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Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) & Sony Corporation (ADR) (SNE): This Week’s Biggest Gaming Announcement Might Have Had Nothing to do With E3

Android as a gaming platform

Like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) also has the potential to dominate the video game industry. Although Apple’s iOS app store still has a larger selection of games, there are some unique ways in which Google’s mobile operating system Android is being used to facilitate game development.

Take the Ouya, a new, cheap indie console. For $100, users get a small box that plugs into a TV and runs Android. Natively, the Ouya has an app store separate from Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play, but because it runs a version of Android, ports to and from the bigger Android ecosystem should be common.

There’s also NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA)’s SHIELD. The handheld gaming device runs Android, but unlike the Ouya, has direct access to Google Play. Given its $350 price tag, one might be inclined to doubt the machine’s mass-market appeal.

But that isn’t how NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) sees it. The company’s Tom Peterson told TechHive that SHIELD could ultimately compete head-to-head with the major consoles. Nvidia thinks the Android platform has a lot of potential, given its widespread adoption, and in time, game developers could turn to that massive market.

It’s expected that 1 billion Android devices will have been activated by the end of this year, and 2 billion next year. So, while NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA)’s goals might seem lofty right now, the market is certainly there.

And Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) clearly cares about Android’s gaming capabilities. At its recent developer conference, Google unveiled its new Android games hub. The service allows Android game developers to more easily implement features like cloud saving, online multiplayer and achievements

iOS and Android to become the premiere gaming platforms?

While the gaming community was focused on Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s offerings at E3, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s decision to enable controllers on iOS might ultimately be far more significant. Just last quarter alone, Apple sold 37.4 million iPhones and 19.5 million iPads. For comparison, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has yet to sell 100 million Xbox 360s, despite the console having been on the market since 2005.

Meanwhile, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s open source Android is increasingly being embraced by the gaming community — projects like the Ouya and Nvidia’s SHIELD could lead to a much broader selection of Android games.

At any rate, the video game market continues to evolve, and both Google and Apple could become much more significant players going forward.

Joe Kurtz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), and NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA). The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Google.

The article This Week’s Biggest Gaming Announcement Might Have Had Nothing to do With E3 originally appeared on

Salvatore “Sam” is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network — entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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