I know that I just made the announcement, but my second piece is already live, as I talk a bit about some early NPD software projections for April from PiperJaffray.
Ordinarily, I don’t like to break down pre-NPD projections that much, but there’s some interesting stuff from the analyst firm that I really wanted to touch on. Between some quotes from the report and the surprise of the projected rankings, I saw enough to write an article about. I do have some reservation about PiperJaffray’s software rankings, but I do believe that we’re headed for another month of steep YOY declines in software– which goes hand-in-hand with what will likely be a similarly slow month for hardware.
The key content from the report is the assertion that consumers are starting to abandon console gaming and approach other forms of entertainment. I’ve been saying this for some time now, and seeing support of this opinion from an analyst firm adds a bit of weight to it. The exodus won’t result in a crash or anything dire like that. It’s easy to overreact to an unpopular opinion and defiantly presume that gaming will be bigger and better than ever, but sales trends and the current players in the overall entertainment market indicate a dimmer future.
It can be argued that smartphone and tablet games “aren’t really games”, or that they fail without a traditional controller option, but if you look at the steady growth for that market, it can’t be dismissed. Compare that growth with the downward trend that we’ve seen for the console gaming industry as a general rule for the past couple of years, and you have what can be termed as a market shift in place. When sales really ramped up for this console generation, iOS and Android weren’t the players that they are now. Combine that with consumers who have begun separating from the Wii as a entertainment platform, and you have a considerable number of consumers that are moving on. Perhaps they come back if Nintendo, Microsoft, or Sony can find the right formula when the next console generation starts. I don’t see that happening. I’d say that a 25-30% decline for console hardware sales sounds about right for the next console generation. It’s a steep dropoff, but it won’t be crushing. We’d still be looking at over 70 million consoles sold across the different platforms.
In any event, I hope that you’ll check out the piece and leave a comment, if you wish. I’m really looking forward to seeing what data we do get next week, and then putting a decent analysis together.
The series is currently being published by Popzara Press, and I’m excited to be talking about console video game sales and industry observations once again. I was talked out of retirement a couple of weeks ago by the site’s owner, who has made my return to the keyboard easy and comfortable. There aren’t any timetables or quotas, allowing me to set my schedule and focus on content that I find significant. It’s a low-pressure opportunity, which is allowing me to ease back into writing. There’s hope that I may do a few reviews for the site as well, but that’s still in the planning stages.
I hope that you’ll check out my work over there. To me, it’s very gratifying to know that people are reading my work and I hope that it justifies the site’s decision to pursue me and publish my words.
I don’t know where this will lead. I honestly have no expectations. I know that many of my fellow writers are working very hard to land paying jobs. If my writing gets noticed, that’s great… but I’m not going to fear failure or “not making it”. I want to be a part of the group of writers that helps to generate the content that we all read. I know where my strength lies, and I’m hoping to follow it by continuing the Armchair Analysis series and creating a unique voice and perspective. I may not be the next Jesse Divnich or Michael Pachter, but I believe that I bring something valuable to the table.
When new pieces go up, I’ll be sure to mention them here… and don’t worry– Consoleation isn’t going anywhere. Thanks again to all of you for your support, your comments, and for taking the time to visit this site for the last four years.