Did the Console Market actually contract this gen?

Kagey K

Member
Dec 18, 2013
3,556
3,380
735
Looking at all the media pieces before this gen started many of them had the same prediction, the console market would shrink or contract this gen and many people balked it off as fear mongering.

Now that we are closing out this gen, we can see actual sales numbers show that in hardware it might be the case.

Last gen we had Wii 120m + PS3 80m plus 360 80m. Totaling 280m consoles.

This gen with the most optimistic numbers (at this time) we have PS4 with 100m, XB1 with 50m and Switch with 30m. Making 180m

This leaves a 100m deficit in just consoles sold.

Is gaming going to grow further going forward or can we expect these kind of losses being the norm going forward?

Thankfully software sales have never been higher to offset these losses, but what can companies do to try to offset the changes in business going forward?
 
Last edited:

Ma-Yuan

Member
Jul 31, 2017
215
246
300
The wii never sold 120 million. Just above 100. This Gen is about the same. You have to add up wii u with switch and then wait 1 more year to wrap it up.
 
  • Like
Reactions: EDMIX

Kagey K

Member
Dec 18, 2013
3,556
3,380
735
The wii never sold 120 million. Just above 100. This Gen is about the same. You have to add up wii u with switch and then wait 1 more year to wrap it up.
Even if we subtract 20 mil from the Wii that still leaves an 80 mil gap. Add the Wii U and we are still at a 50 mil gap.

Are you saying current gen consoles are going to sell 50 mil in the next 18 months?

Also remember I was being generous on sales numbers for companies we don’t know.

We also don’t get to include Switch sales in the next gen numbers if we include them here, meaning next gen may contract even more,
 
Last edited:

Ma-Yuan

Member
Jul 31, 2017
215
246
300
You can wrap it up and talk about this after the dicontinue the PS4, Xbox One and Switch which is still at least 2 years away. One year was maybe to optimistic. :D
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: EDMIX and Imtjnotu

Kagey K

Member
Dec 18, 2013
3,556
3,380
735
You can wrap it up and talk about this after the dicontinue the PS4, Xbox One and Switch which is still at least 2 years away.
I’m only using the numbers from before the PS4 and XB1 launched. Not from when they were discontinued as the sales were so stunted after the current gen launch.

That is likely to happen again.

I don’t think even if we go off your exclusions and additions this gen hits last gens total sales.
 
Last edited:

Ma-Yuan

Member
Jul 31, 2017
215
246
300
It all adds up to 293,04mio from 87,4mio PS3, 84mio 360 and 101,64 Wii in their lifetime.

This is dased on wikipedias data.

So wait until they are discontinued. PS4 will surely squeeze out 10mio more next year with good deals. Xbox can do surely 5mio and and the switch should also get at at least 15 mio with the new models coming.

And then we still have 2021 which surely will see a decline form PS4 and XBO but the switch still should go strong so add another 20mio and we are really closing in on the final numbers.

Also PS3 and 360 are tainted with ROD and YLODs early on. I count for 3x 360s alone. And I have 2 PS3 also ;)
 
  • Thoughtful
Reactions: EDMIX

Kagey K

Member
Dec 18, 2013
3,556
3,380
735
It all adds up to 293,04mio from 87,4mio PS3, 84mio 360 and 101,64 Wii in their lifetime.

This is dased on wikipedias data.

So wait until they are discontinued. PS4 will surely squeeze out 10mio more next year with good deals. Xbox can do surely 5mio and and the switch should also get at at least 15 mio with the new models coming.

And then we still have 2021 which surely will see a decline form PS4 and XBO but the switch still should go strong so add another 20mio and we are really closing in on the final numbers.

Also PS3 and 360 are tainted with ROD and YLODs early on. I count for 3x 360s alone. And I have 2 PS3 also ;)
Based on your numbers, and their timeframe. I think it’s safe to say the market contracted and didn’t expand.

This gen will end with less sales then the gen before them, and barely pass the gen before that.

That is not good.
 

Roufianos

Member
May 14, 2015
1,795
114
355
Even if we subtract 20 mil from the Wii that still leaves an 80 mil gap. Add the Wii U and we are still at a 50 mil gap.

Are you saying current gen consoles are going to sell 50 mil in the next 18 months?

Also remember I was being generous on sales numbers for companies we don’t know.

We also don’t get to include Switch sales in the next gen numbers if we include them here, meaning next gen may contract even more,
Wii U didnt even sell half of 30m.
 
  • Praise the Sun
Reactions: V4skunk

Klayzer

Member
Nov 17, 2018
459
600
295
Texas City,Texas
Based on your numbers, and their timeframe. I think it’s safe to say the market contracted and didn’t expand.

This gen will end with less sales then the gen before them, and barely pass the gen before that.

That is not good.
Don't blame gamers for passing on the WIIU and Xbox One. Blame those companies for not giving us a reason to buy their products. Sony seemingly doesn't have a problem keeping a healthy fanbase for their home console releases. The real question to ask is: What is Sony doing to keep at least 87-100 million gamers coming back compared to what Microsoft and Nintendo is doing?
 

Tumle

Member
Jul 12, 2014
885
215
425
Denmark
are we taking time frames into consideration or just looking at hard numbers with out the time it took to reach those numbers?
 

Kagey K

Member
Dec 18, 2013
3,556
3,380
735
Don't blame gamers for passing on the WIIU and Xbox One. Blame those companies for not giving us a reason to buy their products. Sony seemingly doesn't have a problem keeping a healthy fanbase for their home console releases. The real question to ask is: What is Sony doing to keep at least 87-100 million gamers coming back compared to what Microsoft and Nintendo is doing?
This was a company that went from 120m to 86. Gen over gen. Nobody is infallible and they burnt all thier profits from PS2 to learn that lesson.

Don’t pretend it’s on everybody else, when the best selling gen, they didn’t lead.

If Sony was so strong they’d be at 120 plus right now to pick up the slack the others left.
 
Last edited:

Kagey K

Member
Dec 18, 2013
3,556
3,380
735
Ever so often we get articles and posts about why the total amount if sales is not close to the PS3/360/Wii era.
It doesn’t matter. I was looking about six months ahead and estimated the number to the Jan before the new systems launched vs today’s numbers.

In the end no matter how we look at them this gen will come up short, so feel free to use whatever timeline you like,
 

SaucyJack

Member
Aug 8, 2013
735
232
440
The answer is basically yes, but not as badly as it looks right now.

Last Gen - Wii + PS3 + 360 = 273 million (lifetime)

This Gen - PS4 + XBO + Switch + WiiU = 192 million (so far)

However, next Gen is still 12 months + away (so add about 45 million to the number) and current gen will still roll on a while after that.

When all is said and done I think current gen will be overall 5-10% down on last gen.
 

The ninja farmer

Neo Member
Jun 11, 2019
12
43
145
I Think that poor console choices from Nintendo and especially Microsoft ‘damaged’ this gen. possibly even encouraged gamers to move or flock to the only console getting good word of mouth. Or away to the world of the ‘gaming pc’

As to if the market contracted or not, only time will tell. but I also think console prices for most of the gen have cut down on the number of 2 or even 3 console homes, less failures (I had over 6 Xbox 360s, some failed within days of swapping for new !!!) and software as a service will play a part in the final totals (why change console brand, you still have loads of ‘free’ games to play)

Overall once the dust settles, my own thoughts are round about the same, perhaps as much as 3-5 million either side

Just tales from my a$$, but at times it has been like console manufacturers don’t want my money !!! 🙈😂
 

Klayzer

Member
Nov 17, 2018
459
600
295
Texas City,Texas
This was a company that went from 120m to 86. Gen over gen. Nobody is infallible and they burnt all thier profits from PS2 to learn that lesson.

Don’t pretend it’s on everybody else, when the best selling gen, they didn’t lead.

If Sony was so strong they’d be at 120 plus right now to pick up the slack the others left.
Who said they were infallible? So getting to 100 million faster than any other console means they are not strong? Like I said, you probably need to be asking what can the other console makers do to keep that type of retention each generation. Lol at the "if Sony was stronger they would be selling at 120 because reasons."
 
Dec 12, 2006
2,802
374
1,080
Next-gen will be interesting.

I can see further contraction for the industry as a whole with a smaller number of total hardware units sold. But the leading platforms increasing their market share next generation.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Gashtronomy

Kagey K

Member
Dec 18, 2013
3,556
3,380
735
Who said they were infallible? So getting to 100 million faster than any other console means they are not strong? Like I said, you probably need to be asking what can the other console makers do to keep that type of retention each generation. Lol at the "if Sony was stronger they would be selling at 120 because reasons."
That knife cuts both ways, I’m happy if you are happy I guess.

Otherwise everyone else is to blame.
 

Grinchy

Member
Aug 3, 2010
21,876
4,712
1,025
In a cave outside of Whooville.
I feel like I remember arguing with someone over this when I said we were seeing less overall consoles sold.

But there are a ton of factors. One of which is that console prices never came down this gen. We still have $400-level consoles and we're 6 years in. Previous generations didn't have full priced consoles in year 6.
 

DunDunDunpachi

Patient MembeR
Apr 18, 2018
14,221
26,760
1,260
USA
dunpachi.com
Uhh, your numbers are off. Switch is 9th gen, so the numbers are even worse.

Blame PS4. It consolidated a lot of the "hardcore" gamers on to one console. I could be mistaken, but I think multi-console ownership is down this generation. Last gen was inflated from multi-console ownership. Remember Wii60 and PSWii arguments (which one was the better pair)? I bought a 360 early in the gen and later switched to PS3. I also re-bought a 360 early in the gen because lol Red Ring.
 

Stilton Disco

Member
Aug 22, 2014
4,675
994
600
UK
Uhh, your numbers are off. Switch is 9th gen, so the numbers are even worse.

Blame PS4. It consolidated a lot of the "hardcore" gamers on to one console. I could be mistaken, but I think multi-console ownership is down this generation. Last gen was inflated from multi-console ownership. Remember Wii60 and PSWii arguments (which one was the better pair)? I bought a 360 early in the gen and later switched to PS3. I also re-bought a 360 early in the gen because lol Red Ring.
Switch makes no sense as a 9th gen system. Its Nintendo's do over 8th gen since WiiU did so badly they had to start over from scratch mid generation.

As well as the Switch is selling, the strongest likelihood given Nintendo's past systems typical sales is that it will have sold the bulk of it's units before the PS5 and Xbox Two hit the market. Saying it's not part of the same sales generation is just silly and gives individual systems greater importance than the market they have to sell in.
 
Last edited:
  • Praise the Sun
Reactions: V4skunk

Kagey K

Member
Dec 18, 2013
3,556
3,380
735
Switch makes no sense as a 9th gen system. Its Nintendo's do over 8th gen since WiiU did so badly they had to start over from scratch mid generation.

As well as the Switch is selling, the strongest likelihood given Nintendo's past systems typical sales
In the end, wether we agree Switch is part of the gen or not, the console market shrunk.

Apparently it is because MS and Nintendo fucked up.
 

Stilton Disco

Member
Aug 22, 2014
4,675
994
600
UK
Blue Ocean Audience didn't stick around.

That is why it has shrank but to the correct levels.
Also remember that blue ocean was before iPhones existed, and the casual mobile market became the norm for the casual gamer.

The over gaming market has undeniably grown since last gen, it's just separated out into 3 distinct markets, as mobile joined Console and PC gaming.
 
May 26, 2011
13,778
2,310
1,005
It appears that way, but too early to make an accurate assessment.

Dont hink itd even mean much tbh
 
Last edited:

SlicedBread3

Neo Member
Apr 8, 2019
42
49
110
People were balking at the idea of the PlayStation/Xbox base dying off. I don't think anyone expected the casual Wii players to stick around.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Fbh and Ma-Yuan

DunDunDunpachi

Patient MembeR
Apr 18, 2018
14,221
26,760
1,260
USA
dunpachi.com
Switch makes no sense as a 9th gen system. Its Nintendo's do over 8th gen since WiiU did so badly they had to start over from scratch mid generation.

As well as the Switch is selling, the strongest likelihood given Nintendo's past systems typical sales is that it will have sold the bulk of it's units before the PS5 and Xbox Two hit the market. Saying it's not part of the same sales generation is just silly and gives individual systems greater importance than the market they have to sell in.
I don't want to derail the thread, but Switch is 9th gen. It launched more than 4 years after the Wii U, it succeeds two 8th gen consoles (3DS and Wii U), and it has its own branding, its own library, etc. Not that it's a super important distinction, but I don't know why the generational shift gets ignored just because Nintendo was first to market with their next-gen offering.

If Switch is 8th gen, then the Game Boy Color + Game Boy Advance are the same generation as well as the Xbox + 360, based on the proximity of release dates.
 

PSFan

Member
Jan 28, 2016
1,795
81
300
This was a company that went from 120m to 86. Gen over gen. Nobody is infallible and they burnt all thier profits from PS2 to learn that lesson.

Don’t pretend it’s on everybody else, when the best selling gen, they didn’t lead.

If Sony was so strong they’d be at 120 plus right now to pick up the slack the others left.
Uh, the PS2 sold around 160m not 120. You need to get your sales numbers straight.
 

deriks

3-Time GIF/Meme God
Dec 21, 2013
3,201
1,249
790
Recife, Brasil
Past gen was closed in eight years, we are at six.

Also, Wii U should be considered, PC gaming got bigger and smartphones/tablets took their piece of the cake too.

Chances are that the market as a whole is bigger, but just changed
 
  • Like
Reactions: cormack12

Stilton Disco

Member
Aug 22, 2014
4,675
994
600
UK
I don't want to derail the thread, but Switch is 9th gen. It launched more than 4 years after the Wii U, it succeeds two 8th gen consoles (3DS and Wii U), and it has its own branding, its own library, etc. Not that it's a super important distinction, but I don't know why the generational shift gets ignored just because Nintendo was first to market with their next-gen offering.

If Switch is 8th gen, then the Game Boy Color + Game Boy Advance are the same generation as well as the Xbox + 360, based on the proximity of release dates.
Handhelds have never had 'generations' in the same way consoles have.

Console gens have never been about when you released your last system, but about the wider market, the bulk of sales/players, each systems relative competition, and what games are being sold concurrently across multiple platforms.

That puts the Switch squarely in 8th gen, playing 8th gen games, competing with 8th gen systems and most probably making the bulk of its sales in competition with 8th gen alternatives.

This isnt even the first time this has happened. Atari had 2 consoles in 2nd gen with both the 2600 and 5200. Just because Nintendo buggered up so badly with the WiiU it had to call a do over doesnt mean the Switch suddenly exists outside the context of the wider market and that it's competitors don't exist yet.

I mean when the PS5 and Xbox Two come out, are you really going to claim they're the Switch's contemporaries? And that the inevitable Switch 2 (or whatever) is actually 10th gen? It's just ridiculous, and accredits Nintendo with far more influence than they actually have.
 
Last edited:

EuropeOG

Member
Dec 11, 2008
18,743
184
985
London
abload.de
Wii captured a different marker. This gen we have more traditional consoles, and their reliability is a lot higher; most people I know who owned a 360 bought more than one due to them breaking down (other issues than just RROD and before MS extended warranty). This gen people might upgrade but it's not a necessity.

What I'm saying is last gen figures were inflated IMO and it was a long ass gen.
 
  • Praise the Sun
Reactions: V4skunk

Saruhashi

Member
Oct 2, 2018
1,205
2,794
485
Looking at all the media pieces before this gen started many of them had the same prediction, the console market would shrink or contract this gen and many people balked it off as fear mongering.

Now that we are closing out this gen, we can see actual sales numbers show that in hardware it might be the case.

Last gen we had Wii 120m + PS3 80m plus 360 80m. Totaling 280m consoles.

This gen with the most optimistic numbers (at this time) we have PS4 with 100m, XB1 with 50m and Switch with 30m. Making 180m

This leaves a 100m deficit in just consoles sold.

Is gaming going to grow further going forward or can we expect these kind of losses being the norm going forward?

Thankfully software sales have never been higher to offset these losses, but what can companies do to try to offset the changes in business going forward?
Going forward, I think it will depend on the actual reasons for this shrinkage.

While we can agree that way less consoles were sold, we'd need a really deep exploration of a few factors to come to a good answer regarding why.

Could be that an unsatisfactory PS3 could have led to more people buying an XBox too and with the Wii being a bit "out there" in terms of what it was offering people may have seen that as something to pick up to play alongside a main console.

This Gen PS4 has dominated and so I would imaging that the number of people buying both PS and XBox has gone down and the Wii U was just a disaster all round (except for the good games). It's only since the Switch arrived that you see more people again talking about having a main console and a Switch on the side.

I wonder also if the decline of places like EB Games and Gamestop (are they the same thing actually?) could be a factor also. I'd guess that you may have had a lot of people getting new consoles from these stores thinking they can trade it in later and as a result you could have people buying the same console multiple times over a generation. Or folks trading in a PS3 for a brand new Xbox etc. With those stores being gone or less appealing you may have less people actually buying consoles.

I wonder if is PC gaming on the rise and by how much. Xbox always seemed like it could be a good "gateway" into PC Gaming since you don't get the PlayStation exclusives with either and people might think to just make the move to PC. That's going to be even more pronounced as Game Pass goes to PC.

No idea how well Stadia will do but that could have an impact also. I am sure there are many people who bought a PS4 but the console sits basically unused. Those folks could be more inclined to go with something like Stadia in the future.
 
x1

Clear

Member
Feb 2, 2009
9,019
2,033
980
There's also the significant detail that Sony sold a ton of PS2's during the same chronological period as what is generally considered "last generation". Remember PS2 actually took longer than PS4 to hit 100million, and that's only around 2/3rds of its final tally.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DunDunDunpachi

DunDunDunpachi

Patient MembeR
Apr 18, 2018
14,221
26,760
1,260
USA
dunpachi.com
There's also the significant detail that Sony sold a ton of PS2's during the same chronological period as what is generally considered "last generation". Remember PS2 actually took longer than PS4 to hit 100million, and that's only around 2/3rds of its final tally.
Yeah, PS2 was manufactured for 13 years. Folks forget that it was still available on store shelves nearly to the end of the following generation.
 
  • Like
Reactions: StarlightLotice

Stuart360

Member
Sep 9, 2018
2,258
3,276
460
If you look at it from Playstation and Xbox angle, 360 and PS3 sold about 160mil in 8+ years. PS4 and XB1 have sold about 140mil in less than 6 years, and will probably match, or even exceed PS3/360 by the time the consoles are dropped.
Wii was an anomoly that brought in a lot of none gamers, soccer mums and grandmas playing WiiFit etc. The Wii skews the numbers a lot. All those none gamers Wii users went back to being none gamers, and its as simple as that.

PS4, XB1, and Switch combined will def outsell PS3, 360, and WiiU.
 
Last edited:

Vawn

Member
Feb 20, 2018
3,415
5,951
465
Switch is already past 30 million (34.75 last reported). I seriously doubt Xbox One is close to 50 million.

The console industry has not stumbled. Xbox has stumbled.
 

Klayzer

Member
Nov 17, 2018
459
600
295
Texas City,Texas
If you look at it from Playstation and Xbox angle, 360 and PS3 sold about 160mil in 8+ years. PS4 and XB1 have sold about 140mil in less than 6 years, and will probably match, or even exceed PS3/360 by the time the consoles are dropped.
Wii was an anomoly that brought in a lot of none gamers, soccer mums and grandmas playing WiiFit etc. The Wii skews the numbers a lot. All those none gamers Wii users went back to being none gamers, and its as simple as that.

PS4, XB1, and Switch will def outsell PS3, 360, and WiiU.
I agree, the Wii numbers skew the numbers disproportionately. PS4/Xbox numbers looks like it will match last gen numbers easily.
 
  • Like
Reactions: EDMIX

Lone Wolf

Member
Jan 8, 2014
822
282
435
Do we count mini consoles and the FPGA and emulation systems that have launched? I know I bought a Mega SG and A Super NT and have been playing those more than the consoles I own.
 

Fbh

Member
Dec 6, 2013
11,307
3,523
840
Yes, but it has mostly lost the hyper casual audience.

The Wii was a phenomenon, it sold like crazy and managed to attract a massive casual and non-"gamer" audience which no one targeted this gen. Soccer mom Karen who bought a Wii for her daughters to play Just Dance (and then got a Wii Fit she never used) wasn't going to run to the store to get a $399 Ps4 with a copy of Killzone.

The core market seems to be doing just as good if not better than last gen. I wouldn't be surprised if Ps4 + Xb1 sales combined are better than Ps3 + 360 sales by the time next gen launches.

Also, I might be wrong, but software sales seem up too. We are constantly hearing about games likes the Division having the biggest launch in Ubisoft history, or how Monster Hunter world is the best selling Capcom game ever or how God of War has been the fastes selling Sony game only to be beaten by Spiderman a few months later.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SlicedBread3

Dipsed

Neo Member
Nov 19, 2018
10
8
100
Looking at all the media pieces before this gen started many of them had the same prediction, the console market would shrink or contract this gen and many people balked it off as fear mongering.

Now that we are closing out this gen, we can see actual sales numbers show that in hardware it might be the case.

Last gen we had Wii 120m + PS3 80m plus 360 80m. Totaling 280m consoles.

This gen with the most optimistic numbers (at this time) we have PS4 with 100m, XB1 with 50m and Switch with 30m. Making 180m

This leaves a 100m deficit in just consoles sold.

Is gaming going to grow further going forward or can we expect these kind of losses being the norm going forward?

Thankfully software sales have never been higher to offset these losses, but what can companies do to try to offset the changes in business going forward?
Nah!! Not only did Microsoft and Nintendo had terrible releases but last gen had a much longer lifespan. They were on the market for 8 years before nextgen was released. We are not even 6 years into this gen.

Also consider that the big three drank the “consoles are dead cool aid” and played it safe with this gen releasing underpowered consoles not a true step up forcing them to release midgen refresh and now new consoles in 2020.

Console market Is actually growing the gaming market is growing. Much more mainstream than it was during the last gen. I predict nextgen will be the highest selling gen of them all, probably surpassing gen 7 numbers!!
 
  • Like
Reactions: SlicedBread3

hunthunt

Member
Mar 22, 2019
201
262
250
The Wii was a fluke and it will never be anything like it again, seriously who in the world would think that the people that bought Wii as their main console could want a PlayStation?

Only Nintendo could have make it happen but they shitted the floor in the most amazing way with the WiiU, and their market just moved on to smartphones or other stuff.
 

PocoJoe

Member
Jul 9, 2018
349
355
280
Imo it is not this simple:

Gen x:
33% Gamers buy system a
33% Gamers buy systems a+b
33% Gamers buy systems a+c
300m systems sold for 200m gamers

Gen y:
70% Gamers buy system a
15% Gamers buy systems a+b
15% Gamers buy systems a+b+c
200m systems sold for 200m gamers

Aka many could have bought more than one console on last gen, but now only one(sony) = could still have the same amount of Gamers, but less consoles sold because MS/Nintendo released consoles that sell less than 360/wii

So it is less total of consoles AND less gamers

Or less of consoles but same amount or more of gamers