A curious thing has happened. Just a few short years ago, the industry , rather incorrectly, predicted the death of PC gaming. That’s not exactly happened; in fact, thanks to this prolonged console generation, many gamers are making a return to PC gaming. So many, in fact that many industry pundits now believe that consoles are on their way out.
The IDC’s report on the state of gaming – yes, the same $4500 one that says the PS3 has overtaken the 360 globally – says that reports of console gaming’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. They say that despite all the doom and gloom, consoles will continue to do just fine…at least for the next two years.
"The console ecosystem is in a state of flux since these platforms need to support an ever-growing array of non-gaming features and services at the same time that game distribution and monetization is moving in a digital direction," said Lewis Ward, research manager of IDC’s Gaming service. "At the same time, it doesn’t appear that alternative platforms – set-top boxes from cable companies, Web-connected smart TVs, and so on – are positioned to materially disrupt the trajectory of the ‘big 3’ console OEMs in 2013 or 2014. Discs will remain the console game revenue mainstay for years to come."
"2011 and 2012 were tough for many console game disc developers and publishers," added Ward. "With the advent of eighth-generation consoles, starting with the Wii U, historical norms strongly imply that game disc revenue will stop bleeding in 2013 and rise substantively in 2014."
I think the downturn, and decreased gaming spend really just comes down to boredom and fatigue. We’ve seen pretty much everything the current gen consoles are going to give us, and I quite sincerely believe that next generation hardware from Sony and Microsoft will give the industry a welcomed shot in the arm.