Sony and Microsoft will kick things off on 10 June with press conferences to pump interest on the new PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, which will be launch this fall. But some believed that the game industry is evolving in such a way that some analysts believe that there won’t be a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Two.
I don't buy this observation for a minute.
"Will there be a next generation in about eight years? It won't be in the shape and form we know today with consoles," said Peter Warman, CEO of research firm Newzoo. "It could be something you plug into TV and gives you access to all the stuff. You might want an Xbox dongle for exclusive IP that works with other screens. I don’t think it will be a box like we have now."
The problem with this observation is that it fails to distinguish hard-core gamers and those ordinary dudes who are just passing some time off by playing with their tablets or mobile phones. For instance, Xbox Live squeakers will always be buying consoles to relive their experiences when they were younger. Add this figure with the new generation of teenagers who want to upgrade their experience from Temple Run and you will have a very sustainable market.
The industry may have failed to exceed the 2009 figures when console gamers bought US$ 14.1 billion on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii, but it was really because not enough games were introduced. Besides, the number of American gamers (casual and serious) has risen from 205.9 million in 2012 to 209.9 million this year. It won't be long before the free-to-play enthusiasts see the light at the end of Farmville Tunnel and get their copies of Activision's Call of Duty.
The price argument is not convincing enough to presume that tablets and personal computers already have the edge in the market. The new Sony and Microsoft consoles may cost between US$ 400.00 to US$ 500.00 a piece, but both companies can afford that. They know that at that price range they can still secure a steady flow of income. That confidence, in my opinion, was the reason why they impose this DRM (limited or no used games, mandatory online activation and periodic online validation).
If for some remote possibilities, the sales did not pick up during the holidays, Sony and Microsoft can easily lift the restrictions and voila – the biggest advantage of consoles and any PC or tablet gaming is back and so are the paychecks.