The very mention of gaming consoles rushes to mind PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. The good news is that the gaming console market is in the cusp of super growth graced by the booming demand for 3D video gaming rendered by Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR).
The growing audience for esports or e-sport tournaments is yet another catalyst fuelling the gaming console segment.
According to market research, the global gaming consoles market is growing at a rate of 5.3 percent annually and the will be in the size of $51.15 billion by 2027.
The top players in the gaming console segment are Nintendo (Japan), Sony Corporation (Japan), and Microsoft (United States). Other noted players also include Valve Corp, PlayJam, BlueStacks, Mad Catz, and Ouya Inc.
VR for the immersive gaming experience
Studies such as Ericsson’s “Ready, Set, Game!” report traces the big bang growth potential of the console market.
It said consumers are bracing for a new virtual reality era that will deliver them the most sought-after “immersive gaming experience.”
The market’s appetite to reach the gaming standards portrayed in Ernest Cline’s award-winning novel-“Ready Player One” is palpable. The book had a protagonist flaunting VR headsets and tactile-backed bodysuits while working on multi-directional treadmills.
Ericsson’s yet another research report on augmented reality also revealed that consumers are eagerly waiting for the arrival of high-quality VR headsets and good VR games to enrich the viewing experience.
This also coincides with the rise of gaming on portable screens. According to a study, 54 percent of respondents in a survey expect to play smart phone games every week by 2023.
But clarity is yet to emerge on the mobile platforms that will dominate the augmented reality markets. The study says consumers are awaiting VR glasses as a panacea to mitigate the gaps in the promises of VR and its delivery.
Gamers want an immersive gaming experience and also the flexibility and technical features to play with friends and family irrespective of their location.
Therefore, the challenge of a smart phone or tablet dominating an augmented world looks short-lived as a small screen may not give the “immersive experience.” This promises a market bonanza ahead for high performing gaming consoles.
Surveys suggest 50 percent of gamers are assertive and want VR to be more immersive and want easy access to lower-cost VR glasses and batteries.
Expectations on affordable VR glasses at lower prices like normal glasses are too logical. It can become a reality by leveraging the technical gains accruing from 5G connectivity and cloud computing.
When VR glasses become affordable the user demand for powerful processing abilities and the need for huge batteries will ebb.
Big players investing in high-performance consoles
Multi-functional gaming consoles are charming users as they double up as gaming and entertainment devices. A glance at the market shows that already major players have set off initiatives to optimize market share by investing in innovation and product differentiation.
They are offering products with multi-utility features that increase customer experience. Commenting on the matter, Jim Ryan, CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment noted the advent of ray-tracing acceleration in the GPU hardware, per a report in the Wired.
In January 2020, Sony announced its PlayStation 5 with he the launch expected to be a booster shot in expanding its customer base.
Nintendo made news with its Wii U offering users the luxury to control the device as a handheld machine and handy for other tasks as well. Microsoft’s latest gaming console “Project Scorpio” with six teraflops GPU supports full 4K, cloud, and VR capabilities.
Sony’s PlayStation 5 has also incorporated advancements such “adaptive triggers.”
Among the trends, a penchant to migrate into Hitech ultra-high-definition (UHDTV), and full-high-definition television (HDTV) from the erstwhile standard-definition television (SDTV) is visible among console producers.
Rising demand for wireless and 3D Gaming Console with 4K re and increasing Investment on wireless technologies, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, and others will be propelling the market further.
Both AR and VR are finding resonance in educational and entertainment applications to provide users immersive and enhanced gaming experiences.
The penetration of smart games and applications is crucial in boosting the gaming consoles market revenue.
Outlook and challenges
Media sector stats show the gaming industry’s growth has overtaken many segments in the entertainment industry.
In the gaming industry, the console markets have amassed a larger revenue share. In terms of the market share of top players, Sony and Microsoft have more than 70 percent of the market.
Competition to the gaming console segment comes from substitutes such as mass multiplayer online (MMO) and mobile gaming.
Goldstein Research says the gaming console market will reach a size of $48.4 billion by 2024 and the market will brave competition with product innovation and technological features.
Shifting consumer trends towards alternative platforms including online games that are low-cost compared to expensive console disks will call for better management by established players.
The shifting of consumer investment from hardware to software and transition to Free2Play could be demand-cutters in the time to come.
However, the gaming console market remains upbeat as innovations are proving to be good drivers in the market and the hyped controller-free console is an innovation to prove that point.