Consoles 'unlikely to make a big impact in India'
FXLabs CEO doesn't see the market ever taking off for Xbox, PlayStation or Wii
FXLabs CEO and founder, Sashi Reddi, has told GamesIndustry.biz that he doesn't think that consoles as a platform will become a dominant force in the Indian gaming market in the same that they have in other markets.
Instead he believes that the development of broadband internet, combined with a blossoming home PC installed base, is far more likely to provide a more suitable basis for the country's entertainment.
"I recently heard a panel discussion on this topic, and now I'm changing my mind," he explained. "I'm beginning to think that maybe consoles will never become the dominant platform in India.
"Of course, there's the matter of price points, but I think that there's no reason why they would become dominant. Some people will buy them, but not enough for them to become very popular."
He noted that while there are core gamers in India, the majority of people simply aren't interested.
"I would say that if you were to add up all the consoles in the country, you wouldn't hit 1 million units," he said. Sony has indicated that it's sold about 400,000 PlayStation 2s, and there's been a bunch of other stuff floating about - so I'd say about 1 million would be the cap in terms of consoles, but that's spread across a number of platforms, with PS2 being the biggest.
"Now on the PC there's a far larger number that can play games at home, and that's the target base for us - it's probably in the region of about 20 million plus PCs at home"
And it's those PCs that probably stand a better chance of persuading people to the positives of gaming - particularly as broadband prices come down and speeds rise.
"Broadband in India is still very, very expensive, and also what you would think of in the UK as broadband is different to here. Here, what's called broadband could be 56.6kpbs or even less, so in that sense you can do some sort of casual gaming, but you couldn't get the full benefits of an MMO.
"I would say that in the long run, though, it's probably the place where we'll see things evolving and becoming more viable as a gaming platform, from the PC, then to the internet, and playing online."
The full interview with Sashi Reddi, in which he assesses the country's overall gaming potential, is available now.