Google, Getting Its Game On


Nintendo is dying. True, it still sells millions of DS's, and its brands like Mario, Zelda, and Pokemon are still a few of the biggest names in children's gaming. But while the 3DS may be selling well, the iPod Touch is still destroying the mobile gaming market. Don't get me wrong; the Wii U may change multiplayer gaming as we know it. But it's coming at the wrong time, with the wrong technology.



While Nintendo's gaming platform sector is going downhill, the gaming industry as a whole is instead evolving to a new level. Before the smartphone gaming revolution, there were three big players in the gaming industry: Nintendo (with its DS and Wii), Microsoft (with the XBOX 360), and Sony (with the PS3 and PSP).  While Nintendo only does video games, Sony and Microsoft are already in the process of moving their services to their phones, and in Microsoft's case, its PCs. The three companies dominating games are stranded on an island of obsoletion, and while Microsoft and Sony have rafts Nintendo will be left to wither away.



So where does Google come in? The next version of Android, Jelly Bean, is supposed to include some 'game-changing stuff'. I'm going to take that literally: the next version of Android will bring a full mobile gaming system to the OS. And not just a few games in the App Market; I'm talking a full gaming platform spanning tablets, phones, and Google TV with real, full-featured games which support the same graphics you'd see on an XBOX 360 or PS3. Something for Android devices like Steam is for PC's. The secret? New quad-core processors like the one found in the Transformer Prime and new super-powered Google TVs with all the abilities of a next-gen console. In fact, Nintendo does have one pathway remaining to stay alive: sign some deals with Google now and replace the Wii U with a powerhouse Google TV. Oh yeah, and make those popular brands I mentioned earlier available for other companies. Mario Kart Android? I think yes.


Nintendo probably won't form any alliances with Google, though. In 2-3 years, I see gaming systems as a thing of the past and video games becoming part of every device we own, making stand-alone consoles just as obsolete as digital cameras are to non-photographers. The revolution is coming, Nintendo. Game over.