One million copies sold in just one day. For its release in the U.S. on Friday 15 November, the PlayStation 4 (PS4), the latest version of the famous Japanese console Sony has made strong. Not surprising, when you consider that fans video games waiting for more than six years to launch a successor to the PlayStation 3, released in early 2006.
This success is more surprising, however, in a country where it is usually the U.S. Microsoft with its Xbox, who holds the upper hand. This has also not yet said its last word like Sony, the Redmond (Washington) is selling the latest version of its console, Xbox One, on November 22 in the United States. The match promises to be tight.
For both groups, the challenge is the same: to give a boost to an aging market, the latest consoles – except for the Nintendo Wii U, the third industry heavyweight consoles, released in 2012 – all with between seven and eight. And s’ adapt to a sector increasingly fragmented. In recent years, consoles, which once ruled the world of gaming, were jostled by a host of new players, but also by new uses.
Thus emerged in recent months, the portable console manufactured by Nvidia or the low cost machine manufacturer Ouya, whose software is an adaptation ‘of Android , the operating system of Google . As for uses, they were upset by the arrival of smartphones and tablets, real gems of technology, offering, in their applications stores, games sometimes as good as those written for handheld .
Thus appeared the casual gamers, casual gamers who, instead of staying “stuck” in the same game for dozens of hours, prefer to play just a few minutes on their smartphones or on Facebook , in the subway or when they queue at the supermarket. It is for them that games like Angry Birds and Candy Crush Saga were invented.
“PLAYERS ON SUNDAY”
The arrival of the Wii, Nintendo’s machine, in 2007, drew these “players Sunday” to consoles. According to Richard Beaudoux of Natixis , this year, the video game market grew 34% compared to 2006. “In 2008, the casual gamers have represented up to 30% of the market,” says the analyst.
But with the economic crisis that has slashed their power to purchase, the failure of the Wii U and the development of tablets, these players have finally decided to appease their new passion solely on their mobile devices. “With the crisis, The explosion of use of smartphones and tablets and the proliferation of quality TV series, these people have deserted the portable consoles. Especially a portable gaming costs 40 dollars (29.63 euros) against 0-10 dollars on smartphone or tablet to an almost identical quality, “says Mr. Beaudoux.
For him, the purpose of multimedia features and permanent link with social networking added to the new consoles from Sony and Microsoft “is also to get the players who had been seduced by Nintendo consoles that are parties to the benefit of mobile “.
GENUINE “MEDIA HUBS”
We must say that the two manufacturers did not skimp on resources. More than games consoles, these machines are real “media hubs” that the two electronics giants offer their fans. In addition to the sessions outright gambling, Xbox One user can watch TV shows, rent movies or listen to music through Xbox live, shop online content from Microsoft.
The U.S. giant has even signed partnerships with TV channels like Canal + to have some of their proprietary programs. Same with Sony, where the user can enjoy all content published by the Japanese giant, also producer of music and cinema .
“This will attract the casual gamers, recognizes Piers Harding-Rolls, the firm IHS iSuppli. But we must not forget that these consoles have an audience of fans who would have come anyway. They have every chance to be successful. “
“THE HEAT IS REALLY THERE”
“This time, everything comes together to make it a success: a more affordable price (399 euros to 499 euros for PlayStation and Xbox) for much more powerful than previous machines. Real players have always been on consoles and continue to buy , they are very sensitive to the macroeconomic environment, “says Mr. Beaudoux for his part.
“The excitement is really there, enthusiasm on his side Cuilleret Pierre, president of specialty retailer Zappos. Fans expect these consoles as the Messiah for several years. But they are not the only ones to be interested. The game remains one of the best ways to enjoy their children. “
In France, the players rushed on advance bookings. Those who have not taken precautions should expect in January 2014 to provide the Microsoft machine. Sony fans will even wait until March!
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