighting moves and techniques of the original Street Fighter II, and infusing them with Capcom's latest advances in next generation technology to create a truly extraordinary experience that will re-introduce the world to the time-honored art of virtual martial arts. Everything that made the legendary Street Fighter II a hit in the arcades, living rooms and dormitories across the globe has been brought back in Street Fighter IV. This game really is the business.

Also a well known favorite is Grand theft Auto. Beginning with the 1997 release of the original Grand Theft Auto, the GTA series has been one of the most prolific, controversial and down right entertaining franchises in video games history. Historically GTA games have focused heavily on mission-based play, requiring successful completion of fixed tasks in order for players to progress through the game, but this has changed to a great extent in GTA IV. Players will experience an entirely new and exciting emphasis centred on the blending of on-mission and off-mission play, resulting not only in an increased sense of realism, but more interesting and unrestricted gameplay.

More importantly, just enjoy your games.



Source by Peter Plant

Xbox Racing Games

In: Console Games

Among several different types of console games you will find Xbox racing games, especially designed for driving and racing games. The list of Xbox racing games includes all sorts of fun raisers like Simpsons Hit & Run but also legendary driving games like Grand Theft Auto Double Pack, Forza Motorsport, Need for Speed Most Wanted or RalliSport Challenge 2.

Highly appreciated among all Xbox racing games is Project Gotham Racing 2, a game that stands out with its elegant, compelling graphics and mind blowing soundtrack. The game play, however, is a little different from other Xbox racing games, and in this game speed is not everything. You earn extra points for driving with style, like sliding around the corners instead of cutting them or driving on the right line. The extra points can be used to acquire new, more powerful cars along the game.

RalliSport Challenge 2 is just the opposite. Thrilling and unexpected, it will have you cutting corners at 120 miles per hour only a few inches away from a thousand foot cliff. Style doesn’t matter here; all you have to do is drive really fast and actually make it to the end of the game.

An internet search for racing games will also reveal the pleasant surprise of Midnight Club 3 the DUB edition. Midnight Club has maintained its status as one of the top Xbox racing games of our time and with this DUB edition it surprises the player with a lot more cars and countless customization options. As usual, speed is a must in this already legendary racing game.

On the funnier side of Xbox racing games you find the Simpsons Hit & Run, more of a driving game really. There is no extreme speed, no crime, just many different types of cars to hop in and go for a spin in the city. If you want a complete list of racing games that are available on the internet all you need to do is search online.



Source by Michael Rad