5 Reasons Console Gaming Is Dead

It’s fair to say I’m not a big fan of consoles. They’re expensive, require too big of a time commitment to play, are hard to learn, and give me wicked motion sickness.
But I do respect that millions of people out there absolutely love them. Facts are facts right? In 2010 video console sales totaled 52.3 million units, and that’s a lot of units. And that’s just for one year. It’s estimated there are over 160 million consoles out there.

And that’s great business!
But think about this. In 2010 when video game console sales hit 52 million units, game ready cell phones skyrocketed at over 1.27 BILLION units. Analysts expect over 1.8 billion by 2014, or about 8 billion game ready cell phones on the planet by 2016.

That’s massively formidable.
When I do the math it just makes sense: 160 million units versus 8 billion units.
Here are the 5 reasons I think console gaming is dead:
Development costs are prohibitively expensive

Indie game developers find the development costs of dev stations, licensing, certification and more to be a major barrier to entry

Dev kits can cost as much as $50k each

Console games typically cost $1 million or more to make

Gatekeepers are restrictive about what gets out

The Big 3 (Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft) are restrictive about what they’ll allow on their consoles

Rejection or delays can be very expensive

Player time commitment is expensive

Console games are about time commitment

In a tough economy, leisure time is a luxury

Pick up and play is a growing trend

Game consoles and games are pricey

Console units typically cost $300 and up

New games cost $60 with older titles priced between $20 and $50

Mobile gaming is far more accessible

Development costs are low

No need for licensing or certification

Dev kits are typically free

No restrictions on what can be produced and released

Low time commitment from players

Inexpensive to buy games, ranging from free to $2.99

By 2016, everyone on the planet will have a game ready phone
As consumers migrate to new platforms like iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch) and Android (both tablet and phone) and these devices become more and more powerful, the consumer demand for content increases. Console developers clutch their devices tightly and seemingly ignore the coming wave, giving way to these new mobile platforms as the game development format of choice.
It won’t be long now, but unless console developers do something truly unique and innovative, console gaming will die out.