Analyst: Streaming Won’t Boost Next-Generation Sales

A new research report from ABI Research claims that new technologies like cloud-based streaming will not be a game changer for new consoles coming out this fall. In fact the research firm predicts that new console numbers will not be on par with the previous generation's retail sales number in the first five years. ABI Research says that the push to "market online video access in the new consoles is undermined by the availability of cheaper streaming devices from Roku, Netgear, WD, Apple and Seagate, among others."

The company said it expects combined unit sales of Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Wii U to reach 133 million units within the first five years of launch — a decrease of around five percent from unit sales of 140 million for the previous generation of consoles. This decline in unit sales, it says, are in spite of advances like the Xbox One having a Blu-ray Disc drive capable of playing both movies and HD games.

"Without solid titles and first-party franchises, platforms will have a difficult time finding traction," noted Sam Rosen, practice director with ABI in a statement. "Streaming media is not enough when low-cost STBs are readily available. While we don’t anticipate a drop-off in game console households, barring significant changes to less developed console markets in Asia and Latin America there isn’t a great deal of growth opportunity beyond the current installed base."

Other factors that could impact new unit sales are the rise of low cost consoles in the marketplace such as the Ouya – which provide cloud-based games – and China lifting its 13-year ban on console imports.

"With many of the casual gaming segment embracing mobile devices for gaming, without a shift in strategy and pricing the Wii U will likely fail to match the success of the Wii, which will impact future console shipments," said senior analyst Michael Inouye.

Source: Home Media Magazine


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