With the recent surge in smart phone use and, consequently, the rise of mobile games, there has been a lot of discussion about the fate of the gaming industry. For many years, Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have been the global giants of gaming. However, as more and more people continue to access games from their mobile devices, it is only natural that the big three might start to worry. They have some big decisions to make. For example, how much of their massive R&D funds and they going to dedicate to pushing their mobile boundaries?
However, even with this recent popularity of mobile games, most experts believe that games consoles (such as the PlayStation and the Xbox) will not disappear any time in the near future. The next generation of consoles have just been released, with the launch of the PlayStation4 and the Xbox one, and these supercomputers will hold a significant chunk of the gaming market for many years to come. There are certain console games which have steadily grown to become hugely popular and successful, such as the GTA series and Call of Duty, and the experience you get from playing these titles simply cannot be replaced by mobile games.
With the new generation of consoles having been launched this week (December 2013), the regularity of these discussions is more than ever. However, rather than the console vs. mobile debate, it is more to do with which of the new consoles will be more successful. It is a sort of war between the two systems, with stupidly loyal fans on both sides. Experts at the Agence France-Presse have said that the hype surrounding the launch of the next generation consoles, and of the $250 million super-launch of GTAV, is a clear indication that console gaming is still core to the industry.
There is also plenty of hype surrounding mobile games, too. If you look at the figures for ‘Temple Run 2’, ‘Candy Crush Saga’ and ‘Plants Vs. Zombies’, you’ll see that they have had millions of downloads and have become party of many people’s daily routine. As time goes on, there is no doubt that the gap between the markets is narrowing. The relative size of the markets has been made clear by the AFP. The Japanese market for console games (which includes the sale of games and consoles) is worth $4.9 billion, whereas the market for social games was worth $4 billion. These figures will continue to close in on each other every year, until the mobile gaming market becomes the dominant. One of the areas which contributing to the surge in the mobile gaming market is mobile bingo. There are now loads of mobile bingo apps that you can download to play bingo on your mobile device. This site bingoonmobile.co.uk is one of the many no deposit mobile bingo sites that can help you find important information about the various mobile bingo sites.
You can see that the size of the games console market is getting smaller – especially when you compare it to 2007. Back then, the PlayStation 2 was massively popular as well as the Xbox 360, launched in 2005. Then the PlayStation 3 was launched the following year, and the console gaming industry exploded. Just to top things off, the Nintendo Wii was launched in the same year, whose mainstream success made it the dominant force in the industry. In 2007, the Japanese market for console games hit a staggering $7 billion high!
Hizakazu Hirabayashi is an analyst for the games industry from InteractKK. He told AFP that console gaming is a “cultural mode” and that it has a steady enough fan base, unlikely to be significantly affected by mobile gaming for quite some time. Social games are very popular due to the fact that many of them are available for free, and have the possibility for in-app purchases to improve the gaming experience. Due to the convenience of gaming from a mobile device, players can play them at their leisure.
The industry analyst also acknowledged that the industry is powered by a small demographic who will spend a significant amount on purchases. “If home console games are like kabuki, smartphone games are like casinos where a small number of high rollers support the business. They are two different markets,” Hirabayashi said to AFP.
Even though the market for console gaming is lower in value than it was in its prime, it is still a massively successful and lucrative market. Microsoft has also released an industrial report, which shows a $65 billion global market for games across all platforms. Within this amount, $27 billion was attributed by consoles and $10 billion was social/mobile games. the report also demonstrated a slide which displayed the record $650 million sales figures for Call of Duty: Black Ops II” (in the five days following launch), the most successful console game in history. This magnitude of this figure becomes increasingly clear when you compare is to the $373 million sales figures for ‘The Avengers’ (in the ten days following release), and the $285 million made by Iron Man 3.
Industry analysts from TechNavio are predicting the value of the global gaming industry to increase by 3.9 percent between 2012 and 2016.