Analysts: Console Market Is Not Dead

It seems like it's almost stating the obvious, but with plenty of high profile folks in the games industry proclaiming that the next generation of consoles will most likely be the last, it feels like some analysts felt the need to say it out loud: the traditional console market may not be as strong as it once was, but it's far from dead.

As reported by Games Industry International, at E3, David Cole of DFC Intelligence, gathered a group of executives to explore the games market and where it will head in the future. His three key insights, according to Games Industry International were the following...

Console is not dead even if it is not as strong

Retail is still very important and builds excitement and sells hardware

Understanding the different segments and their demographics and business models is crucial

It's an interesting report to flick through, and one that discusses the importance of looking to new markets, such as China. Apparently the PC market is as strong as it's ever been, globally, and that looks set to continue over the coming years. Free-to-play, predictably is another hot topic for analysts, particularly in these emerging markets, where it is completely dominant.


    I'd argue that the console market is about as strong as it's ever been, despite the naysayers. You only need to look at game sales data to see that.

      I think that's the problem. They're looking at available sales data but it only covers retail. We've got very little idea how much stuff is selling over XBL / PSN or on Steam.

    I am thinking that the blu-ray and dvd player market is dead, set top boxes and paytv boxes as well as all the other tv peripherals are dead. Consoles will soon be present in every home acting as a all in 1 unit imo

      ^this. Consoles will soon become the all-in-one box for every family.

        I see them moving beyond entertainment. Sooner or later we're going to live in smart homes where we've computerised everything. I don't see why gaming consoles can't eventually the control hub for those homes. I'm not saying that you could rig a 360 or PS3 to do this, nor the next Playstation or Xbox. I just mean eventually.

        Now optical media, that's going to die out, and once we have reliable broadband we might well see those consoles simply stream media and games like OnLive rather than possessing downloadable content to a local storage device. Of course we're going to resist that because we hate the idea of not "owning" our games, but realistically in the long term we don't really have a choice. That's just what's going to happen, when the technology can support it.

          Don't you think it's more likely PC's will be the "central hub" and not consoles?

    The problem is, Samsung at least is including all that functionality into tgeir tvs.

    Ill just stick to my custom PC that plays all my media, plays all my games, plays all my music, can be completely upgradeable & plugs directly into my TV. Why have several boxes that do basic things sitting next to the tv, when you only need one that can do all the things you want it to do??

      Because if that one box blows up then you have nothing. Or if someone else wants to do something else the box does, then someone will probably have to go without. Or similar reasons.

    There are basically three lines of thought that I've been seeing lately.
    1. Consoles aren't dead and they will replace the DVD, Blu-Ray players, set top boxes etc. etc.
    2. The Console is dead and will be replaced by the Television with everything built in to it
    3. The Console as we now know it is dead and will be replaced by streaming games (OnLive)

    I think there is really only two thoughts
    1. Console isn't dead and will include all streaming, set top boxes, Blu-Ray players etc etc etc...
    2. Console makers such as Sony and Microsoft will team up with Television makers and help create everything built into the television. Sony would have the advantage with this.

    Basically, the console isn't dead but it will change after the next generation is released.

    PC is booming thanks partly because the console is something like seven year old technology and PC is always continuing to push forward with almost no limitations like consoles. Long Live PC Games

      "PC is booming thanks partly because the console is something like seven year old technology and PC is always continuing to push forward with almost no limitations like consoles. Long Live PC Games"

      PC is booming not because of graphical fidelity by being newer tech. But by the fact that no one controls it. No one is taking a cut of every game sold via licensing. No one is blocking you from releasing your indy game. No one is charging you 40k to provide and update for your game.

      Free to play and the like aren't things MS or Sony like. Because without direct monetisation their is no way for them to take a cut off the top. Coupled with the fact that those free to play games likely can't afford the cost of updates on the MS or Sony systems. Plus the fact that everything needs to be certified.

        WTH? Console games have brought new business models to which the likes of Activision and EA have profited immensely. Do you really think the PC market alone would ahve been able to provide for the kinds of budgets necessary for games like the GTA series or the COD series?

        Just like Apple's app store is funneling money into the hands of those creators, the console market has been doing the same. Youc an point to exceptiosn where game developers self publish and distribute and make money that way. But the majority of cases, people don't have the inclination or time to go hunting in forums and 50 different sites to play a game.

        Steam is also a great reason why PC is doing good now, since it's another way for devs to make money. Free to play is booming because Asian players only like to play F2P, and they're the ones who're driving the growth.

          "Do you really think the PC market alone would ahve been able to provide for the kinds of budgets necessary for games like the GTA series or the COD series?"

          Call of Duty was originally a PC game.

          "Just like Apple’s app store is funneling money into the hands of those creators, the console market has been doing the same. "

          If you call Apple taking 40% then yeah, it's funneling money into the hands of creators.

            Err, that last line should read "If you call Apple taking 40% funneling money into the hands of creators, then yeah I guess they do."

            /proof read

            "Call of Duty was originally a PC game."
            And look how well it was doing then compared to now. Sorry but without the support of ms and Sony, it wouldn't even be around any more.

              The original COD won multiple awards in the industry, something the lastest CODs have not done for some time now. Doing well is not something I would pin to Call of Duty as it were now... Its more of a fast food FPS.

    LOL! I just like the fact that we are now at a point where we can say Consoles are dieing, wether or not it is happeaning. How long have consolers said that PC gameing is dead? IT OUR TURN NOW SUCKER! :P

    But a lot of the data that says consoles are dead is hardware sales. Is this a surprise when how long have these consoles been out now? Next gen will obviously see a boom again, and all the naysayers will be "oh we were wrong" right up to the point market hits saturation again, and it'll be the same argument once more.

    Between old hard ware, global consumer sentiment being down, and all the usual business, its not shock that console that are considered more of a luxury than pcs are taking a hit on the sales figures.

    Almost everyone has a pc or a laptop now days, and for the less hardcore community, most of these are fine for games. So why go out and buy 5 year old tech to play games at what is ultimately the same quality as an entry level pc now days.

      That's true. I guess people are inclined to believe that people are less interested in consoles considering no home console has beaten the PS2 in sales, but the market is holding fairly steady, I think.

        I think the ps2 was a different time though as well. I mean it was a clear winner at the time for many reasons. Microsoft was still a relatively unknown quantity in the market to anyone other than hardcore gamers, and the ps1 has been such a long running success it was at the time the most favourable looking machine for the average joe.

        But the fact still remains pc's can do stuff consoles can not, and while i am an Xbox gamer by default, my 4 year old laptop can play some games better than my xbox.
        Add to that the PC exclusives (wow, starcraft tf2 and diablo) help fuel the idea that, if you have to own a computer anyway, might as well make it a good one, so it can do everything.

      At this point in the last cycle, the PS2 was still selling gangbusters. Also, the PS2 sold about 150 million units by itself. The current generation has sold about 220 when you combine all three consoles. Given the the amount of people that own two or more consoles, and the appalling attachment rate if the wii, its quite possible the market actually contracted this generation.

        You are almost 100% correct there. But fact remains that other than consoles waning popularity, there are outside social and economic factors that are probably effecting the sell through to o. Id be very interested to see sales figures broken down by country, just to see if countries with the stronger economies since the GFC are down by the same percentage as others.

          True, I'm not going to sit here and claim the gamers have gone elsewhere. Its equally possible fewer games are being bought due to the economy.

          Casual games through iPad and iPhone would also have affected. One thing we can confidently say is that a lot more people are gamers now than during PS2 era. There are a lot more options to do so

    Wow looks like i was right, those experts were actually all full of shit

    one thing about consoles though is they seem to be losing their "put it in and paly" advantage they previously had over PC's

    although its impossible to say for the next gen the only thing keeping me considering a console is "come games just don't get on PC" and "DRM/digital distribution"

      “Some games just don’t get on PC”

      Yeah but some games don't get on console either so unless your a fan of a console only franchise it's kinda a moot point.

      And DRM is already on console it's in the form of online passes and gated content.

        This has been why I transitioned back to PC after leaving it to an extent for the PS2. Consoles have DRM too now, and they aren't just plug and play - I have to immediately patch most PS3 and 360 games now as soon as I insert the disc. In fact, usually, I'll have a steam edition going quicker than the PS3 because their damn patching system is so slow.

        I'm not going to abandon consoles entirely though - I still want to play the best games around, and frankly Uncharted wasn't released on PC.

    Imo the market isnt all that dead. I think its just stagnant waiting for the next "big" game, cos imo its the fact that all we see these days are mediocre looking games and that combined with the fact that every one seems to be low on cash.

    it will be interesting to see how windows 8 changes gaming. If it makes things more simple and trouble free i can see PCs slowly degrade the console market. As some one has said the reason why consoles were more popular then PC was the ease of use but if the PC becomes just as easy to use that and the fact that it is always improving where as consoles are cutting edge for a couple of months before being outdated the PC soon becomes a better proposition. Remember phones are being replaced almost every 1 to 2 years. Now we have consoles supposed to last 10?

    This will, of course, prompt the master race to proclaim that PC is coming back to the top.

    Its not. Consoles toppled PCs, now mobile is toppling consoles.

    Consoles are dying in the same way PC's have been dying for years. As in, not really. Just losing the limelight.

    I find that though the console market isn't dead, my own demand for games has slowed this year because I've already got too much to play/finish and not enough time to play any of it (Thankyou Trials Evolution), this and the xbox gets used a lot as a media player these days as well which probably doesn't help game sales at all.

    one week from now "Analysts: Console Market Is Dead"

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