Is Console Gaming Dying?

is console gaming dying vs mobile video games

Console, PC, and mobile platforms represent the three critical sectors of the gaming industry. Each platform has its advocates, with some gamers preferring one over another, while others have no particular preferences and enjoy all of them. 

Mobile gaming holds the most significant share of the video game market, with the growth of online casino games being a substantial contributor to its dominance. Consoles like the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5 still hold a sizable market share, while PC sales have grown due to increased affordability and the allure of the most powerful hardware. PS5 and Xbox X are still quite popular of course.

Can consoles remain competitive with PC and mobile platforms? Some vocal critics claim that the former can’t keep pace with the latter, spelling doom for console players in the future. But video game critics have a habit of crying wolf when it comes to the death of any platform, so do rumors of the impending end of consoles hold a nugget of truth? Let us find out by first looking at some figures for the current state of gaming. 

By The Numbers 

In a recent study, nearly 70% of gamers globally played on smartphones. More than 40% preferred desktop PCs and laptops, while consoles come in third with approximately 25% of the global market share. Around 10% used handheld devices, and 6% used media streaming devices. 

The latest figures clearly show that mobile gaming leads the pack regarding device preference, but PC and console users aren’t that far apart in terms of population figures. Additionally, it is essential to remember that even a tiny market share can be sustainable in an industry worth billions upon billions of dollars. 

Consoles earned just over $50 billion in 2020, with an average yearly growth of 14-15%. That is less than mobile but more than PC, which means that people may buy PCs more than consoles but buy more games when they own consoles. In other words, consoles still hold a unique gap in the market in 2023, providing a balance between the mobility of smartphones and the power of PC hardware. 

Future estimates from industry experts all point to healthy growth for video games, regardless of which platform we are talking about. Each platform has its strengths and appeals to a different audience. As a basic example, you will not find many casino games on consoles, but jump on to a mobile device, and there is an abundance of them. 

You may be able to play on the move with a smartphone, but you have to sacrifice processing power. Similarly, a PC will play the latest games, but you have to know your hardware configuration and customize settings. The strength of consoles is in their simplicity. All you do is plug and play- no settings need to be fiddled with, and you still get plenty of processing power. The downside is that consoles are closed platforms, so you must buy the next iteration to play the latest games at the best settings. 

Contextual Factors 

On top of accessibility, several perks contribute to the continued popularity of consoles, such as exclusive games. Some games can only be played on specific consoles, ensuring that those consoles provide unique options for entertainment. Sony and Nintendo are well known for their exclusive titles, many of which have won annual awards like Game of the Year. 

Consoles are also more affordable than the latest gaming PCs, especially with the volatile pricing of parts like GPUs and core processors. Some GPUs cost more than an entire console altogether, but most PC gamers can’t afford high-end machines, so they end up with hardware that tends to perform at a similar level to consoles. 

Consumer loyalty is another aspect to remember; our experiences growing up as gamers often define our platform(s) of choice. Some gamers prefer to stick with what they know, and some can get passionate in debates about which platform provides the best entertainment. There is no “one size fits all” platform that works in the consumer’s favor. 

Console Gaming Systems Conclusion

Combining alluring exclusives, easy setup, and high affordability makes it easy to see why consoles have cemented their place in the video games industry. Each platform meets different needs, providing freedom of choice for various entertainment, and consoles remain the go-to choice for convenient gaming. 

The death of consoles would alter the market considerably, but there is no possible reason for why that could happen, at least as the situation stands today. Competition between platforms remains as fierce as ever, which is healthy for the industry and gives gamers the option to decide on the most suitable platform for their gaming habits. Only time will tell what the future of video games will become in 2023 and beyond.

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