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  1. #1

    Console gaming - On the decline?

    I saw this story on Twitter at Asymco, Game Over, by Horace Dediu Dirk Schmidt. In it, he suggests that game console sales have peaked and folks are spending more time on their smartphones now.
    From personal experience - I live with my GF and we have a PS4 and a Wii-U and we almost never play anything on them. When we got them, yeah, we played lots of Smash and Call of Duty, etc. But lately we browse on our phones when we're at home now. According to Asymco, it looks like we're not alone.

  2. #2
    Horace Dediu included this tweet:
    Horace Dediu ‏@asymco Oct 31
    Some 40% of adults report having a game console, a number that has not budged in five years
    https://twitter.com/asymco/status/660509418765750272
    (I am always confused at how to embed tweets on The Verge forums - drives me crazy)
    Forty percent is a really significant number. But its interesting that it isn't growing. Commercials and media coverage of gaming made it seem like it was way more popular than I guess it is.

  3. #3
    Dead? No, but I do think they’re starting to pander to an increasingly niche audience. It’s a big niche sure, but you limit your audience when the vast majority of focus is on carnage based games. Nintendo has historically done pretty well at appealing to a wide audience and seems to showcase that they still can with Splatoon, but outside of Nintendo, eh. Just my two cents though.

  4. #4
    I observe my children with games. Generally I get them self paced puzzle / thinking type games. Mostly because of the carnage everywhere else but also that even when there is no carnage there is stress, heaps of stress. It is the stress that really rattles them (they are little)
    From watching them I occasionally get games and then monitor my arms and fingers, to see when they are gripping tighter, when they are stressed. Stress plays a big part in traditional gaming, no doubt why the really successful non-violent puzzlers are Tetris types or Bejeweled types.
    - I am just adding this point in because "hardcore" always gets the violent badge and while I don’t disagree, the stress factor never gets a mention and yet stress is going to create more physical/emotional change than watching heads pop.
    This is what is different in the non-console / phone games market place, games that don’t stress you out. I’m not saying all games – but even my last few days playing After Pulse FPS, die, don’t die – the most stressful thing in that game is if you pressed the reload button or not.

  5. #5
    Stress in my observation on phone based games comes from forced timers (tetris type) or fiddly movement and poor controls (driving/platformer/twitch type).
    Remember, video gaming did not start, did not become huge out of violent games but out of extreme skill, twitch timing and speed of thinking games. Even arcade classics such as 1942 or Rygar which both contain constant slaughter are at their core exercises in intense memory and timing.
    So I wonder if this alleged shift away from console is a result of stress, both ways.
    More stress available
    I haven’t played the latest CoD or other FPS but I doubt they are much more stressful than playing Quake 2. Maybe more violent but not more stressful. I got bored of them all to be honest because there is never anything new (harsh view perhaps)
    Equally is the most recent Assassin’s Creed more stressful than an old Tomb Raider, more violent sure, but watching my friend play it is pretty clear that it is much easier to play. He never seems to spend half an hour trying to make some complex sequence of jumps while swearing he pressed the button.

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