I think Roku should enter the gaming market. Let’s dive into the pros/cons of what this would mean.
If Roku can prove out their business model (hard ware at or below cost, then leveraging user base into a number of different areas of monetization), then competition will increase significantly as that happens. Amazon has been very aggressive in gaming and is Roku’s biggest competition, with other TV manufacturers not having any foothold here.
I think Jackbox Games would be a example of how they can enter the market. It doesn’t take a ton. Tech has come to a point that even the simplest of tech can handle enough gaming (i.e you can play great N64 games on a Raspberry Pi). I’ve done the free gaming on Amazon Fire TVs, it’s not great, but it is interesting. A Roku stick will never be able to compete with a PlayStation, but it may offer some of the similar low level games at a very reasonable cost.
Wrap It Up
This might be a bad idea, Amazon has been unsuccessfully chasing after gaming for awhile… but the whole idea is finding a low cost way to experiment. Roku was built on simplicity, so shifting from that to incorporating a controller might not be optimal, but the idea would be this is an optional upgrade, not a mandatory one. I could be wrong here, maybe gaming is primarily for the intense gamers, not casual like Roku would be. Either way, I think this is an example of leveraging their user base into new markets. If done as low cost experimenting, I think this is a great example of optionality.