GamesIndustry.biz reported that 40 percent of Xbox Live subscribers are female. This isn’t a surprise given the direction that the Xbox 360 has taken over the past several years. With the goals of making the system a whole family entertainment device and gaining control of the living room, women were the natural target to expand the market.
Microsoft says that 42 percent of XBLA subscribers watch more than 30 hours of TV per month. Given the games tab is now four tabs in from the front page, I would expect those numbers to grow both in terms of hours watched, and the percentage of the audience watching more TV than they play games. And, as the new console systems come out, expect to see the pass down effect where these systems hit the back bedroom or den and households with multiple systems capable of streaming Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, Amazon, etc. drive those numbers up.
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.
There are now 76 Million Xbox 360’s according to a post on AllThingsD. Other interesting data points for the platform include:
- 38 percent of Xbox users are women
- More than 51 percent of Xbox users have kids
- U.S. Xbox account holders use the devices for 87 hours per month
- As of last March, non-game usage — fitness, entertainment content from partners like HBO and Netflix, etc. — started outpacing game usage on a yearly basis
- There was a 57 percent year-over-year growth in entertainment usage
- 24 million Kinect devices have been sold, up from 20 million last year
- There are 46 million Xbox Live accounts, up from 40 million last year
IESherpa Opinion: As the 360 continues to thrive, the focus for Microsoft is clearly general consumers that are looking to watch Netflix and other on demand video apps. Games were the Trojan Horse, enabling the platform’s transition into a Web TV hub and central digital media center in the living room.
A new research firm called FADE has released estimated sales numbers for the top XBLA games of 2012. Here’s their estimates in terms of units and revenue on the XBLA platform. From personal experience, hitting the 10K, 50K and 100K sales marks on XBLA has become harder over time since the store has been redesigned multiple times. The effect has been XBLA becoming an increasingly less effective sales channel since the majority of traffic is on the platform to play movies via Netflix:
Estimated Top Ten XBLA Titles in 2012, Ordered by Gross Revenues
- Minecraft (4J Studios) (Notchtacular) – 4,997,000 Units / $97,388,000
- Trials Evolution (RedLynx, LTD) (owned by Ubisoft) – 1,002,000 Units / $14,298,000
- The Walking Dead (TellTale Games) (Yeah! Dan Connors and Kevin Bruner) – 2,615,000 Units / $10,277,000
- Counterstrike: GO (Valve) – 273,000 Units / $3,973,000
- Castle Crashers (The Behemoth) – 252,000 Units / $3,778,000
- Gotham City Impostors (Monolith Productions) (A Warner company) – 258,000 / $3,698,000
- I Am Alive (Ubisoft) – 245,000 Units / $3,609,000
- Tony Hawk’s PS HD (Robomodo) – 226,000 Units / $3,261,000
- Alan Wake’s American Nightmare (Remedy Entertainment) (Matias and Oskari and the crew making awesome!) – 206,000 Units / $2,903,000
- Trials HD (RedLynx, LTD) (Ubisoft SD) – 203,000 / $2,799,000
IDC 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
- 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.
Joystiq reported that:
Xbox Live now has 35 Million users
In January, there were 30 million Xbox Live users
Steve Ballmer released numbers on the success of Xbox 360 at CES this week according to GamesIndustry.biz. 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:
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 Gamesindustry.biz, as of September, Microsoft had sold 44.6 million Xbox 360s worldwide
VentureBeat has a nice article with Foundation 9 Entertainment that helps define the downloadable console games market. Here are the key points:
- F9E estimates that the XBLA market will hit $140 – $160 million in 2010, up 15% over 2009
- Microsoft’s Xbox Live revenue, including subscriptions and movie downloads is estimated $1 billion a year
- There are 43 million Xbox 360 owners
- Approximately 25 Million Xbox 360 owners go online with Xbox Live
- XBLA games sell for about $9 on average.
- There is $140 million in XBLA revenue —30% goes to Microsoft
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.