The games people play! America’s console gaming craze
Americans love video games, and they like them loud and loaded with action. It only helps that video games also evolve with time, changing with the latest trends and technologies. It’s the same with gaming platforms as well, which give video gamers newer and better choices over time.
Despite losing ground to mobile gaming apps, gaming consoles continue to remain a popular gaming platform even today. In fact, the sale of home consoles has increased steadily over the years as fans crave for a bigger and better gaming experience. Brands also keep the excitement going with new product launches every few years amidst much fanfare. Piplsay (powered by Market Cube) dives into the play zone to understand the trends that are defining the world of console gaming*.
Given the huge surge in casual gaming, smartphones, no doubt, have become the most preferred platform for video games. But home consoles continue to remain the go-to platform for many even today, especially hardcore gamers who play heavy and time-intensive games. It’s the perks of relaxing on the couch and playing some of the best exclusives on the big screen that makes console gaming a huge hit. Not to forget the experience part of it, especially given new technologies like VR (virtual reality), and multiplayer gaming formats. No wonder then that, consoles are the second most preferred gaming platforms for a majority of Piplsay respondents, surpassing even PCs and laptops.
Another big advantage of console gaming is that it allows for a bit of socializing as well. Unlike mobile and PC games, console gaming often involves playing with friends or family by your side, as reiterated by the Piplsay survey as well. Many families even see console gaming as a good way of spending fun time together, away from all the other online distractions.
Given its growing popularity across all age groups, it’s not surprising that puzzle games are becoming quite popular on home consoles, which for the longest time have been dominated by action, racing, and sports genres. Multiplayer online games, many of which are action sub-genres have taken gaming to a different level altogether with their level of interactivity and unpredictability. Some like DC Universe Online, Call of Duty, and Elder Scrolls Online have gained massive popularity among avid gamers over the years.
In terms of the frequency, about 54% of console gamers play multiple times a week, with those in the age group of 18-34 years leading the way. Among them, 45% of 18-24-year-olds spend over 2 hours per gaming session as compared to 39% in the 24-35 age bracket. Sony and Microsoft continue to remain the two dominant players in the home console market, although Sony’s PlayStation has a clear edge over its rival Xbox, in part because of its richer game library and VR adaptability
(PlayStation VR headset). Though the two giants announced a cloud gaming partnership this year, their rivalry is far from over. They are both gearing up to launch their brand new products next year, the all-new PS 5 and Xbox Project Scarlett. With so many updates and new launches on-the-go, it looks like console gaming is right in the middle of the action.
*Based on 24,000 online responses