According to NPD, and their latest report, Core Gaming 2013, within the US population ages 9 and older, almost half play video games on core gaming device.

  • Only 14 percent, or 37.5 million people, would be considered a core gamer*
  • Ages 9-17 are most likely to be a core gamer (26 percent)
  • Ages 18-34 are the next largest group of core gamers (21 percent)

Over the past year

  • 88 percent of core gamers state they purchased new physical games
  • 78 percent purchased physical used games
  • 70 percent purchased digital full games

*Core Gamers were described as playing Action, Adventure, Fighting, Flight, Massively Multi-Player, Racing, Real Time Strategy, Role-Playing, Shooter, or Sport games on a PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC or a Mac, and spending 5 hours or more per week gaming on any of these devices.

IDC_logoIDC put out a new research report “The Worldwide Video Game and Entertainment Console Hardware and Packaged Software 2012–2016 Forecast” with some interesting takeaways from analyst Lewis Ward, including:

  • PS3 has shipped an estimated 77 million bundles
  • Xbox360 has shipped approximately 76 million bundles

IDC estimates:

  • Nintendo’s Wii U will exceed 50 million bundles by year-end 2016
  • The volume of packaged game discs shipped will decline an average of roughly 3% per year through 2016
  • Eighth-generation console tie ratios will be approximately 25% lower than the tie ratios of seventh- or current-generation consoles

IESherpa Opinion – Although the number of physical games bought will decline, the number of digital games will likely increase at a faster rate, resulting in net growth for the games industry overall. Either way, we have another three years to see if this is correct and a lot can happen between now and then.

Steve Ballmer released numbers on the success of Xbox 360 at CES this week according to the worldwide numbers are now:

  • 50 Million Xbox 36o consoles sold
  • 30 Million gamers on Xbox Live
  • 8 Million Connects sold

Sony announced in their press conference that there are:

  • 60 Million PSN accounts

Although Sony has more accounts, I believe that there is higher engagement on Xbox Live since the players tend to be more core on Xbox and play more often according to everything I know and have heard.

According to NPD, October saw the following hardware sales in the U.S.:

Wii – 507,000 units

PlayStation 3 (PS3) – 321,00 units

Xbox 360 – 250,000 units

We would expect all of these numbers to rise for the holidays. While Wii is selling pretty well, the deep discounting retailers are putting on bundles, including $300 configurations for PS3 and 360 will push those platforms for the holidays. Also, given the fact that the $300 price point was where the PS2  really took off as a DVD player that also played games a decade ago, the Blu-ray capabilities of the PS3 are now priced at a mainstream consumer price where we should see adoption increase. It’s not a cheap Blu-ray system and will likely benefit from Blu-ray movie discounting this holiday season, as well as inexpensive HDTVs.

Video Business has an article today talking about the PS3 and it’s appeal as a Blu-ray player.

  • NPD Group said 34% of PS3 owners had never tried to watch a Blu-ray movie on their PS3
  • The number of people watching Blu-ray is higher than the number that watched DVDs on the PS2 at the same point in the lifestyle.
  • 58% bought the PS3 to play games
  • 34% bought the PS3 for games and Blu-ray movies equally
  • 8% bought the PS3 mostly for Blu-ray movies

SCEA’s director of PSN operations and strategic operations said that the PSN userbase is:

  • Primarily male
  • Average age 28 years old
  • Usually in the middle- to higher-income range
Opinion: IESherpa would expect the age to drop given the price cut as well as the income level as the PS3 now has the properties that made the PS2 a success. It’s a great machine for playing games, but it’s a justifiable purchase for famalies as a Blu-Ray player that plays games. This was a major factor in the PS2 becoming mainstream since it was on par or slightly cheaper than the average DVD player in 1999. Let’s hope Blu-Ray content can help drive demand for the platform.

Taiwan is now subsidizing 40% of the development costs for six studios that are creating projects for the PlayStation 3 and PSP platforms. According to the Taipei Times, the studios include:
  • XPEC Entertainment Inc (樂陞科技)
  • Intersev International Inc (昱泉國際)
  • Yeck Entertainment Co (耶克娛樂)
  • SOGA Interactive Co (果子獸)
As well as telephone operators:
  • Tatung InfoComm Co (大同電信)
  • Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (遠傳電信)