World Video Game Market


Laurent Michaud

Head of Consumer Electronics & Digital Entertainment Practice at IDATE


In 2013, hardware & games will represent 60 billion EUR in revenues, against 53bn EUR in 2012


Despite the profound changes that are going through it, the global market for hardware & video games will grow up from 2013 to attain 79 billion Euro in 2016. This study follows the development of key indicators for the sector over five years and makes an appraisal of the key markets: Home consoles - Handheld consoles - Offline games - Online games - Mobile phone games.

Following the recent announcements at the CES 2013 can we believe in a recovery of the hardware market in short or mid-term?
In 2012, the home consoles market segment (hardware and software sales) could generate 37% of total video game revenues. Given the regular growth of the online games and mobile platform games market segments, the home console segment is expected to shrink in the coming years. Let us recall that the latter accounted for nearly 60% of total market revenues in 2004. In spite of the arrival of a new generation of consoles, resulting in double-digit growth over several years, the home console segment will account for a "mere" 41.1% of the total global market by 2016.

Three factors are bringing about a shift in the home consoles market segment:

1. The arrival of Nintendo's Wii U, its first new generation console – pending the likely release of competing devices by Microsoft in 2013 and Sony Computer Entertainment in 2014 – is without a doubt the most pivotal event as the year approaches its end. Like its big brother, the Wii U will deliver a new gaming experience to the fickle and much sought-after consumers, be they experienced or casual gamers. This machine introduces pioneering features, and there is no doubt game designers will put them to use and conjure up new gameplay. Nintendo's machine should prove to be a winner. Yet it is still too early to know whether the Wii U console will enjoy the same degree of success as the Wii.

Worldwide home console forecast sales (in million units)

Source : IDATE, World Video Game Market, edition January 2013

2. Competitors Sony and Microsoft will be paying particular attention to the Wii U's sales figures, given how off-guard they were caught by the Wii's success.
They now realise that their health will be determined by the level of innovation they bring to the gaming experience. The question remains as to which part of the console they will focus their innovation efforts on. 4K resolution could be an option, although this would require that gamers replace their TV sets, and 4K home cinemas are still quite pricy. The most likely path would be to beef up their machines' ubiquitous and multiscreen functionality, and rethink the interaction peripherals with an emphasis on voice recognition and motion sensing. As for infrastructures for delivering services, they have no choice but to invest in the cloud as done by Sony Computer Entertainment, which acquired Gaikai for USD 380 million in mid-2012.

3. According to IDATE, revenues from digital sales via home consoles will reach EUR 2.9 billion in 2012. These include video games, video and music. This represents one fifth of all turnover generated by the sale of content for platforms. By 2016, IDATE reckons that income from the digital sale of content via home consoles will account for 60% of income generated by these platforms.

Changes in digital/physical sales revenues(billion EUR)

Source : IDATE, World Video Game Market, edition January 2013

Project Manager Laurent Michaud

Laurent Michaud is the Head of Consumer Electronics & Digital Entertainment Practice. Laurent acts as project manager for market reports on the rise of Smart Home, Game, Music and Electronics. He adresses technological, industrial and strategic issues through a point of view of innovation. He provides his clients with expert technical-economic analysis of strategic issues relating to consumer electronics and entertainment.

> More information available at: www.idate.org

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