Angry Birds: Unappreciated Killer App
Sony and Nintendo, listen up.
There are big video game franchises, and then there's Angry Birds. It's one thing to know a bunch of friends that purchased Killzone 3 or Donkey Kong Country Returns, but Rovio's immensely popular series is everywhere. I have it, the guy sitting next to me has it. Moms have it, old people have it. It's so huge that the game had a cameo, albeit hidden, in the Rio trailer during the Super Bowl, and for great reason. As of December 2010, over 42 million people have downloaded it in some fashion.
So why don't Sony and Nintendo care?
If I had money, as Nintendo most certainly does, I would do everything in my power to make sure the next Angry Birds (in this case, Angry Birds Rio) appears on my platform day one.
Think about it. How huge would the 3DS be if it had Angry Birds Rio on launch day? Forget about Pilot Wings, Nintendogs and Street Fighter IV, by all accounts impressive titles, but nowhere near as important as the Angry Birds phenomenon. What if Nintendo managed to secure limited exclusivity for even a month? Looking to buy a system in March? Try June.
Same thing with NGP. Sony should bend over backwards to put Angry Birds 2 (providing it's ready by the fall) onto its new handheld.
Here's the sad news. Neither company will make this happen, leaving Apple's iOS and Android to feast upon these killer apps, both of which will cost a fraction of the games on 3DS and NGP.
Then again, even Apple would benefit from some Angry Birds. The company will announce it's new iPad tomorrow morning at 10:00AM PT, and the malaise amongst consumers (casual interest in a lighter unit with a camera, a feature the device should have had from the beginning), would disappear if Angry Birds Rio made an appearance.
That said, it's obvious that Sony and Nintendo have taken note of the App Store. PlayStation Minis and the DS Shop Channel prove this, but the corporate suits need to look past their own first party games and combat the mobile industry head on.