I was not a serious gamer some 6-5 years back, it was only EA Sports cricket game series and game demos which i used to play from tech magazine CD’s, i was aware of Playstation 2, the happening console at that time, but console gaming back in those years was a luxury and to some extent PC gaming as well, i became an avid follower of Gamer TV show which airs on Ten Sports, showcases all aspects of gaming from Console, PC, game trailers etc.
It was from here i started following gaming news regularly and enjoyed all time favourite game in India amongst youngsters, Counter Strike, however was not involved in multiplayer gaming, still the cybercafe i used to visit in Mulund used to be packed with kids, teenagers and adults glued to CS and Quake death matches for hours, my cousin turned out to be an addict of LAN gaming and actually he started stealing money to play game in the cafe, playing on credit from the cafe owner, till the time my uncle realized this and bashed him badly for stealing.
Half Life was also my favourite along with Max Payne, i started playing modded versions of these games, then i played Jedi Knight series also, as i continued playing EA Sports cricket and Brian Lara cricket games, the recent games which i enjoyed playing on my PC were Matrix-The path of Neo, Lara Croft – Tomb Raider legend, since last year i am now hooked to Console Gaming on my Xbox 360.
Today gaming in India is not just limited to PC, mobile platform is also gaining ground, Consoles have just begun their journey, gaming hardware and software industry is riding high on global success, however the Indian part of the story does not paint a very exciting picture, Sony’s PS2 gained a larger acceptance amongst gamers in India through grey market, as the hardware for PS2 was hacked and pirated games sell dirt cheap for this console in India, and no wonder game companies are still making titles for this console in spite of the arrival of PS3.
Microsoft entered with it’s Xbox 360 in the Indian market in the year 2006, had roped in Yuvraj Singh and Akshay Kumar to promote the console, tied up with ICICI bank to offer easy EMI facility to customers, however the hardware faliure for early Xbox devices could have dented sales of this console in India, the famous RRoD (Red Ring of Death), hardware faliure had caught MS in lot of legal suites globally by the time this console arrived in India, and still if you go to a reputed retail store in India, do not be surprised to find 2006 MFD devices selling on shelves, whereas the latest MS Xbox 360 with Jasper chip retailing in USA and Europe since Fall 2008 is more stable and hogs less electricity.
Even i was a victim of RRoD syndrome, however MS provides you a 3 year hardware faliure warranty due to this problem, so peace of mind garuanteed, still for a naive buyer in Indian market hearing such thing may put him off, since Indians are known to buy high value products considering the durability of the product in mind, so it is necessary that MS brings the latest hardware in India and not dump the leftover devices in our country for sale.
Nitendo Wii has being ruling the gaming console sales globallly, however the games available for Wii are low on graphics and high on interactive fun, the Wii sells cheap than PS3 and Xbox 360, consumes the least of electricity of amongst the consoles, this console also made an entry into Indian market late last year.
Xbox 360 sells between INR 14,000 – 26,000 (Standard and Pro-Version), PS3 is now priced at around INR 21,000 – 23,000, PSP (Handheld Playstation Console) – INR 7,000 – 13,000, PS2 – INR 7,000 – 6,000, all the quoted prices are approximate and may differ with actuals, these consoles come bundled with free games or with some other freebies based on current offers run by the console manufacturers, so actually the cost of console drops further in case you consider price value of the free software given to you.
Xbox 360 hardware also has being hacked, however people fear going for a hacked Xbox 360 since one tends to get banned on the online gaming community of Xbox 360 , Xbox Live and if you happen to encounter RRoD problem in your hacked device, MS would not offer warranty for a hacked device, else Xbox 360 games also are pirated in India currently.
More about gaming trends in the next part of my article.