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Console market studies

Gamespot has reported on a recent study of console gamer behavior by Zelos Group. It contains some interesting tidbits:

  • PlayStation One and GBA are viable platforms. Which reminds me of a well-known console developer asking me why I was still working on a PS1 title. This was in September 1997.
  • Word of mouth rules. This sorta kinda seems to confirm industry lore that hard-core gamers buy games they like, this then creates buzz, the game then appears on the non-hardcore gamers' radar, and then the game maybe becomes a huge hit.
  • DVD playback is an important feature for a console. People might buy a console that's also a PVR.
  • Console gamers like to play alone.

Just yesterday I had an interesting discussion with a friend who knows about these things about how you can make studies say anything you like and a lot of them use sloppy methodology... oh well.

U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray has published a report on the toy and video game industry. Of interest:

Extensive debate exists as to which stage of the video game cycle the market is currently experiencing. "We believe spring 2003 marked the midpoint of the current video game cycle, in terms of the product life cycle of current generation video game hardware," said Gikas. "We anticipate the next generation of video game hardware will be introduced in autumn 2006, depending upon the competitive positioning of the video game console manufacturers and existing demand for current generation products." "In addition, we expect 2003 will be the peak year for unit sales of current generation hardware sales. We are forecasting that 22.3 million hardware units will be sold in North America in 2003, a modest increase from 21.1 million units in 2002 and will subsequently decline in 2004 to sales of 20.3 million units as the installed base of video game hardware becomes saturated."

(Both links from Slashdot Games.)