Wednesday, April 06, 2016

U.S. Ownership of Game Consoles to dip below 50% by 2019

Virtual reality and mobile gaming driving evolution of the connected gaming ecosystem

Parks Associates NUMBERS™ research estimates gaming consoles, which have long been the most common Internet-connected entertainment devices in the U.S., will dip below 50% broadband household penetration by 2019. This milestone comes after nearly 10 years of declining unit sales, driven by mobile and casual gaming options on other platforms, such as tablets and smartphones. However, virtual reality (VR) headsets and cloud-based gaming services that can be played on a variety of streaming media devices are pushing the gaming industry into a new stage.

“Consoles makers have always known that the highest ongoing revenue potential is in content, whether that is physical media, cloud-based game streaming, or streaming video content,” said Barbara Kraus, Director of Research, Parks Associates. “While sales of traditional gaming consoles are declining, TV and streaming media player makers are focused on increasing gaming through their devices. PlayStation Now is streaming games through select Samsung TV models. Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Nvidia Shield are focused on providing high-performance, high-quality games with an eye towards increasing the size of the gaming market.”

Average Number of Hours per Week Playing Games

Console makers are experimenting with new form factors, as industry reports indicate Nintendo's next model could serve as both a home console and handheld device. The industry is also looking at VR as a potential disruptor that could generate new and heightened interest in gaming.

“The Oculus Rift debuted at the end of March 2016 to much fanfare, the HTC Vive VR debuts on April 5, and the Sony PlayStation VR is slated to launch in October,” Kraus said. “Gaming is the major initial use case for VR, but this innovation could be disruptive enough to attract a much broader audience. Sony is aware of its immense potential, as the company has dropped hints its VR set will be compatible with devices other than its PlayStation, so that its device won’t be locked to one platform.”

At this time, the only gaming console to support VR will be Sony PlayStation VR. The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are PC-based. Samsung’s Gear VR is only compatible with Samsung Galaxy smartphones and not with any model prior to the Galaxy 6 model.

Parks Associates builds its forecasts upon core numbers with specifics based on product or service type. NUMBERS™ also includes historical data and five-year forecasts for United States, other countries, regions, and the rest of the world. Visit for more information on this program and its deliverables. For more information about the Parks Associates NUMBERS™ service or to speak with an analyst, contact Holly Sprague at or 720-987-6614. 

About Parks Associates: Parks Associates, a woman-owned and woman-led internationally recognized market research and consulting company, specializes in emerging technology solutions serving the consumer and small to medium business (SMB) markets. Celebrating its 35th year in 2021, Parks Associates is a partner to companies navigating the changing consumer technology landscapes through data-driven market insights, extensive consumer and industry intelligence, custom marketing services, and executive networking experiences and conferences.

The company's expertise includes home automation, control systems and security, digital media and platforms, entertainment and gaming, home networks, internet and video services, connected health and independent living solutions, mobile applications and services, support services, consumer electronics, and energy management solutions.

Each year, Parks Associates hosts industry webcasts, the CONNECTIONS™ Conference Series, Connected Health Summit, Smart Energy Summit: Engaging the Consumer, and Future of Video: OTT, Pay TV, and Digital Media.

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