As gamers get geared up for the next generation of consoles out of Sony and Microsoft, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox Infinity, publishers are looking at the realities of the gaming industry when deciding on their future steps.
For some, the first step into the next generation has been the Wii U, which is causing uncertainty in the industry due to its lackluster sales. Other publishers are sticking it out for the other consoles, but they are watching the Wii U carefully. Its lack of success thus far might be more than just missing first-party support and poor advertisement, the reasons that Nintendo has claimed to explain the shortcomings of sales, and Activision in particular is paying close attention.
All publishers are concerned about the state of the global gaming market, and recently Activision sounded off about this topic at a conference call. With increased competition from tablets and smart phones and the downturn of the global economy, consumers might just not be interested in expensive gaming consoles, and this is a major concern for the next generation. Not to mention the introduction of other non- Big Three consoles, such as the OUYA, into the market and the cheap prices of computers, which can run many major games and do so much more, further increasing the competition for consumers wallets. Activision CEO Bobby Kotick explained more at the call:
“There are still many unknown factors, such as pricing, launch dates and quantities, the level of first-party support and, importantly, consumer purchase intent in a world where consoles are no longer just competing with each other, but also with new platforms, such as smartphones and tablets.
"While we have had a solid start to the year, we now believe that the risks and uncertainties in the back half of 2013 are more challenging than our earlier view, especially in the holiday quarter. The shift in release dates of competing products, the disappointing launch of the Wii U, uncertainties regarding next-generation hardware, and subscriber declines in our World of Warcraft business all raise concerns, as do continued challenges in the global economy."
"The newest console, the Wii U, has had a very slow start. All of these factors further heighten our concerns heading into the back half of the year, particularly during the very competitive fourth quarter." — Bobby Kotick
So Microsoft and Sony may very well see themselves facing the same types of problems that Nintendo has been facing since last holiday season. This does not bode well for the game industry. If Sony and Microsoft play their cards right and Nintendo has a plan, though, then maybe everything will be all right in the end and all of these fears will be alleviated.
What do you think? Ready for the next generation, whatever the cost? Have a plan that any of these major gaming companies could use to emerge on top? Fearful of another gaming crash, the likes of the one in the '80s? Thoughts, feelings, and opinions belong in the comments below!