Verizon, Sprint hold edge in mobile gaming

So it seems that Verizon and Sprinthave an edge over the competition when it comes to mobile gaming. Not only are Verizon and Sprint customers happier with their gaming experience, but they find it easier to navigate towards their games of choice. Extra props to Sprint, who beat out Verizon by one point — whatever that means — in overall portal experience. According to Paul Brown, author of the report, “On average it took users three times as many clicks to access the games store using the AT&T/Cingular service compared to Verizon Wireless.” The first question we asked ourselves: does it really matter? When someone chooses a phone service, how much weight does the gaming carry? Okay, so that’s the first two questions we asked ourselves. We suppose that if someone considered AT&T and Verizon neck and neck in terms of service (though we’ve had both and would completely disagree with that notion), it could come down to the accessibility of the extras. If Verizon had more of and better access to games and ringtones, they might just win out. But that would assume that everything else is created equal, which is rarely the case. Now, we don’t currently have both services, and it would be unfair to speak of the virtues of the one we have while not being able to speak of the other. However, we did check out the respective websites. With Verizon, it took one click and we were browsing through games. With Cingular, we had to click “Ringtones & Downloads,” then click “Games,” Then go through the games landing page. So it was a few extra clicks, but it wasn’t really a hassle at all. In Cingular’s corner is that you can purchase games right on the website, whereas you have to get the game through your phone with Verizon. Does the option of purchasing on either your phone or your computer outweigh the couple of extra clicks it takes to get to your destination? We suppose so. Then again, we didn’t experience how difficult it was to navigate to the games through a phone, so there’s a chance that’s an issue. David Kerr, vice president at Strategy Analytics, offers some criticism, ostensibly at Cingular: “While the estimated US revenue from mobile gaming is projected to be over $520 Million in 2007, operators are missing out on over $100 Million in revenue as a result of inferior usability.” Certainly, Cingular alone isn’t losing $100 million by requiring a couple of extra clicks. But according to Kerr, they are losing revenue with their extra navigation steps. In the same light, though, isn’t Verizon losing money by not allowing users to buy games on the website? Was the website not brought into consideration in this study? We still don’t see games as a huge selling point in mobile services (though there are 520 million reasons we’re wrong). Then again, it wasn’t so long ago that we were sitting in the back of the classroom, ruining our calculus grade by playing Tetris on our graphing calculator. On second thought: let them play games (without having to click a lot)!]]>

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