My dear friends at Zeemote, I’ve been giving you a hard time on this blog in the past (first here, then here). Now, in my second post on the device (which is, for the ignorant few, a bluetooth connected controller for mobile phones) I issued two concerns, namely
- distribution (which I suggested would only work with bundling) and
- usage (the keys, wallet, phone dilemma).
You will have seen that my mood is somewhat mellowing, and this is indeed connected to the fun one can have with this little thing.
So it came as no surprise that on the first point, the good folks at Zeemote have been impressively busy in the recent months. They managed to strike a number of rather noteworthy deals, the perhaps most impressive one (to date) being with Nokia. At the Games Convention, they announced that they would bundle (see? I told you!) the Zeemote controller with some N-Gage-enabled devices. Here’s the clou though: it will be tied in through a dedicated little application in a way that allows users to control every game available on N-Gage via their Zeemote, even if the games and applications themselves do not have the precious lines of code in them. And that it is pretty cool indeed as it circumnavigates the dilemma of having a device that no software supports and which is therefore not being used. I played it, it works. Awesome!
A couple of weeks before, Sony Ericsson launched a bundle in a test market (see here), so they seem to be gaining traction indeed. I hear there’s more to come soon but I’ll wait till the news is out…
Now, as to the other question, namely if people would take it with them? Well, we’ll have to wait as only time (and hopefully many users) will tell. What is undeniable though is that the Zeemote lowers the threshold to play as it greatly facilitates access and controls when playing a game on mobile. If users get the device together with their new phone, I am rather sure that they’ll give it a try. The device will be best shown off (initially) with games and apps that are hard to control and where users are more likely to be put off playing them with the fiddly controls of a phone. If this is being put to work (which I trust the Zeemote folks are smart enough to embark on), there is a good chance, they’ll convince people enough to make them use it more and more. And once they’re hooked? The sky is the limit.
And then, there are also uses for it at home: you don’t have a Wii but 2 Zeemotes, a TV and a phone? Go on and play! Works! True! Check here.