5 Big Trends in Console Gaming
As we move into Q3 of the gaming calendar year, we continue to take a statistical look at what’s hot in the world of gaming in 2014. In this installment, we’ll be taking a deeper dive into the realm of console gaming statistics for 2014, examining what’s hot, which consoles are winning the “war,” and just how — and how much — console gamers are playing.
1. More than half of all U.S. households own a dedicated console.
Whether it’s an Xbox One, PlayStation 4, or Nintendo Wii U, the number of American homes that own gaming consoles is increasing. In addition, statistics show that console-owning households tend to own two systems on average. That adds up to about 114.4 million Americans who play video games on consoles — and that’s not even including other gaming devices such as PCs, smartphones, or other mobile tech.
2. Console gamers play more than just console games.
With so many gaming mediums to choose from, American gamers are proving to have increasingly diverse tastes. Of those households that own a video game device, 68% play via console, 53% play on a smartphone, and 41% play video games on a wireless device. It’s not surprising when you consider that 63% of the video game market remains in the domain of consoles, despite the rapid growth of the mobile gaming industry.
3. PlayStation 4 is still winning the 8th generation console war.
Sony has had a commanding lead over the North American console market since its release in November of 2013 however data suggests that the gap is narrowing. According to Forbes, the Sony PS4 has hit 7 million sales compared to 5 million for Xbox One. In terms of console loyalty however, the numbers aren’t as close. 12% of U.S. console gamers own a PS4 compared to 7% for the Xbox One and 6% for the Wii U. Plus, 30% of the active gamers in the U.S. plan to purchase a PS4, compared to 22% for Xbox One, and 10% for Wii U. So far, it’s looking good for Sony.
4. Less time gaming on consoles.
Although 41% of American adults own video game consoles, up from 36% in 2005, console games account for less of all U.S. gaming time than it did just a few years ago. Now consoles claim 38% of the country’s gaming time compared to 47% in 2011. As for one of the reasons why, it’s possible that gamers are just using their consoles differently than before. Video game players who own dedicated consoles use them for other entertainment media in addition to playing games: 50% use their console to watch movies, 26% watch TV, 24% listen to music, and 8% stream live content.
5. Four of the five best selling games of 2013 are rated mature.
Excluding Madden, the five top sellers of last year: Grand Theft Auto V, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Madden NFL 25, Battlefield 4, and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, all have one thing in common, a Mature rating from the ESRB. This certainly isn’t surprising considering three of the five best selling games from both 2011 and 2012 were also rated mature, but it does give credence to the idea that we love our games loaded with blood, rough language, and violence.