DFC Intelligence Announces Soaring Sales for Video Game Industry Driven by PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and Mobile Games

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    SAN DIEGO, CA, March 14, 2018 — Video Game Industry analyst firm DFC Intelligence has issued its latest forecast for the global video game market that increases its overall outlook for the market. This increase is driven by greater than expected growth in mobile games. In 2017 mobile game software sales was the fastest growing segment with sales soaring 54% to $45 billion. Meanwhile, the Sony PlayStation 4 had a great year and the Nintendo Switch had a strong launch. Together these factors caused video game software sales to reach $100 billion in 2017.

“Obviously, at some point the growth in mobile games will have to slow, but right now there is still plenty of upside,” said DFC Intelligence analyst David Cole. “Many consumers in markets outside North America and Europe use their smartphones as the de facto gaming system.”

Console systems continued to do very well and were helped by the successful launch of the Nintendo Switch. DFC forecasts that the PlayStation 4 will eventually join the elite game systems that pass the 100 million sales level. Meanwhile, the Nintendo Switch is emerging as a great system for younger gamers and a secondary system for owners of the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. “The Switch is still somewhat of a niche system. We forecast strong sales, but think its eventual lifetime potential is probably in the 70 million unit range,” said Cole.

DFC also released results from a survey of over 800 gamers conducted with Bowen Research. The focus of the survey was on older console system owners in the United States. Over 25% of respondents already owned a Switch and 85% of those Switch owners also owned a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One system. “In terms of consumer assessment of the quality of each game system, the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro stood out well above the Xbox One/Xbox One X systems, and somewhat above the Nintendo Switch” said Hugh Bowen, principal of Bowen Research.

One area that is of concern is how much adoption there will be for the graphic enhanced systems, the PlayStation 4 Pro and the Xbox One X. “The penetration of 4K monitors among respondents was fairly high at 44%,” said Bowen. “The problem is consumers did not see the Xbox One X as providing a major graphics advantage over either the PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 4 Pro. Meanwhile, the strong game library for the PlayStation systems was a major plus, while the price of the Xbox One X was a major negative.”

In the console market, DFC has slightly raised its forecast for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. Xbox One forecasts have been lowered. Forecasts for both the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X have also been lowered. “The core adopter for the high-end graphic systems is fairly limited until prices come down,” said Cole. “Most consumers have a hard-time understanding the difference the high-end systems provide and sales numbers seem to bear that out.”

Overall, DFC Intelligence forecasts that 2018 will be another strong year for the video game industry. By 2022, the industry is forecasted to reach $134 billion in game software sales. This number could be even higher if some new game systems are released over the next few years.

About the Forecasts:

DFC Intelligence game industry forecasts are updated throughout the year to account for current trends and new products. The forecasts are available in multiple forecasts that include pdf reports, Excel spreadsheets and online access. Clients can purchase forecasts on a one off or on an ongoing basis. It is also possible to custom pull specific forecasts on a given range.

As an introduction to the service, DFC Intelligence has released a new summary report. Additional details about the report including a table of contents and report sample request are available on the DFC Intelligence website. For information about the consumer survey go here or contact DFC directly. Members of trade, accredited and industry press may request an executive summary and direct briefing with DFC Intelligence or Bowen Research.

About DFC Intelligence

DFC Intelligence is a strategic market research and consulting firm focused on interactive entertainment and the emerging video game, online game, interactive entertainment and portable game markets. Since 1995, DFC has published in-depth strategic market reports and subscription-based research services. DFC research is used by more than 300 leading companies in over 30 countries worldwide.

About Bowen Research

Bowen Research is a firm that has been operated by Hugh Bowen since 1992. Bowen studies consumer attitudes and behavior regarding high tech products, consumer electronics, software and web sites. From 1982 to 1992, Bowen was a marketing manager in the videogame and computer industries. He developed and marketed over 125 games for Activision, Epyx, and Sega. He was a key executive at Sega when it was the fastest growing U.S. consumer company ever, meteorically rising from near zero to 55 percent U.S. market Share. He is a frequent speaker at industry trade shows, including E3 and the Software Publisher's Association. He has also been published in the trade journal Games Business. He's a Harvard English major with an MBA from UCLA, 1981.

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Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson

Sarah is a financial reporter, focusing on technology, national security, and policing. Before joining Daily Telescope she worked as a staff writer at Fast Company and spent two years as a foreign correspondent in Turkey. Her work has been published in Al Jazeera America, The Nation, Vice News, Motherboard, and many other outlets.