Today: September 27, 2016, 12:32 am

New C&M report published: United Kingdom Video Games market
Video Games in the United Kingdom - a new market research report on 2014-03-25 03:41:01
Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony continued to lead sales of video games in 2011, accounting for 17%, 13% and 11% value share respectively. These players strength is largely linked to their strength in video games hardware, with Microsoft offering Xbox 360 and Kinect, Sony offering PlayStation 3 and Sony PlayStation Move and Nintendo offering Nintendo 3DS, Wii and Nintendo DS. The poor performance of video games hardware in 2011 consequently eroded these players combined share, with a drop of five percentage points from 2010.

Of the three, only Microsoft saw a gain in share, gaining almost two percentage points. This was due to the companys successful launch of Kinect in 2010, which garnered positive critical reviews for its motion-sensor technology and also boosted sales of Xbox 360 consoles. As a result, Xbox 360 and Kinect each gained almost a percentage point in value share in 2011 over the previous year, rising to account for 9% and 5% share in overall video games and ranking first and second respectively.

According to a survey by NewZoo, 52% of the population were active gamers in 2011. However, only 52% of these games actually spend money on games, with the remainder only playing free titles. Online and mobile games represented 60% of gaming time in 2011 according to the survey, while digital gaming accounted for just 27% of the money spent on video games software and digital gaming in 2011 according to our data. Casual gaming websites are the most popular, being used by 69% of all active gamers. These were followed by console games at 66% and mobile games at 65%. Facebook gaming also posed increasing competition to video games software in 2011.

Mobile games saw the strongest current value growth of 62% in 2011 over the previous year. Strong sales growth was linked to an ongoing rise in the household penetration of smartphones and by the relative novelty of these products, which first gained significant sales in 2008. Sales of mobile games were also boosted by the provision free basic apps, with users only having to pay for more sophisticated versions. This business model is known as freemium because it combines free products with premium variants. In addition, many of the paid-for apps are very cheap, with Angry Birds for example costing just £0.69. These are the equivalent of pocket money toys within video games and thus pose strong competition to video games software, with many leading products in this area costing over £40.

Cloud gaming is expected to become increasingly significant within video games during the forecast period, particularly as 2012 saw the sale of Gaikai to Sony. In July 2012, Sony Computer Entertainment announced a formal agreement to acquire GaiKai for US$380 million, with plans to establish its own cloud-based gaming service. In April 2012, Gaikai gained a presence on Facebook by April 2012 and began streaming to the WikiPad tablet in May 2012. OnLive is however likely to see less success in the forecast period. The company shed all of its employees and assets in August 2012 due to financial problems, before being sold to Lauder Partners for just US$4.8 million, down from previous estimations of its worth at US$1.8 billion.

There will be a number of significant launches in video games hardware at the start of the forecast period. February 2012 saw Sony launch PlayStation Vita in hand-held video game consoles, with this featuring a 127mm OLED display, rear-mounted touch panel, twin analogue controls and Wi-Fi internet access. This product will thus seek to compete with tablets. The year will also see Nintendo launch Wii U, with this featuring a tablet style controller with its own screen. However, many feel that this product is underpowered in comparison to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Microsoft has meanwhile confirmed that Xbox 720 will launch at some point over 2013-2015. However, poor sales of Xbox 360 in 2012 have led to speculation that the launch will occur sooner rather than later and possibly in 2013.

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