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Games console market not dead says IDC

Console sales to grow twice as fast in developing markets

Games console market not dead says IDC
Sony's Playstation 3 is set to have the largest worldwide install base by 2015.

The worldwide games console market is set to rebound in 2012, according to IDC.

The analyst company said that despite some predictions that the market is in terminal decline, the sector is set for a return to growth based on new platform releases and rising console penetration and spending in select developing economies.

The IDC study Worldwide Game and Interactive Entertainment Console Hardware and Software 2011 -2015 Forecast, notes that the overall economic climate has impacted on consoles, and there has been weak spending overall in the US this summer, but that sales of consoles and software discs is expected to show a CAGR of 3.6% between 2010 and 2015, when the market will reach $39.7 billion. In developing economies the market will grow twice as fast as in developed markets.

"Total console hardware and disc-based software revenues are on track to slide a few percent in 2011 compared to 2010," says Lewis Ward, research manager, Consumer Markets: Gaming, at IDC. "But prognostications that consoles have peaked as a product category are premature. I expect that the launch of the Wii U, a revamped interactive entertainment console from Microsoft in the 2014 timeframe, and the arrival of Sony's 'PS4' circa 2015 - along with more than a few exclusive, innovative games - will help drive a new wave of console-centric spending in the next several years."

Overall household install base of gaming consoles will decline by about 1% by 2015, with around 257m active consoles, or 12.7% of households. IDC attributes this drop to the rise of ‘casual' gaming on tablets, phones and social network sites.

IDC also expects Sony's Playstation 3 platform, which is already five years old, to repeat the ‘long tail' of it's predecessor console, the PS2, by having the largest active install base of any console by 2015. The PS2, the best selling console of all time, with 153 million units shipped, has shown surprising longevity, with console and games still available today, 11 years after it launched.

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