Video gaming has seen a significant rise in popularity over the last decade. Previously thought of as an activity for children and teenagers, gaming has grown and matured and now attracts people of all ages and lifestyles. From the active gameplay style of the Wii and the interaction of virtual reality to traditional PC and console shoot-em-ups and role-playing games, there really is something for everyone within the video games market. Video gaming is generating more profit than ever before – but in a flexible world with changing technology, what does this mean for the traditional games console?
What is the games market worth, and where does it generate the most profit?
The games console market is currently worth an estimated $99.6 billion globally. Mobile and PC gaming account for a large proportion of this figure, but console gaming picks up 29% of games’ profits. Sales in Asia dominate the total share, accounting for 58% of industry growth. Meanwhile, the US alone spends $23.5 billion on games and gaming machines. In the UK, there are an estimated 11.2 million console owners. Video games are big business, and with the exciting new tech developments being announced, it seems profits can only increase in coming months and years.
Consoles and Games Machines Available to Buy Now
Gaming enthusiasts have a wider choice of devices to play on than ever before. There has been a resurgence of PC gaming, especially since the emergence of the digital distribution platform Steam on Windows, Mac and Linux devices. New technology from gaming platform developers is actually allowing crossover play for the first time, so that PC and console fans can join together and play their favourite online titles. From PC mods on consoles to multi-device networks for MMO gaming, there are lots of new ways to interact with games. Console manufacturers have some serious competition! However, it seems clear that the traditional games console has a big role to play.
When it comes to choosing a game console, there are two big players on the market. The Windows masterminds at Microsoft have created the Xbox series, while audio-visual leaders Sony own the PlayStation console range. These two games machines have seen a number of upgrades and developments over the years. The current generation of consoles includes the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 – although half-generation upgrades are expected in the next eighteen months, both teams have confirmed. In third place for console supremacy is Nintendo, whose innovative Wii system has changed the way we play games forever – and driven the new phase of virtual reality.
Console Sales and Revenue: Microsoft Versus Sony
Sony has always had the edge over its nearest rival Xbox in the console gaming market. The most successful gaming machine ever is the PlayStation 2, which has shifted over 155 million units since its release back in 2000. However, Microsoft’s previous generation console, the Xbox 360, proved farther more popular than the PS3 or PS4 has yet achieved. Current sales figures for consoles on the market suggest that the PS4 is in the lead by almost two consoles to one. 30 million PlayStation 4 consoles have been purchased as of March 2016, Sony has confirmed.
Who are the main consumers of video games and consoles?
Are video games just for children? It seems not. Statistics from GameTrack show that 26% of all players are 15-34 year old males – unsurprisingly, this is the largest group demographic within game players. However, 9% of game players are aged 75 or over, and 83% of UK children aged eight to eleven have access to a games console at home. 16-24 year old players of both genders remain the biggest consumers within the games industry, but they certainly do not have a monopoly over gaming like in previous generations. Today, almost anybody could be a likely game console player, and there are games available to suit just about any lifestyle, preference and skill level.
The dangers of the Cloned Game Console Industry
With such high demand for video game consoles, it has been just a matter of time before the market was hit by piracy and counterfeiting. Cloned consoles have been a feature of the gaming world for many years: early machines such as Sega Mega Drives, GameCubes and Atari consoles were often faked and sold at reduced prices by black market developers, and the practice still continues today with old and new machines. Example like Polystation, Chintendo Vii, Mega Drive Extreme, and etc. these cloned consoles are created as a homage to the original games unit, and sold to fans or made for personal use. However, others are sold illegally – often passed off as the genuine article for fraudulent gain. Buyers should be cautious to only purchase consoles from official manufacturers’ websites, or through trusted third party retail outlets.