VIEWS: 129 PAGES: 8 CATEGORY: Market and Industry Reports POSTED ON: 10/21/2010
By historical standards, the current, seventh generation of console hardware would be nearing its midpoint. However, the “Wii Effect” on gaming audience expansion, widespread consumer adoption of expensive and innovative gaming peripherals, and console makers’ increased focus on online gaming features, digital delivery of games, and multimedia content all suggest that this generation of hardware will significantly outlast the previous generation.
PC/CONSOLE/MOBILE GAMES The Future of Console Cycles: A Mid-Life Assessment of the Seventh Generation of Gaming Hardware Lead Analyst Benton Lyle Contributing Analysts Michael Gartenberg Michael Cai An Interpret Syndicated Research Service subscription is $10,000 per year and includes twelve research reports and unlimited analyst inquiry. For subscription inquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (310) 255-0590. Reproduction by any method or unauthorized circulation is strictly prohibited. Interpret’s syndicated research reports are intended for the sole use of clients. All opinions and projections are based on Interpret’s judgment at the time of publication and are subject to change. Published June 2009. © 2009 Interpret, LLC The Future of Console Cycles: A Mid-Life Assessment of the Seventh Generation of Gaming Hardware Core Questions • Where are we in the game console cycle? Is this generation almost over, halfway through, or something else? • Has the video game industry really broadened its scope beyond the “core” male audience? What impact will this have on the console life cycles? • How can developers and console manufacturers be successful over the next generational transition? Interpret Insight: By historical standards, the current, seventh generation of console hardware would be nearing its midpoint. However, the “Wii Effect” on gaming audience expansion, widespread consumer adoption of expensive and innovative gaming peripherals, and console makers’ increased focus on online gaming features, digital delivery of games, and multimedia content all suggest that this generation of hardware will significantly outlast the previous generation. Seventh Generation Console Cycle Historical trends suggest that the seventh generation of game consoles is at its midpoint. The third (8-bit), fourth (16-bit), and fifth (Sony PlayStation, Nintendo 64) generations each lasted approximately one decade. The sixth generation (PlayStation 2, Microsoft Xbox, Nintendo GameCube)—excluding the PS2—lasted seven years. Including the PS2, it will have been ten years in 2010. What makes the PS2 unique in the history of gaming consoles, however, is not its longevity—other consoles have enjoyed ten-year lifespans—but how robust and successful the console has been, even alongside its vastly more powerful successor system, the PlayStation 3. The PS2’s continued presence in the marketplace has been astounding, with hardware sales that easily outpaced its successor system for a full year after the PS3’s introduction. Although the percentage of gamers using their PS2s the most often decreased from 40% in Q4 2007 to 14.5% in Q4 2008, the PS2 remains the second-most popular console in terms of usage, trailing only the Nintendo Wii: 27% of gamers reported using a PS2 in the last three months, the same figure as used a Wii. The unprecedented library of high-quality late-generation PS2 games, including both exclusives (God of War) and popular franchise iterations like the Guitar Hero and Call of Duty series, hints towards an extended lifespan, beyond that enjoyed by any previous hardware. Sixth/Seventh Generation Console Hardware: Ownership, Usage, Preference 45.0% 40.0% 35.0% 30.0% 25.0% 20.0% 15.0% 10.0% 5.0% 0.0% Microsoft Microsoft Nintendo Nintendo Sony Sony Xbox Xbox 360 GameCube Wii PlayStation PlayStation 2 (PS2) 3 (PS3) Own system Use system in last 3 months Use system most [Source: New Media Measure, Q4 2008] What of the seventh generation of consoles, then? Based on our analysis, the PS3 will remain a significant force in the marketplace for some time, owing to Sony’s long-term planning and significant investment in the system. Although Nintendo’s plans for Wii hardware are unclear, successful sales, particularly during the 2007 and 2008 holiday seasons, suggest that a premature abandonment of the platform is unlikely. The Xbox 360, on the other hand, was the first to launch, and the early-to-market success will likely spur them to be the first to launch an eighth generation console. However, any predictions of a cl
Pages to are hidden for
"The Future of Console Cycles: A Mid-Life Assessment of the Seventh Generation of Gaming Hardware"Please download to view full document