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GTA V: Will gamers hold off on next-gen consoles to play it?

GTA V: Will gamers hold off on next-gen consoles to play it?

Wed 10 Jul 2013 3:12pm GMT / 11:12am EDT / 8:12am PDT
RetailHardware

IDC analyst Lewis Ward tells us that demand for new consoles "isn't shaping up to be particularly strong" in the US

The internet is buzzing this week about the new gameplay reveal trailer for Rockstar's highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto V, which ships on September 17 for PS3 and Xbox 360. So far, there's been no mention from Take-Two or Rockstar about GTA V for next-gen systems, and most gamers probably don't care. The economy is still troubled, money is tight for consumers, and rather than shell out $399 for the PS4 or $499 for the Xbox One (in addition to $60 minimum for a new game on either next-gen platform), consumers can get tons of entertainment value with blockbuster games for current-gen this holiday.

It's been the longest console cycle in history, and while it's easy to come away with a sense of hype from E3 for the new consoles, the average consumer is quite happy with the existing systems. IDC research manager Lewis Ward told GamesIndustry International that purchase intent for Xbox One and PS4 isn't as high as it could be.

"We did a survey of 25 countries in 2Q13 and one the surprising takeaways was that demand for new consoles isn't shaping up to be particularly strong in the US this holiday season. In fact, the US landed in the bottom 5 when viewed from the perspective of the share of console gamers that indicated they're likely to buy a new console in the next 12 months," Ward told us.

"a lot of gamers are going to stick by their Xbox 360s, Wii/Wii Us, and PS3s at least until the 2014 holiday season, when the game catalog will be a lot bigger and some of the online kinks will have been worked out"

Lewis Ward

"That says to me that a lot of gamers are going to stick by their Xbox 360s, Wii/Wii Us, and PS3s at least until the 2014 holiday season, when the game catalog will be a lot bigger and some of the online kinks will have been worked out. That also means that games like GTA V should have plenty of runway to sell well in the meantime, as long as they deliver the goods. I don't think social factors like the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman trial will derail the success of GTA V but the game will do doubt catch flak for being too violent and encouraging vigilantes."

Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter and EEDAR's Jesse Divnich aren't buying the argument, however.

"I don't think it will have a material impact on console sales. Consoles launch at the same time as big games all the time, it's part of the ecosystem. If anything, I think that its lack of availability on next generation consoles could limit catalog sales of GTA next year, but it's pretty early to be making that call," Pachter noted.

Divnich still remains confident that Xbox One and PS4 will both have a very strong holiday: "Even with the hype of E3 being in our rear view mirror, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One continue to stay at the top of the charts on Amazon.com. Consumers are clearly excited for the next generation of consoles to launch."

"I don't foresee one current generation game, no matter how large it is, impacting the start of the next generation of consoles," he continued. "The launch of the next generation consoles are likely to have an impact on current generation sales this holiday season. It's a transitional year, it is to be expected, and we anticipate an overall net gain for the industry because of it. But September releases are far enough away from the blast radius of the new console launches that September releases shouldn't feel the squeeze."

"GTA V is obviously going to set new sales records. I'd expect the game to have a positive influence on hardware sales, particularly when bundled with hardware by retailers"

Billy Pidgeon

Interestingly, Divnich theorizes that GTA V could actually spark next-gen sales even without having its own next-gen SKU. "Games like Halo, Battlefield, Call of Duty, and Grand Theft Auto awaken a lot of dormant games. If anything, a big September release could cause millions of dormant gamers to get excited again for HD gaming, and that engagement could funnel over to an even bigger start for the next generation consoles," he continued. "Money was tight in 2008, but that didn't stop the industry from producing record sales. At that time, video games were considered recession proof."

Independent analyst Billy Pidgeon agrees and he sees Rockstar's latest open-world epic once again topping the charts.

"GTA V is obviously going to set new sales records. I'd expect the game to have a positive influence on hardware sales, particularly when bundled with hardware by retailers. If there are concurrent price drops for Xbox 360 and PS3, that positive effect will be even stronger," he said.

The downside for developers who are shipping anything but AAA this holiday is that they could be drowned out by the big-budget franchises. "There will be other big software sellers coming out in 2013 for the current hardware beside GTA V, including Assassin's Creed, Madden and Call of Duty. Games in similar genres that are not up to these games' levels of quality and popularity could sell more weakly not only due to lower consumer spending but also because the big games will monopolize gamers' leisure time," Pidgeon said.

12 Comments

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 942 0.7
Well i am....

Posted:A year ago

#1

James Ingrams Writer

215 85 0.4
This is more or less what I have been predicting since last year -but on a broader scale. If 90% of the games released are going to be FPS's, then you're looking at COD and Battlefront selling (and only then if they are "different" enough!) and almost every other FPS will lose money.

With AAA games being mostly in the FPS genre, more gamers will look to the indie market for all their other genres and/or the non-FPS games in their 360/PS3 collection!

I am predicting at least a 30% drop in XBox One and PS4 sales in their first year, and AAA games for them will see at least a 50% revenue decline as non FPS gamers (about 70% of the market) walk away from the machines.

Posted:A year ago

#2
GTA V comes out in Sept, next gen console releases are looking like they will be released at the earliest in November, not many games nowadays have a 2 month lifespan, although GTAIV is still a very popular game, and there's no doubt GTAV will be played for a long time, and as such like a lot of gamers I know, I'll be keeping hold of one of my X360's to play a few favorite games on...
I still have two XO's and a PS4 on pre-order despite anxiously waiting for GTAV..

@James, no idea what you're going on about, I'm afraid..

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Pete Thompson on 10th July 2013 6:11pm

Posted:A year ago

#3

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,193 1,170 0.5
Of course they will, James. In fact, I'd bet that even if the launch lineups of either new system are great, that won't affect sales of GTA V into the holiday season if the reviews are solid and word of mouth keeps copies selling. Remember, it's got a nice lead before those systems hit and a LOT of folks won't be upgrading to "next-gen" until 2014 (or later in some cases).

Posted:A year ago

#4

Peter Bond Studying Art & Design, University of Bedfordshire

75 19 0.3
@ Lopez
Me too, i know i'd be playing this for a fair old while on current systems. Plus i've just gotten a vita recently and well, there's so much free games for that and for ps3 via psn plus, i will probably not jump onto next-gen for at least a year, by that time, prices of the systems will have come down, more games will be available and even more free games on psn+! :)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Peter Bond on 10th July 2013 8:18pm

Posted:A year ago

#5

Paul Jace Merchandiser

945 1,433 1.5
If people hold off on purchasing an XB1 or PS4 I doubt GTA V will have anything to do with it but price, system stability and game selection will have everything to do with it.

Posted:A year ago

#6

Craig Burkey Software Engineer

212 408 1.9
Personally if GTA V comes out this year for PS4 its a system seller for me and I'll wait for its release but otherwise I'll probably wait for the second or third wave of games to hit and continue to live with my 20Gb 360 which is creaking, It could be a case that I replace it with the new 360 before I jump to the next gen(very gutted at MS failure to include BC, rather they'd included a 360 chipset rather than the kinect gubbins), another consideration is how games like Watch Dog compare across the generations.

I've always said that a good way to make a decision on a console purchase is to ask your self "What are the 5 games I really want for it?"

The final consideration is I'd like to get the PS4 from Sainsbury's If I could with a double nectar points offer so I may also wait for one of those

Posted:A year ago

#7

Adam Campbell Associate Producer, Miniclip Ltd

1,196 1,001 0.8
I think the game would have enough power to make people jump to the next generation had it been released on Xbox One or PS4. Otherwise, it won't stop early adopters from buying new consoles.
The final consideration is I'd like to get the PS4 from Sainsbury's If I could with a double nectar points offer so I may also wait for one of those
Smart shopper ;)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Adam Campbell on 11th July 2013 10:17am

Posted:A year ago

#8

Russ Cogman Senior Game Artist, Serious Games International

22 47 2.1
Ideally I would like to be playing GTAV before Christmas 2013 on a PS4. Sadly that isn't going to happen. I'm sure it's in Rockstar's plan for it on the new systems in the coming year, meaning their fifth installment will have a long tail and a good return on investment.

Posted:A year ago

#9

Shane Sweeney Academic

400 416 1.0
If this doesn't sell at least 8 million units it will be quite a blow.

Posted:A year ago

#10

Sean Kauppinen Founder & CEO, IDEA

48 48 1.0
The number is much higher than 8 Million units and it will hit its sales goals.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Sean Kauppinen on 12th July 2013 9:49pm

Posted:A year ago

#11

Hugo Dubs Interactive Designer

163 24 0.1
Maybe GTA won't last until the consoles' release, but the problem remains the same for other good games scheduled to be out at the end of the year. This make me ask about the digital stream services such as GaiKai. During sony conf at e3, they said that ps4 owners would be able to play ps3 games using gaikai and co. Will it work for gta5 and "new/recent" games? that is the question.

If I can play gta5 through gaikai on my ps4, I have no need for a physical ps3

Posted:A year ago

#12

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