Sprint Demonstrates 4G Mobile Through IGN Gaming Community
When Sprint wanted to demonstrate advanced mobile technology for the HTC Evo 4G phone using gaming as a platform, it tapped the IGN community from IGN Entertainment, a News Corp. company. After all, gaming enthusiasts are some of the early adopters of technology that requires bandwidth and speed.
IGN Entertainment President Roy Bahat says games provide a great anchor for consumer technologies and entertainment to bring those experiences into reality. There's a huge following that is passionate about games, which need the speed of technology to enable it.
Game publishers and developers that continue to find ways to immerse consumers will turn more toward mind-boggling graphics, bigger televisions and louder sound. Games also will become faster and immersive on handheld devices. Take, for example, Nintendo's "3D technology in the palm of your hand without glasses -- imagine that," Bahat says.
Total page views for IGN sites during the promotion -- from June 13 through 17 -- reached 98.3 million, and 18.7 million total visits. IGN sites had 10.7 million unique visitors, according to IGN internal numbers and Omniture analytics.
Putting this in perspective, if the promotion was a TV show, this would put it at No. 6 on the Nielsen TV Ratings chart for the week of Jun. 7, 2010, according to the company.
Bahat says the stats raised so much awareness that gamers can expect similar campaigns in the future as IGN continues to build out what he calls IGN Social, a place on the site that weaves the functions of a social network with games.
The console and handheld game market will continue to dominate the gaming industry, increasing at a compound annual rate of 6.1% to $14.4 billion in 2014, up from $10.7 billion in 2009, according to a recent study from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and Wilkofsky Gruen Associates.
Mobility through handheld games becomes the "true" next conquest for gamers. Until now, those who played video games were stuck indoors or inadequate mobile platforms, says Sprint spokesperson Stephanie Vinge-Walsh. "3G doesn't give you the ability to move around, but 4G does," she says.
The promotion, called the Sprint/IGN First Look 4G Gaming Experience, took place at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) conference. It featured gaming stations that served as a 4G hotspot to demo some of the high-intensity multiplayer game from Activision's upcoming action shooter "Transformers: War for Cybertron" using the Sprint Evo.
It challenged players to become the ultimate weapon as a Transformers character in the final, epic war that will determine the survival of their entire race, "Transformers: War of Cybertron" launches June 22.
Sprint talks about high-bandwidth applications that could become possible with the higher speeds offered by that network, including gaming, but the network isn't getting rave reviews. The network just began rolling out and only available in about 33 markets across the United States, including Atlanta, Chicago, Austin and, rival AT&T's backyard, Dallas.
Sprint will continue to roll out the network with help from Clearwire, which it owns a majority stake in.