The lights are on
Power Member - Level 10
One of the best parts about the upsurge in digital media recently is the lack of clutter it creates. I have purchased a couple dozen movies, hundreds of books, and several magazines on my Kindle Fire HD that I can access at any time from a PC, or my phone, or of course on my Kindle itself. None of it takes up shelf space, and it's very convenient to get to it virtually everywhere I go.
Now, most books and movies work great on tablets. Magazines can be a bit dicey ( I'm looking at you Game Informer for kindle!) but when done correctly, it is a fantastic and interactive experience. An excellent example of a really well done digital magazine experience is Time magazine. Touch controls are intuitive, articles and side notes can be scrolled without moving to another page, it's really a well done setup.
So what does that have to do with game guides, you ask? Well, I recently downloaded a preview of the Official Brady Games Strategy Guide for Diablo 3 on my Kindle, and it was downright unreadable. Simple text like you would see in a novel on kindle would have been a bummer, but at least I could have read that, and used the table of contents to get to the section I was interested in. The digital strategy guide had none of that. What it really looked like was each page of the bound version of the guide was scanned, then put together for kindle almost like a jpeg. You can double tap on the page to get a slightly larger view of the text, then enlarge the page like you would a picture on the touchscreen, but what a pain in the ass! No table of contents, no interactivity, this 9.99$ digital game guide is just about the least intuitive tablet experience I've ever had the misfortune of being subjected to.
And yet, it seems as though this could be such a selling point for game guide makers. A digital version of their product that was easy to access, read, had small interactive touches like short video, or scrollable footnotes, would in my opinion, be the premier version of their product. Not to mention that it wouldn't take up any space on my bookshelf, and is so much more convenient to pull up and look at while I'm gaming than some hardback tome.
Come on Brady and Prima (who have no Kindle presence at all!!), this would be a slam dunk. There are tens of millions of tablets out there, a giant portion of which have the kindle app active on them. Do it for Apple as well, but if you are going to release a digital version of your terrestrial guides, make it worthwhile. I would buy them heck out of them if done properly. What I have seen thus far just leaves a bad taste in my mouth for your products. And with new features like smartglass, you could tailor a guide for Xbox or Playstation owners, that can tell my device where I'm stuck in real time, or show interesting things on the map that I may have bypassed.
There is so much potential here, get it together guys. And as much as I love GI? That goes for the Kindle version of my favorite magazine as well. It could be so much better....