The Gaming Consoles market is expected to register a CAGR of 18.4% over the forecast period 2020 to 2025. Vendors, including Sony and Microsoft, have dominated the gaming console industry for a considerable time and continue to align their strategies to leverage the willingness of hardcore gamers to pay a premium on high-performance consoles. With their pricing and marketing, both companies will seek to regain their dominance in the game console market with new generation products to be released in 2020.
- The gaming consoles have witnessed various hardware changes over the past couple of decades. The overall Lifecycle of the consoles has changed over the years; the earlier generation gaming consoles used far longer lifespan than current generation consoles. Manufacturers have made various iterations to the current platforms. For instance, Sony’s PlayStation 4 platform has three consoles, such as PlayStation 4, PlayStation 4 Pro, and PlayStation slim; Microsoft upgraded the Xbox lineup with Xbox one S.
- Besides, the amount of time spent by consumers on gaming is increasing, with the global average being 7.11 hours per week. The gamers in Europe spent the most time gaming with almost 7.98 hours per week, according to the data shared by ZarkCentral. Also, the number of games and the variety has diversified over the years.
- Moreover, owing to the launches of new-generation console products from prominent players, like Sony and Microsoft, there has been a massive increase in sales in recent years. In addition, the game titles on these platforms are not backward compatible due to which the gamers are forced to upgrade their consoles.
- Currently, the hardware requirement of various games and the multipurpose use of home consoles for purposes such as browsing, provision of various other applications, etc. have further enabled growth. In addition, the release of supportive multiple provision accessories, such as 4 K TVs, has been effective, and have been driving the demand for the home consoles, as they provide better gaming experience than other options available.
- However, the companies, like Valve and Google, have been putting efforts to change the dynamics of the console market. These cloud-based services have eliminated the requirement of specific consoles to have superior gaming experience. Valve has been a significant player in the cloud-based gaming segment, and Google also introduced its line up of 22 games in 2019 through the Stadia service. Thus making it less likely for the gamer to depend on a console to play.
Key Market Trends
Emergence of AR/VR Gaming is Expected to Drive Market Growth
- The Gaming industry is no stranger to the application of AR. It has existed for over 15 years. Vendors such as Sony, with its PlayStation 2's Eye Toy, have employed the camera to embed the digital world over the real-life canvas that users could interact with. Also, Nintendo's Wii allowed users to play tennis in their living room with an immersive experience of the virtual world using the console' touch-sensitive controllers. These instances have captured the attention of the millions of gamers across back then.
- The increasing application of immersive technologies, such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality, is going to be a cornerstone for the gaming industry, where users can enhance their experience by 20 times more enjoyable and convenient than traditional alternatives. This instance is expected to drive the game console application, as VR/AR headsets will be a growth driver, as they will ultimately combine with game consoles.
- To capture the growing trend in AR/VR companies, like Oculus and HTC have positioned their product offering according to the demand in the AR/VR market. Oculus offers two Vr consoles, while HTC also offers two VR based consoles. The demand of the AR/VR consoles has been majorly hampered by the quality and quantity of the titles available on their platforms.
- With the increasing VR gaming titles backed by strong franchises and also the anticipation of launch AAA VR titles including Iron Man VR, Half-Life: Alyx, No Man's Sky VR among others that readily support VR offering such as HTC Vive, Oculus Rift is expected to drive the application of gaming console going forward.
United States Driving the Demand In North America Region
- The United States had the largest gaming population. The Entertainment Software Association in 2019 estimated that over 164 million adults in the United States were playing video games. The US ranks second to Europe, in terms of the average number of people gaming every week, in the US this figure was at 7.48 hours per week according to the data shared by ZarkCentral.
- The report further mentioned that 49 % of the people in the US use dedicated gaming consoles to play games. But the gaming consoles ranked third in their report when it came to the number of gamers using dedicated consoles. The mobile phone and PC ranked higher than the consoles.
- The report entertainment software association mentioned that 63% of the gamers in the United States made their purchase their decision based on the quality of graphics. The gaming consoles benefitted with their ability to support 4K content. Given the fact that the gaming consoles provide an advanced graphical output that is unmatched by other alternative platforms, the user requirements are likely to support the gaming console market.
- The increasing prevalence of cloud infrastructure across the region provides abundant computing, storage, and communication resources in a reliable, cost-effective, and low-maintenance process. With the emergence of cloud gaming, several platforms are allowing users to stream their favorite video games with minimal onboard hardware resources. Various gaming applications will employ these cloud computing resources, as gaming services stand to be one of the fastest-growing sectors for the cloud computing segment. this factor therefore challenges the console market growth in the region.
The gaming console market is moderately competitive, with some of the players currently dominating the market. With the advancement in cloud infrastructure, the market will be betting the future of gaming against the daunting list of new entrant's cloud offerings such as Google's stadia platform and Amazon's rumored cloud gaming service. However, the anticipation of the launch of next-generation consoles by prominent players leveraging their existing cloud streaming platform is expected to drive the gaming console market going forward.
- February 2020: Microsoft Corporation has revealed the launch of the next console, the Xbox Series X in late 2020. The console is rumored to feature a custom 7nm Zend 2 processor with Navi RDNA 2 GPU that allows it to support advanced features such as ray tracing, 4k gaming at 60 fps, 8k resolution, and GDDR6 memory with variable refresh rates. The company is targeting 12 teraflops of power into the Xbox Series X, making it twice as powerful as the Xbox One X series.
- April 2020: Sony Corporation revealed that its new PS5 controller to be called the DualSense controller is starting to ship to game developers. The controller is said to feature refined haptic feedback that allows it to capture a broader range of motions. It also includes trigger buttons that dynamically adapt to different activities. Additionally, it has built-in microphones that eliminate the need for headsets.
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