This article was written by Stefan Abadzhiev.
The Microsoft Xbox Series X and Sony PlayStation 5 are now both available. However, one of the biggest news stories following the release of these two new consoles has been their unavailability. So many people are trying to get their hands on them that most major retailers are struggling to keep up with demand.
That is great news for Microsoft and Sony. Everyone who said that console gaming is dead because our phones are now so advanced is being proven wrong, as sales are soaring.
The Video Game industry has generally done well from the chaos caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. While game development has indeed been difficult for some publishers because not everyone can easily work from home, the reduced entertainment options in lockdown meant that many people could turn to video games for fun and also to stay in touch with friends.
Analysts estimate that the PS5 may sell around 120 to 170 million units and is expected to beat the new Xbox. Sony’s domination has, in fact, been growing for several years now. The top 5 selling consoles of all time include all four versions of the PlayStation and the Nintendo Wii. That is not to say that the Xbox will not sell. The last Xbox version sold almost 86 million units.
Simultaneously updating both consoles is a huge boost for gaming in general, as it has been seven long years since the last update for these devices. Analysts expect to see console sales hitting $51 billion this year and passing $60 billion within the next two years.
Consumers are not just gaming for fun. They also recognize gaming as an affordable form of entertainment. If you contrast the cost of seeing a movie at a cinema (about $7.11 per hour), visiting a theme park ($5.75), or reading a book ($4.78), then the cents that it costs to play a game for an hour compare really favorably. With so many people facing more uncertainty in 2021, this is an attractive attribute of gaming, often overlooked compared with other leisure activities.
Gaming has also moved on from the traditional image of the nerdy, male, teenager. The age range can now be surmised as “any age,” and female gamers are becoming more mainstream. In the U.S., women surpass men in both the 36-50 and 51-65 age ranges. Age demographics show a higher usage among men in the 36-50 age group, relative to the 10-20 group.
All these demographic changes and the surge in console sales indicate that 2021 could be a golden year for the Video Game industry.
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About the author
Stefan holds the position of SVP Business Development in the EMEA region, with a key focus on the global Games sector. Stefan is passionate about building great business relationships, developing trustful partnerships, and creating beautiful (digital) customer experiences. Stefan currently leads the Games CX Guild.