Despite 25% Annual Decline in 2012 Game Console Shipments, There is Still Room for Optimism, Says ABI Research

Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:57am EDT

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.--(Business Wire)--
After shipping over 3 million Wii U units during the holiday season Nintendo`s
next generation console is now facing a challenging market. 2012 saw just under
30 million game consoles shipped from Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony (excluding
PS2)- roughly 10 million fewer than the previous year. Despite these results ABI
Research looks at 2013 (and beyond) with cautious optimism, but the company
expects Microsoft and Sony to determine future prospects for the game console,
not Nintendo. 

Senior Analyst Michael Inouye commented: "Nintendo`s Wii U`s troubles are not
indicative of the expected market reception for the remaining 8th generation of
consoles. In fact, the Wii U will likely prove a closer fit with the current
generation than the next. The software released to date also bears out this
assessment with many cross-platform games that were previously available from
Microsoft and Sony. While the Wii U Gamepad offers some novel gaming elements it
has not yet resonated with core gamers." 

2013 is expected to start a chain of positive growth years for the game console
market, ending the previous annual declines. This optimism, however, is
predicated on several factors. First, that the Wii U receives a price reduction
in 2013. Second, that next gen consoles from Microsoft and Sony launch with
adequate time and production to meet holiday demand, with pricing below $450 and
ideally at $350. Finally, that the next generation consoles don`t adopt
significant consumer unfriendly practices that will cause consumers to rethink
their purchases, such as steps to inhibit the used game market or requiring an
always on DRM/Internet connection to prevent other forms of piracy. 

TV & Video Practice Director Sam Rosen added: "Mobile gaming has certainly
diminished the opportunities for console manufacturers in the casual gaming
market and this has impacted Nintendo the hardest. The evolving business models
and added competition have also created additional pricing pressures that
encourage price cuts sooner than manufacturers would like. New entrants into the
console market will add an additional layer of complexity, which should make
things interesting, but we still anticipate the market will prove a difficult
one for the upstarts." 

These findings are part of ABI Research`s Consumer Electronics Research Service
(http://www.abiresearch.com/research/service/consumer-electronics/). 

ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends
in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. From offices in North
America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research`s worldwide team of experts advises
thousands of decision makers through 70+ research and advisory services. Est.
1990. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.

ABI Research
Christine Gallen, +1-516-624-2542
pr@abiresearch.com

Copyright Business Wire 2013

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