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Games needed for commercial project

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Hello, We have developed a set top box solution for hotels and cruise ships, called the “hi5 entertainment system”. Hi5 allows guests to, among other things, play PC video games on their in-room TV. The games (Win98) can be stored on the set top’s hard drive, the hotel’s NT server, and played across the hotel LAN and/or Internet connection. A hi5 console is uses DirectX 7.x and a high-end VGA adapter in support of high-end 3D gaming. Our closest competitors are beginning to roll out Nintendo 64 consoles, and we wish to beat them on performance, price and number of available titles. We are seeking partnerships with game developers to provide high quality video game content for distribution in hotels and cruise ship (US market initially). Guests will be billed a flat daily fee for 24 hours of gaming, and of course, a guest will be able to purchase any game at any time, by doing an on-screen e-commerce transaction. In the hospitality industry, guest utilization revenues are generally split between the developer, the hotel and the systems integrator. If the above scenario sounds like the beginnings of a profitable undertaking for you, I would like to further discuss opportunities with you. Please contact me at your earliest convenience. Thanks, Joe Perkins Perkins Communications / hi5 entertainment 241 Federal Plaza West Youngstown, Ohio 44503 Voice: (330) 743-6162 joe@perkinscomm.com http://www.perkinscomm.com http://www.hi5entertainment.com

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Sorry but I am going to be Mr Negative here and predict that your venture will fail. I can instantly think of three problems, each of which can (and I think will) kill your idea on their own.

1. Space - Hotels and cruise ships have very limited space available. They all have TV/Cable boxes, radio, beds, bathrooms etc but I have never seen a hotel room with a SVGA display. For your idea to work you have to convince them to find space, not only for your box but also for a second display, which is only going to be of use for your system (everything else can already be done through the TV).

2. Cost - You say you are going to beat the competition on cost but how? Assuming that you and your competitors both run on a similar "back end" solution the hotel still have to pay for your box plus an SVGA display. With the competition they just pay for an N64 system - how can you do a box and display for less than the cost of an N64?

3. The wrong games - in too many ways....
i. The target market is a user who has some time to kill before going out. The games need to be "pick up n play".... Just like N64 or SNES games. PC games on the whole require a greater investment of time making them unsuitable for the market you target – PC games are for gamers, not casual users.
ii. Console games are limited but easy to control. PC games don't generally lend themselves to play with a remote or a simple controller.
iii. PC games require more compatibility testing. Getting the system up and running and keeping it up and running will require more effort than for an N64 based system.

You can get around the problems in item 3 by getting your own software made but this greatly increases your development cost and time to market (and you still have a heavy system test to handle) compared to an N64 based system. You have to pay for the development and testing of the games, while they simply license-in existing N64 games, which have previously been developed and tested by someone else.

Not only do you have some major problems but you are not even playing on a level playing field. It is not a market where everyone is trying to solve the same problems because your competitors have none of these problems. Whatever their system costs to develop, yours will cost the same plus a load more.

Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions

Edited by - obscure on August 9, 2001 5:07:41 AM

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I don''t speak for, or even know, Joe.


1) I''m sure they considered the display issue and have some allowance for standard TV sets in space-limited settings. I mean, its not that hard to solve that problem.

2) Cost can be an issue, sure. I have no idea what their business plan is though, so I can''t speak to the costs.

3) It seems pretty clear they are intent on people developing games specifically for this system, or modifying existing games to work on it. In reality, there''s not any more N64 games that are playable out of the box in a hotel setting than PC games.

Most N64 games actually aren''t that pick-up-and-go. Most are long-term adventure/platform type games, and considering the large amount of small budget PC games there are, many retro-style and perfect for this type of system.... I really dont think the N64 has much of an edge in the games available department...

Of course, they could still fail.

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I agree with gmcbay.

>Obscure, PC games are for gamers, not casual users.

THAT is not right. I say one thing and that is "REALARCADE"
or better said a second one "eGames". etc.
Games for the massmarket are more games like puzzles, casino,
retro arcade, race games etc. Not a FPS or violent beating up stuff. Check the Realarcade presentation. (core)Gamers are a small group or niche in general.

I think there are good chances to succeed.
Do you know Diana Gruber, she got a very while ago a deal
with an airplaine company, to develop casino games for
in there passengers plains seats. So customers/passengers could play from there seat a PC casino game to enjoy.

Quote from her site:
The computer game market is so flooded, just getting a new game noticed is a challenge. But with cleverness, you can put your game where there are no games. I have games running on seat-back computers on America West Airlines airplanes. This is an interesting market. Consider that it is a captive audience, relatively bored, that is staring at my games (and my name) for the duration of a flight.

So I do not agree with Mr. Negative

Edited by - spikey on August 9, 2001 9:10:05 AM

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As long as you don''t sign an exclusive contract you don''t need to care whether he is successful or not.

With the rest I agree with Spikey.

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I appreciate all of the feedback posted in reference to our proposal. Of course, I do not agree with Mr. Negative.

1.) Space...Our system uses the TV set as its display device. Space is not an issue.

2.) Cost... Our system is nothing at all like the competition''s, in eithr front-end or back-end design. Please remeber that our competition must install both a termination/display deveice AND a game console in each room. We only need to install our termination device (set top box). There are many other factors that come to play in terms of reducing our costs, but suffice it to say, we have studied the issue pretty thouroughly, and we beat out the competition hands down in cost of goods sold and long-term operating costs.

3.) Choice of Games...Two issues come into play, select the correct titles, and market your offerings aggressively. Our competiton does neither, so the whole thing is no longer a matter of Nintendo vs PC games, but rather an integrator that understands the demand which exists for video games within the hospitality market. In short, it is apparent that an aggressive marketing campaign with lesser known titles will produce grater revenue than no marketing campaign at all with outdated children''s titles.

Didn''t mean to go ogg on a tangent, but I hope ou find this information useful.


Joe Perkins

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