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?
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.
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.