Chris Lau, Kapitall: Will video game stocks find better ways to compete with mobile games? Investors take note.
The rapid growth of smartphones is creating a bearish atmosphere for video game makers. Investors fear the growth of games on smartphones could hurt demand for handheld devices and consoles. Companies like Nintendo and to some degree, Sony ( SNE) have experienced dips in share price as a result. So how are video game stocks responding?
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Price cutsNintendo launched the Wii U last year, nearly one year ahead of similar product updates from Microsoft (MSFT) and Sony. Now Nintendo will cut the price of its Wii U by $50 for the holiday season. This will lower the price point of the console to $299.99 - considerably less expensive than the upcoming Playstation 4 and the Xbox One. The PS4 is expected to cost $399, while the Xbox One will cost $499. A price reduction in popular Wii game titles will also coincide with the lower Wii U price. Super Mario Galaxy 2, New Super Mario Bros Wii, and Wii Sports Resort will only cost $29.99. And Nintendo is also releasing an inexpensive “2DS” for $129.99. The ordinary consumer may compare the handheld gaming device with smartphones, but really Nintendo is targeting infants. The market for games for the very young is massive, one which doesn't really compete with the smartphone game market. Meanwhile last month Sony started selling PS Vita bundles in Hong Kong with Modnation Racers and accessories for $165 (USD). Previously the device had been marketed to Japanese gamers for about $214, with a new version dropping to $190 this October. It may only be September, but you can be sure all the major players in the video game market will be ramping up promotional efforts as we get closer to the holiday shopping season. Here are some companies to consider. Dig Deeper: Compare analyst ratings for the companies mentioned. Click on the interactive chart below to see data over time. Do you see investment opportunities in these game makers and suppliers? Use the list below as a starting point for your own analysis.