Mobile Gaming Device Subsidized With Ads?

from the I-know,-we'll-make-it-cheaper...-with-ads dept

Remember back in the bubble days when everything you could ever possibly want (including cars and computers) were available for free if you just agreed to advertising? Apparently we’re coming back to bubble thinking. Tiger Telematics made something of an odd splash a few months ago when they announced that the portable gaming device they were working on was going to be called Gizmondo, which didn’t endear them to the folks at gadget website Gizmodo. However, some more details have come out about the device — including their back-to-the-bubble ideas concerning business models. In order to compete with all the competition from Nintendo, Sony, Nokia, Tapwave and others, they’ve decided to make the device as cheap as possible, while subsidizing it with downloadable video ads. Yes, that’s right. You’ll be able to get your cheapo device, but you’ll have to agree to watch 3 video ads per day. The ads are intended to be targeted, and will have some sort of actionable component to them (the example given is a movie trailer with the ability to click through and buy tickets on the fly). Of course, with prices already pretty low on many of these devices (often subsidized by game revenue) it may be tough to really compete unless they can somehow get the price down somewhere near free. At the same time, despite the GPS location tracking component of the device, these video ads don’t seem to really do anything to take advantage of your mobility (other than to suggest the local theater). We’ve said it before, but simply forcing ads on people in a mobile environment isn’t going to get anyone very far. Someone who’s mobile has far too many distractions. What will happen to the Gizmondo when advertisers realize no one is paying attention to the ads and they refuse to buy any more?

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