According to Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter, we will be able to witness the end of the dedicated games hardware in rather near future.
During his speech M. Pachter has outlined that in terms of the actual sales figures, the current generation of gaming consoles is very unlikely to outperform the previous one. Mr. Pachter has suggested that the console installed base is as big as it ever going to get thereby this generation should be more or less the same, definitely not more, the analyst forecasts.
‘This is the last real console cycle. I don’t mean that Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo will go bankrupt and shut down – they will not. Each of them will make another console, some people will buy them, and the next console cycle will be to this console cycle what the 3DS is to DS. The 3DS is selling about 15 million units a year, the DS had five consecutive years where it sold more than 26 million. So about half as big. So when I say that this console cycle is the last console cycle, the reason is that console games should not require a console. And I am not talking about the cloud’, says the analyst.
Pachter’s outlook takes in the fact that the number of people in the world who play video games is now higher than ever thanks to the impact of smartphones and tablets, as well as the entry-points which were the Wii and DS.
The evidence argues that there will be 20 million Wii U consoles sold compared to 100 million units for Wii consoles (previous generation console). PS4 consoles are expected to see increased sales and even perform better than the PS3 consoles, the forecasted amount of sold units’ counts more than 130 million. Additionally, it was estimated that the Xbox 1 will sell 100 million units to 110, which is also a rather strong financial performance. Therefore, summarising all of the sales consoles altogether, will result in 260 million sold units (approximately), in contrast the last cycle was equal to 270 million.
The analyst believes that the current console market is limiting the potential growth of the amount of gamers around the world because of the expensive games and gaming systems. However, it was also suggested that gamers are not yet able to abandon the consoles. Nonetheless, once smartphones, tablets and even Apple TV or other smart TVs will be able to reproduce an AAA console experience, consoles will become outpaced.