Game Consoles Not Going Anywhere, IDC Says

August 22, 2011

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The worldwide video game and interactive entertainment console market will undergo a rebound in 2012, according to the International Data Corporation.

It forecasts direct global console hardware and disc software sale revenue will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.6% from 2010 to 2015, reaching $39.7 billion in 2015 Driving this growth will be new platform releases and increased console penetration, as well as rising spending in certain developing economies (in fact IDC says that with developing economy growth rates will be about twice those in developed markets).

Countering Recent Trends

These trends are significant enough to counter the recent global macroeconomic instability and weak overall video game spending in North America this summer, IDC said. “Total console hardware and disc-based software revenues are on track to slide a few percent in 2011 compared to 2010” says Lewis Ward, research manager, Consumer Markets: Gaming, at IDC. “But prognostications that consoles have peaked as a product category are premature.”

Which Games?

Ward points to the launch of the Wii U in 2014 and the arrival of Sony’s ‘PS4’ in 2015 – along with more than a few exclusive, innovative games – as helping to drive a new wave of console-centric spending in the next several years”

Not Keeping Pace

Despite this rebound, the installed base of actively used game consoles won’t keep pace with the number of worldwide households. IDC expects there to be about 257 million active consoles worldwide by 2015, or 12.7% of anticipated households that year, down about 1% when compared to same console penetration figure for 2011.

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