Wireless Game Portal
Retail distribution platform for Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices to download rich applications in consumer stores
Electronics Boutique and WideRay have partnered to deliver mobile games to consumers inside select EB Games retail stores beginning in December 2004.
EB Games will make its Wireless Game Portals -- in-store zones where customers can download games -- available in 100 retail stores across the country beginning in December, marking the industry's first wireless distribution platform implemented in a physical retail setting. Mobile phone users can access the Wireless Game Portals by simply going into a participating EB Games store and using a compatible device -- without any pre-installed software -- to view a listing of popular game titles available for purchase. Users also have the ability to receive game-related video as well as reviews and previews of PC and Console games.
The Wireless Game Portals are powered by WideRay's Jack Service Point, which enables applications to be downloaded at high speed through built-in Bluetooth connections on consumers' mobile devices. The platform supports a wide variety of mobile devices, including those running the Windows Mobile and Symbian operating systems.
"With the launch of several new mobile gaming platforms in the last year alone, it's clear that the opportunity to sell games and content beyond the traditional PC and console-based gaming platforms is a huge one, and EB Games remains on the leading edge by being the first to offer on-location mobile games to our customers," said Nathan Solomon, director of Business Development, Electronics Boutique. "We chose WideRay's platform because its unique technology provides the means for us to leverage our broad retail network to reach the growing number of wireless gamers."
The proliferation of more advanced mobile phones and the introduction of gaming-first handheld devices has spurred a new category of wireless gaming. According to research firm Datamonitor, the wireless gaming market in the United States and Western Europe alone is expected to reach approximately US $6 billion in the next four to five years.
"EB Games is a leading pure-play games retailer, and sees mobile games as an exciting new revenue category," said Saul Kato, founder and CEO of WideRay. "Retail stores are the dominant location for consumer interaction, and our platform solves the challenges of delivering digital goods directly to consumers in stores. It's a natural fit."
EB Games and WideRay are working with many of the top handset manufacturers and operating system developers, as well as leading Symbian OS and Java mobile game publishers, to bring consumers the most advanced mobile games direct to their wireless devices via the Wireless Game Portals.
Electronics Boutique is a specialty retailer dedicated exclusively to video game hardware and software, PC entertainment software, accessories, and related products.
WideRay enables the deployment of proximity services -- targeted, on-demand, on-location delivery of content, transactions, software, and services directly to end-user mobile devices. WideRay provides a single-box communications, application, and content server called a Jack Service Point that supports instant ad-hoc connections with infrared and Bluetooth equipped devices.