Imminent Next Gen Doesn't Slow Gamers Buying Much

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
| The video game industry has gone from a mole hill to a mountain in no time flat, Chris DiMarco is your Sherpa as you endeavor to scale Mount “Everquest”

Imminent Next Gen Doesn't Slow Gamers Buying Much

A new report has emerged from the NPD Group that suggests that gaming purchases haven't slowed down much even with the imminent arrival of next generation consoles. The numbers tell an interesting story, but considering the numbers in the broader market makes for some exciting possible conclusions.

The NPD Group report showed that gamers have spent, so far, $2.88 billion, including fully $769 million for new physical titles and hardware, along with $343 million on used and rental games, rounded out with $1.77 billion in digital goods. That's a big chunk of the market, and includes a lot of smaller subclasses like downloadable content, Steam games, and things in social games like those found on Facebook. While this sounds downright amazing—and it is on several levels—it's down slightly from 2012, losing around three percent of the 2012 total of $2.97 billion.

Naturally, part of that is due to an overall reduction in the amount of content available to purchase in the first place. There was about 37 percent less content in the second quarter of 2013 available than there was in the second quarter of 2012. Even with this loss, however, the digital format spending increases were enough to make up for the shortfall, and platform didn't seem to matter.

Basically, the gaming industry is largely holding its breath, waiting for the next generation of titles to get started rolling out. Now, this isn't universal, of course; there are still some very big titles in the near-term future for the current generation. Titles like “Mad Max,” “Dying Light,” “Grand Theft Auto V” and others are set to hit even current generation systems over the next several months. This is going to make for a rather interesting scenario in the coming months as, while developers make the big switch over to the new generation hardware, the current generation still has titles to offer. So there will likely be quite a bit of overlap, not to mention opportunities to take advantage of the gamers who are likely to be disappointed in the short term as supply issues start to show up.

But what really caught my eye here is that the industry is slowing down, but only just. When the next generation systems come out, based on the pre-order numbers, it's likely to send 2013 numbers shooting beyond 2012's numbers, even with the slowdown represented by the middle of this year. If the product had been there in 2013, it likely would be just above 2012's numbers as it sat. Purest conjecture, of course, but that's not at all out of line to suggest to be the case.

The gaming industry is still a big deal, even with a shaky economy in our midst. Gamers are likely to be playing for some time to come, and with a whole new generation afoot, it's never been such a good time to be fond of gaming in all its forms.
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