Before this current generation of gaming began, analysts continually tried to tell you that this would be the last generation of console gaming. Everything is going digital, which led many to believe there wouldn’t be a need for game consoles like the PS4 or Xbox One anymore. Well, if sales numbers are anything to go by, especially over this holiday season, I don’t think consoles are going anywhere anytime soon.
Hell, Michael Pachter was still saying a few months ago that this will be the last generation of consoles that sells “well,” because people want systems like Amazon Fire and NIVIDIA Shield. NIVIDIA has yet to release sales numbers for the Shield and even though they say it has sold well…nobody’s really talking about it. Ouya was supposed to be another machine that Pachter thinks will be the future of game consoles, but we all saw how that turned out. Can’t forget about OnLive either, which I think was the most successful use of the online streaming service, but just didn’t reach mainstream appeal. OnLive sold its assets to Sony, which is helping power PS Now.
Even PS Now, a service that allows you to stream games to your console isn’t all that popular yet. I still have yet to play a game on that service without it being choppy and delayed.
Here’s the full quote from Pachter on this console generation being the last that performs well:
“This is the last real console cycle. I don’t mean that Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo will go bankrupt and shut down – they will not. Each of them will make another console, some people will buy them, and the next console cycle will be to this console cycle what the 3DS is to the DS. The 3DS is selling about 15 million units a year, the DS had five consecutive years where it sold more than 26 million. So about half as big.
Pachter say things like this quite a bit, but the industry tends to regard him as one of the better analysts. Geoff Keighley has repeatedly brought Pachter onto the show when covering E3 to provide his insights, so people do listen to him.
If this holiday season is anything to go by, however, consoles aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. According to Sony, the PS4 sold a whopping 5.7 million consoles this holiday season, bringing the total number sold up 39.5 million globally. The Xbox One is selling extremely well too, even if it is well behind the PS4’s sales numbers.
It seems that consoles are only gaining in popularity as time goes on, which is the complete opposite of what analysts like Pachter predicted. Even though digital game sales are rapidly increasing, I still think an all-digital mainstream console is still a long way off.
UPDATE: After writing this story a few days ago, another “prediction” was released by Pachter today. You might find it kinda funny after reading this editorial. Enjoy.