This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

5 Companies That Could Use A Super Bowl Ad

Stocks in this article: AMZN CBS MSFT NFLX SNE

Anyone from the video game industry

Seriously, Nintendo? Your new Wii U system is outsold in volume by your old Wii, your new 3DS handheld is being sold at a loss, you just recorded a $460 million loss in the past fiscal year -- your first in three decades -- and we can't even get so much as a Super Bowl commercial out of you as a sign you're fighting back?

It's a shame, but it's about par for the video game world these days. According to market research firm NPD Group, sales of consoles, physical video games and accessories all fell 22% last year to $13.3 billion. That's on top of a 9% decline between 2010 and 2011 and includes a particularly dismal holiday season during which sales fell from $4.1 billion in December 2011 to just $3.2 billion last month.

Video game companies are putting $300 consoles and $60 discs gamers have to wait for up against smartphones costing $200 or less, online versions of disc games that stream right to a computer and casual game apps that cost less than $10 or are free. Meanwhile, the cost of producing top-tier games such as Activision's (ATVI) Call Of Duty series or Take Two (TTWO) subsidiary Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto franchise have soared into the multimillions as production of other games plummeted. In December, the industry's Top 10 games accounted for 46% of all game spending, compared with just 36% in December 2011.

Meanwhile, both Microsoft (MSFT) and Sony (SNE) have hinted that new Xbox and PlayStation systems may be on the way this year. Great. Tell us how that worked out for you last year, Sony. Remember when your company released the PlayStation Vita handheld console for hard-core gamers at $250 and $280 apiece last february? Remember when the Vita was outsold that same month in Japan by the PlayStation Portable console Sony originally released eight years ago? Remember how it sold only 1.2 million units in the U.S. to date, or just 200,000 more than Nintendo's Wii U home console despite a nearly nine-month head start? Remember how it's cemented itself to dead last among console sales? No, you probably don't, as you're too busy selling off your New York office and trying to keep your whole operation afloat.

Here's the big issue: According to Flurry Analytics, smartphones now make up 60% of the handheld game market after coming in at 19% in 2009. NPD Group says the number of gamers playing on smartphones now exceeds those playing on dedicated consoles. The gaming industry -- perhaps with the exception of Wii-era Nintendo -- has insisted that core gamers glued to multiple screens of first-person shooters and multiplayer online role-playing games would save the day with their obsessive spending. That hasn't been the case, and casual gamers have been loath to part with wads of cash for the latest iteration of some long-running, hours-long series or the maps and other downloadable content that come with them.

The new state of gaming is quick, somewhat easy and relatively cheap. The future isn't the new Elder Scrolls, it's the new Temple Run or Fruit Ninja. When the gaming industry got Crysis complex, casual gamers went running for the next Pac-Man or dance game. Now their smartphones are the new arcades and the big gaming companies forgot how to play quarter-by-quarter.

The Super Bowl could show otherwise, or it could just remind everyone why their console has been off the whole time. It's pretty easy to get a quick round of the updated You Don't Know Jack in on a tablet during a TV timeout.

-- Written by Jason Notte in Portland, Ore.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Jason Notte.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to

>To submit a news tip, send an email to:


Jason Notte is a reporter for TheStreet. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post,, Time Out New York, the Boston Herald, the Boston Phoenix, the Metro newspaper and the Colorado Springs Independent. He previously served as the political and global affairs editor for Metro U.S., layout editor for Boston Now, assistant news editor for the Herald News of West Paterson, N.J., editor of Go Out! Magazine in Hoboken, N.J., and copy editor and lifestyle editor at the Jersey Journal in Jersey City, N.J.
6 of 6

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,030.21 +6.04 0.03%
S&P 500 2,081.88 -0.29 -0.01%
NASDAQ 4,773.4720 +8.0480 0.17%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs