By this time next month, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will be sitting on store shelves all across the world… provided they both don’t sell out in their respective launch weeks. Gartner reports that the new consoles from Microsoft and Sony, as well as the Wii U from Nintendo, will be a major force pushing the video game marketplace to $93 billion in 2013, an 18% jump over last year’s $79 billion.
While console sales will inevitably slow in the coming years, mobile gaming is expected to see incredible growth until at least 2015.
“As mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) continue to grow, the mobile game category will show the biggest growth due to the entertainment value provided by games compared with other app categories,” explains Gartner research director Brian Blau.
By 2015, mobile game sales are expected to surpass both PC and handheld game sales. Gartner’s projections show growth in every category except for handheld games, which should quickly slide after mobile games begin to dominate the non-console market completely. PC game growth should continue to increase up until 2015, but analysts suspect that families will buy tablets to replace their PCs in the future, thus stifling this market as well.
Overall growth in the video game marketplace will be buoyed by console sales for the next several years, but as mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets supplant handheld consoles and personal computers, the year-over-year increase will slow. It will be up to Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo to consistently build upon their home consoles with innovative new hardware and attractive software to sustain consumers for the foreseeable future.