With both Sony and Microsoft making hardware moves in the console market this year, you might expect the games market for such devices to grow quickly in the short term. You would be wrong. According to a study by PwC, and reported in the Wall Street Journal, the console games market will grow by a mere 4.2 percent in 2013.
Why such a small figure? Sales of current console games could flag in the face of coming new devices, which will sport new titles. Anyone who knows that they can pick up an Xbox One in six or eight months might be less likely to buy new games for their current Xbox 360. That could create a deficit that later, perhaps stronger sales will have to overcome.
PwC expects the console market games market to stiffen further in 2014, rising an again modest 6.4 percent. Reflecting the aforementioned growth, the console games market should clock in at $25.89 billion in 2013, and $27.62 billion in 2014.
Rising sales are welcome to publishers, but to some in the gaming industry the news might not be all good: sales of video games over the Internet continues to grow, squeezing traditional retailers. Sales of videogames for all platforms are going digital where they were physical before, and staying digital where they weren’t.
That might sound cliche, but the console games market has better outlasted the PC market in terms of remaining a physical goods distribution supply chain. However, if even Microsoft’s enterprise divisions work to end Software In A Box – or in consoles’ case, Software In A Little Plastic Case – the writing has been on the wall for some time.
Popular PC game digital distribution platform Steam isn’t a sign of the times, it’s simply the new reality. And, as Microsoft and Sony look to improve their console platforms digital content systems, the physical world’s connection to computer gaming of any variety will continue to shrink.
Unlike the larger console game market. Which will grow 4.2 percent in 2013.
Top Image Credit: Microsoft
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