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Business Plan – Product extension for Xbox

The findings from our research Indicate that, at times, portable gaming devices are In gig demand due to their portability On closer Inspection It was found that devices that had multitasking abilities were also in high demand. Another emerging trend identified was the increase in female gamers and their influence on the gaming Industry. Our report explores these three trends before making recommendations on how Microsoft can extend the

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Oxbow range to capitalize on these growing segments whilst utilizing current resources with the ultimate goal of maximizing profits and changing the face of gaming platforms as we know It.

Warm Regards, – Microsoft Limited MICROSOFT OXBOW Course Name: Knowledge Management and Product Innovation course code: BAOBAB Lecturer: Mike Themes Due Date: August 26, 2013 been inaccurate because we can never really predict how we may deviate from the intended use of the original creation. That said, it is still delightful to know that the gaming industry is heading towards uncharted territory, always exploring and pushing the limit. ” Michael pooh (2013). Executive Summary The purpose of this report is to provide an external analysis of emerging trends in the electronic gaming platform category before making recommendations on how

Microsoft can extend the

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existing Oxbow product line with a view of increasing overall company profits. During our analysis we have been careful to consider utilizing existing resources at Microsoft’s disposal so as to lessen the financial strain of introducing new technology and equipment. Avoiding centralization of existing product lines has been a strong focus. Our report begins by analyzing the emerging trends in Australian gaming, initially examining the overall gaming industry, so as not to stifle creativity, before turning our attention to electronic gaming platforms, more specifically, the Oxbow product line.

From this analysis we were able to draw the conclusion that Australian gamers seek consoles with greater portability and greater multitasking ability. We were also able to conclude that the number of female gamers has increased, and continues to increase, to the point where nearly half the gaming consumers are now female. Subsequently, gaming industries are now creating stronger female characters and feminine story lines within their games. Microsoft’s Oxbow may already meet the male gamer segment; however, we identify an area of opportunity by appealing to female game consumers and to consumers of portable gaming devices.

We then narrow our focus by analyzing three emerging trends being: physicality (portability), multitasking, and the increase of female gamers. Was identified that video streaming on gaming consoles is on the rise while the number of people watching physical media is dropping – a growing functional necessity for consoles. Extending the current Oxbow product line to cater for this segment of consumers will enable Microsoft to appeal to a current gap in the market, therefore remaining ahead of competitors and broadening Oxbow’s target consumer.

Increasing physical and portability features is currently a need not readily met and as the potential to capture a growing market. To meet this, Microsoft’s Oxbow, in summary, should: Introduce a portable gaming device (as in Plantation’s SSP and SSP Vita, and Nineteen’s ADS). Ensure R&D considers the challenges that lie with the introduction of a new gaming platform such as: appearance, Digital Rights Management (DRY), and the development of high-performing technological specifications. Incorporating a cross-play feature between the base console and the portable gaming device.

Immediate synchronization with other personal technological devices (such as TV sets and ‘Pads). This strategy will promote brand loyalty whilst ensuring that Microsoft and Oxbow is perceived as a portability conscious brand and a market leader who recognizes the needs and wants of their customer, consequently securing a new market segment and enhancing overall company profits. .. I it. Title Page… …………………………………… I. Cover Letter…………………………………….. Executive Summary……………………………… Iii v’.

Table of Contents…………………………………. Vi 1. Introduction…… 1 1 1 Background .. 1 1. 2. 21 3 Scope… …………………… ……………………. 2 1. 4. Assumptions and Delimitation’s………………….. 2 2. 32 1 Australian Gaming Market…….. ? ……. 3 3. Emerging Trends… ……………………… 43 1 Trend 1: Physicality (Portable Gaming Devices)… 4 Gamers……………… 5 4. Conclusions……………….. ……………………………………. 6 5. Summary 3. 2. Trend 2: Multitasking and Recommendations….. References… ……………………………….. 8 Appendices………. 9 Appendix A… ….. ? 9 Appendix 9 Appendix C… … ………………….. Appendix 10 Appendix Appendix 12 . 4 3. 3. Trend 3: Increase in Female ……. 10 1. 1 BACKGROUND: Oxbow falls into an entertainment/electronic gaming platform category. Due to work and other social demands in a consumer’s life, the time spent playing on base consoles has decreased and portable gaming devices such as Sonny’s SSP Vita has increased in demand to allow consumers to ‘play on the go.

This trend has created increased competition in the market, demonstrating the need for Oxbow to review its current market position and consider emerging trends with the introduction of their ere own portable gaming device – keeping the brand at the forefront of the electronic gaming platform market. Research conducted by Baccarat. Com (Appendix A & B) indicate that Nineteen’s hand held gaming device (the ADS) has a much higher lifetime sales share than any other gaming platform from the years 2010-2013.

Building on this, Appendix A also provides a clear insight into the growing trend of portable gaming devices with Nineteen’s ADS at the top of the 2013 weekly hardware chart. Historically Microsoft’s Oxbow and other gaming platforms have served many consumer segments. However, it is evident in Appendix C that “In the seven years from 2005 to 2011, the proportion of gamers who are female has increased steadily from 38% to 47%. Female representation equal to males among gamers is imminent. With more and more consumers purchasing gaming consoles, a growing trend in platforms with multitasking abilities is also evident, as portrayed by Appendix D. As the overarching portable gaming market has been largely exhausted by competitors (I. E. Plantation & Nintendo) further openings in this segment should be a focus of Microsoft’s Oxbow to help develop a portable gaming device of their own to compete . 2 AIM: This report was constructed with the objective of analyzing opportunities in the electronic gaming platform category as to make recommendations on how Microsoft can extend the

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Oxbow product line to capture a greater market share.

The report is broken into three sections. Firstly, the report provides an overview of Oxbow’s target segment in terms of target audience and areas of opportunity. The second part of this report explores emerging trends in the identified market with specific focus on physicality (portability), multitasking, and female gamers. The report concludes with tragic recommendations that will allow Microsoft and Oxbow to continue to be a market leader whilst expanding its existing customer base. 1. SCOPE: During our analysis we identified numerous emerging trends in the gaming market including: touch screens, augmented reality, DVD, and virtual reality. Whilst these trends should be taken into consideration, they are outside the scope of this report. It was identified that Microsoft has already explored changing the Oxbow’s form. This is most recently evident in Microsoft’s upgrade of the Oxbow 360 to the Oxbow One. The Oxbow One can now perform other tasks such as optical drive, Blue-ray capabilities, and voice control (Wider, 2013).

Therefore, our focus remained on areas not yet covered by Microsoft that could also be applied to other existing product lines. 1. 4 ASSUMPTIONS AND DELIMITATION’S: The report explores areas of opportunity within the Oxbow product line through review of available market research, academic Journals, websites and other available sources. As the report focuses on emerging trends it was important for the research to be current to maintain relevancy; consequently, research conducted within the last years has been predominantly utilized.

One of the recommendations to emerge from the research was to extend the product line to cater for female consumers, and consumers of portable and multitasking devices. It was also assumed that Microsoft was able to leverage from the existing product knowledge and harness technology currently available to the company. 2. 1 Australian Gaming Market: In this report we focus on a male target market between the ages of 16 and 36 years old. It was discovered in 2011 that 92% of Australian households were found to have a gaming device of some form Eager, 2011).

The majority of the gaming devices were insoles with 43%, followed by PC’s with 39%, and handheld which accounted for 18% of these household gaming devices; however Appendix E shows that between the ages of 16-25 and 26-35 (target market covered within this report), consoles are the second preference of gaming platform after the PC (Brand, 2009). Appendixes F and G demonstrate the company and brand shares of consoles within Australia, according to Remuneration 2012. In the Australian market, Microsoft has a brand share of 19. % behind Nintendo and Sony who have 41. 6% and 25. 4% brand share respectively. Furthermore, the Oxbow 360 accounts for 16. % of the total Australian gaming hardware (Remuneration, 2012). 3. 0 EMERGING TRENDS 3. 1 TREND 1: Physicality (Portable Gaming Devices) are at times more sought after than base consoles (Appendix A & B) with greater global sales and market share. As indicated by Baccarat. Com, Nineteen’s hand held gaming device (the ADS) has a much higher lifetime sales share than any other gaming platform from the years 2010-2013 (Baccarat. Com, 2013).

Building on this, Appendix A also provides a clear insight into the growing trend of portable gaming devices with Nineteen’s ADS at the top of the 2013 weekly hardware chart (Baccarat. Mom, 2013). Furthermore, there has been an increase in the incorporation of a cross-play feature in portable gaming devices along with the synchronization of the portable devices with other personal electronic devices like TV’s (Williams, 2013). “There has been a rapid shift to hand held game devices in the past year and these numbers will further erode PC share of the gaming market in coming years (Brand, 2009)”.

From all of the online research and statistics on various company’s portable gaming devices, it can be noted that Oxbow has not yet released a portable gaming platform of their own. This in itself is a market opportunity as Microsoft’s Oxbow hasn’t tapped into this market/trend yet. 3. 2 TREND 2: Multitasking Abilities According to Nielsen (2013), “Streaming video on game consoles is up over last year. ” An October 2012 survey reveals that streaming and video-on-demand represent a larger weekly share of usage on Microsoft Oxbow 360. Streaming now represents a reported 14% of Oxbow 360 usage time (Nielsen, 2013).

During 2010, 10% of Oxbow 360 owners watched video-on-demand or streaming services like Nettling via the console, resulting in a decreased usage of physical media such as DVD and Blue-ray discs. Appendix D makes note that consumers also use their Oxbow 360 console for activities such as watching and downloading movies and television shows, listening to music, and using the internet. While the multitasking ability is a feature sought after by consumers, this trend gives Microsoft the opportunity to continue to apply these multitasking abilities in future Oxbow product lines to keep up and stay at the forefront of this consumer trend. . 3 TREND 3: Increase in Female Gamers As stated in Appendix C, from 2005 to 2011, the proportion of gamers who are female has increased steadily from 38% to 47%. Along with this trend, the increase in female involvement in the developmental stage of games has also risen. The Sumatra 20 panel in the video game industry today strove to include women from all parts of the industry – from development, to marketing, to writing – highlighting how important women are to gaming now (Rubber, 2008). Evidence that women are not only accepted, but encouraged to participate in game development and design. ” (Simmons, 2012).

The American Association of University Women Educational Foundation Commission on Technology, Gender and Teacher Education (AAU, 2000) conducted a focus group study and found that young omen’s preferences of game characteristics include: Rich narrative Roles involving positive action Appropriate levels of challenges Opportunities to design or create Engaging characters Communication and collaboration Use of strategies and skills (beyond shooting guns) From this, there are now more and more games being developed with having either a strong feminine orientation, or strong female characters within the game (Dickey, 2005).

The growing female presence in the gaming industry proves to be a great opportunity for Microsoft to help develop future Oxbow product lines (whether they are Ames or platforms) to further appeal to such female presence. 4. 0 CONCLUSIONS From the research conducted, it is predicted that portability, multitasking attributes and female prevalence in the gaming market will continue to influence consumer behavior and preferences. These trends leave an opportunity for Microsoft to develop a product extension that combines portability and multitasking functioning to leverage Oxbow’s current capabilities that they have already established their reputation on.

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