Showing posts from May, 2010

Google TV is Sony’s last stand against the Apple juggernaut

This post was also published in VentureBeat. Everyone’s buzzing about Google’s new TV platform. But the real battle in your living room is Apple vs. Sony. Over the past few years, Apple has muscled its way past Sony as the top purveyor of premium, high margin consumer electronics products. Sony has long had a deep culture of NIH (Not Invented Here) ranging from Betamax in the 1980s to the Memory Stick in the 2000s. But the iPod replaced Sony’s Walkman, the iPhone replaced Sony Ericsson handsets, and the resurgent MacBook and iPad have leapt past Sony’s Vaio PCs. Apple’s unique blend of software, hardware, content relationships and rich developer ecosystem has eviscerated Sony’s core markets. The television set, Sony’s last bastion of premium consumer electronics, is already undergoing a relentless assault by Samsung. Now it’s facing a rumored Apple TV upgrade. Upcoming: Apple TV Apple’s much maligned Apple TV mini set-top box has long been due for an upgrade. Even Apple executives call

With social game market in flux, what Zynga needs is Farmville 2

This post was also published in VentureBeat. There’s been a lot of chatter over the past few weeks about the long-term viability of social game developers. Facebook essentially shut down the viral channels social games were using to fuel their growth and is now attempting to force game developers to use Facebook’s own virtual currency, the very expensive Facebook Credits . While social game developers like Zynga are contemplating moving games to their own destination sites and launching full fledged mobile versions, they in fact have a much bigger challenge that needs to be addressed: their games have got to get a lot better. Social Games are Now a Hits-Based Business While there’s a tendency to think of social gaming as an extension to the casual gaming market, they are, in fact, a major growth market that is quickly becoming a high stakes, hit-based business. Social gaming is now generating over $1 billion a year in revenue and attracting major gaming players such as Electronic Ar