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IDC: Game consoles, discs to remain revenue mainstays for "years to come"

IDC: Game consoles, discs to remain revenue mainstays for "years to come"

Wed 09 Jan 2013 10:12pm GMT / 5:12pm EST / 2:12pm PST
BusinessRetailHardware

New report from IDC also states that Wii U should exceed 50 million sold by 2016

With the rise of digital, mobile, cloud gaming and smart TVs, there's been plenty of talk about the "death of consoles" of late, but if you ask International Data Corporation (IDC), it's all hogwash. The research firm today published a new forecast on the video game console market, Worldwide Video Game and Entertainment Console Hardware and Packaged Software 2012-2016 Forecast, which essentially states that consoles have plenty of life in them.

"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."

That said, IDC doesn't deny that the digital revolution is having an effect. The firm predicts that the volume of packaged game discs shipped will decline an average of roughly 3 percent per year through 2016, as console spending shifts into digital channels.

The report also highlights that just this past December, Sony's PS3 managed to surpass the number of Xbox 360s shipped worldwide (about 77 million vs. 76 million), despite the PS3 launching a year later. While many hardcore gamers are now waiting for the next-generation systens from Sony and Microsoft, IDC noted that Nintendo will still "find an audience" with Wii U, reaching global bundle shipments of 50 million by year-end 2016.

IDC's 67-page report is being sold for $4,500.

5 Comments

Paul Jace
Merchandiser

768 1,000 1.3
And in other news, EA will definitely release a new Madden this year and every following year until the apocaplypse. News at 11.

Posted:A year ago

#1

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,716 598 0.3
"the volume of packaged game discs shipped will decline an average of roughly 3 percent per year through 2016"

The best laugh since Morcambe and Wise.
Using plastic and cardboard to distribute digital data is plain stupid. Once the PC stopped doing this it flowered as a platform. The 7 year old heritage consoles we are currently stuck with are in a time warp because of their walled gardens. The market just will not tolerate the continued use of physical media as the primary means of content distribution. If Microsoft and Sony try this with their upcoming generation then Apple will destroy them. And they know this. Hence the store built into Windows 8.

Do IDC get paid for producing this sort of stuff?

Also I don't believe that the PS3 has overtaken the Xbox 360: http://www.vgchartz.com/analysis/platform_totals/

Posted:A year ago

#2

James Prendergast
Research Chemist

730 410 0.6
Unless VG charts have changed how they get their data, the last I saw was that all their (totalled) numbers are estimates in every category. So, depending on how the IDC get their data neither are any more reliable than the other.

"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 do contend that this is wishful thinking though... What with the whole world-wide economic situation I'm not sure historical norms can be applied to this particular period given that we haven't seen anything like this in the last twenty years.

Posted:A year ago

#3

Antony Carter
Senior Programmer

84 47 0.6
@Bruce

VGC Numbers are estimates of sold to customer, not shipped from the manufacturer's to stores as these numbers are, there also widely know to be unreliable, but im not gonna have a go at VGC cos there the only ones trying to track sold to customer values on a worldwide scale.

Posted:A year ago

#4

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,210 2,049 0.9
I'm not certain they've out shipped the X360 yet. Looking at previous quarterly figures, they may still have a quarter or two to go. Either way, it's pretty damn close.

I am surprised at the bullish Wii U projections. Most projections for the Wii (including IDC's) were mind numbingly bad. 50 million after 4 years is 12.5 million per year...which is exactly the annual rate averaged out for the PS3 and slightly higher than the X360.

Posted:A year ago

#5

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