Will The Console Game Sales Crash Continue In 2017?

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2016 was a good year in gaming with great releases, controversies as well as the usual great E3 presentation.  But what we have noticed the past couple years was a decline in Console Game sales.  What are the potential reasons for the decline, and will we see it continue in 2017?

Digital Games

If one thing that was predicted years ago was the reality of Digital Games.  Most of the traditional sales material has been on hard copy games being sold, paying little attention to the digital sales.  This past holiday season we saw records broken by Steam and their client for various purchases, most of them being done during the holiday sale.  Both Microsoft and Sony held their own online sales for digital versions of their games.  Microsoft had sales in their stores, but it paled into comparison of the several day sales online.  There is an ease with digital content, as it requires only hard drive space when you are playing it, and doesn’t involve shelves of games with the hassle of having to get up and put a new disc into the console when you want to play.  So what does this mean for the future?  Well if online sales and digital game sales continue to have deals like they do, then 2017 would see an even larger decline.  Hard drive space on consoles is growing both in base models and external ones that are compatible.  This will help people to build that digital library.  The easy solution would to include these digital sales in figures moving forward.

The PC

I was a PC player, back when I was young and my Dad had the right machine for both our needs.  As I grew older, I found console gaming and the ease of hooking it up and playing right then and there.  There was no need for upgrading the hardware, and the Xbox 360 life cycle was the longest one yet at just over 10 years and graphics satisfied my appetite.  Not to mention the base price for a gaming PC was around $800 to $1,500 depending on what you wanted.  The selection for PC games was also lacking, with many more titles available on console.  However in current times the PC gamer is making a comeback.  Steam has taken great lengths to increase gamer library with ease of their client use and wonderful sales.  More games are available on PC as well as console.  The ease and investment in PC components to reach the same if not higher level of Console gaming.  ESports has taken a hold in competitive viewing, and most of those games are played via PC.  And what do we had to look for in the future?  Virtual Reality.  This new craze will be available on both sides, but the PC is where one will be able to unleash its full potential.

Replay and Continue Play of Games

If one thing can be said about some games of late – you play them a lot.  Using my flagship game of Destiny as an example – games have come out that require a long time commitment.  Plenty of games in my catalog have gone either unplayed or unfinished due to the draw of Destiny.  The need to keep up and log in on a weekly basis to play just consumes so much time.  Reading all of that, it appears to be a job and not fun, which is the complete opposite – I log in each week because I enjoy playing.  Destiny isn’t the only one – as there are plenty of other MMOs, like World of Warcraft, that require large time commitments.  In addition to long standing games, we have games that have DLC – which DLC has morphed over the years to extend the play of games by significant amounts.  DLC is released over time as well, in packages, which can be purchased in the form of a Season Pass.  Games like The Division have just released new areas to their game, and have a few more to come.  Games like The Witcher III still have DLC stories to release years after the base game.

Have you noticed the decline in game sales for consoles?  What trend do you see as the explanation?  Are you one of the guilty ones (like I am) and haven’t been buying games like you used to? If so why?  Make your comments below. And as always follow ThisGenGaming on Twitter @TGGamingReviews for all the news, reviews and commentaries in the gaming industry.

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Joshua Barnes
Author at ThisGenGaming
I am a semi pro gamer (or at least my wife says I am) and have been playing games for over 20 years. I am a professional and a dad who games and writes in my free time. I'm always looking to talk shop, about the recent games or trends. I reside in Denver CO.
About the author

Joshua Barnes

I am a semi pro gamer (or at least my wife says I am) and have been playing games for over 20 years. I am a professional and a dad who games and writes in my free time. I'm always looking to talk shop, about the recent games or trends. I reside in Denver CO.
  • Jay

    What source was used for sales data

    • The_Shepard
      • Jay

        You can tell by the ad’s all over this page this site is well into click-bait, the fact no source is given does not help.

  • lunawolve

    Man, review the article. It seems written in a hurry, there are places where I have to reread the sentence because you missed a word or a comma. This site should put some standard requirements for the writers, because other sites do, and frankly, many people write very well so as to lose time with rushed articles that dont even provide sources.

  • lunawolve

    Dads that work dont have free time. How come you do?

  • Edonus

    The big problem with gaming right now is that it has a throwaway culture and its been promoted by the gaming media. People are buying games and playing them for like a week and then moving on to the next. Battlefield 1, COD IW, Halo 5, Gears 4, Forza 5, Overwatch, just to name a few are massive games with massive content. These games provide gaming experience and entertainment that would last a regular person that is looking to play learn and gain some sense of mastery 2-6 months of entertainment.

    What we have now is people basically buy games to basically demo them and move on. I find it weird when I see Halo 5 players that have never played Forge or never got in to the MP , arena or warzone. Gears 4 players that havent touched the Horde mode. I even remember being convinced to get COD AW and I played the campaign, and some MP but I never chased prestige and unlocking all the weapon variants…I never even played Zombies. I still wasnt done with that game with in 2 months and scratched the surface.

    So when I see all of these articles talking about how we need more games, or something is lacking It just seems like they are just counting the number of games and not the entertainment value. This attitude is what has spilled in to the consumer market. Games no longer have lasting value.

  • J.j. Barrington

    Source-less articles are wonderful.