Ok so following on from my last post I am now 100% on board with Augmented Reality games. I’ve been playing the AR games for the Nintendo 3DS and am just not tiring of them. I never would have thought that fishing on my coffee table would be so immersive. I’ve also been checking out AR games on other platforms and have been amazed to find that there are dozens of them available for the iPhone and Android devices. It really just highlights the rising popularity in this field which I don’t see dying down any time soon.
Unlike Virtual Reality which I consider to have been a fad, AR has much more statying power. This, I think, is due to the way in which the AR user is still able to perceive a version of reality rather than being presented with a totally synthetic one as the VR user is. Google have potentially just started an AR arms race with their first foray into wearable computing, Project Glass (pictured above and detailed in the video below), which is a set of AR glasses that layers information about a user’s environment directly onto their retina.
Developments like this have shown me that there is definitely a market that are interested in all things AR, and that the market is growing. My proposed interactive project Coin Hunt 3DS for Nintendo’s latest handheld is one such ARG. In my last post I mentioned that I had pitched my idea to a panel of industry experts. Their feedback highlighted some interesting areas of consideration for my project.
One of the main pieces of feedback I was given was that I should expand the game to Smart Phones instead of the 3DS. this was probably the only piece of feedback I have discarded. After researching the 3DS a bit further I discovered that after a bit of a rocky start it has become the fastest selling console in Japan’s history (Highlighted in the graph below). Although the number of users with a 3DS is a mere fraction of the number with a smart phone, the unique capabilities of the handheld and it’s dedicated user base have convinced me to stick with it.
Some other considerations from the pitch were, what would incentivise players to place stickers in the environment and upload their locations online as well as actually go out and find them. I thought that the best way to motivate people to take part in the game (having it as a free download wouldn’t be enough) would be to offer incentives in the form of Club Nintendo coins which can be redeemed for gifts on the Club Nintendo website.
Another concern was that of how the game would be monetised. I have also had a think about this and concluded that the money required to recoup the costs of the game’s development and push it into profit would be through the card collecting aspect of the game. There is a lot of potential in card collecting games - the Pokemon card Collecting game has sold 14 billion cards worldwide to date after all. Tapping into this market would be the quickest way to monetise COin Hunt 3DS.
And that is just about it. I am now totally for AR, and can’t wait for the many advances that will undoubtedly be made in this field over the next few years. The future’s bright, the future’s augmented.