Further Evidence You'll Be Gaming At Eighty

Further Evidence You'll Be Gaming At Eighty

Yes, video games are becoming a more centralized part of our entertainment lives, and may even take them over in the form of media hubs.

Gaming is mainstream. No longer relegated to the basements of parental housing units or the lonely apartments of developmentally arrested adults, no longer the sole province of the anti-social and teenaged misfit, gamers are mainstream and gaming is the fastest growing industry in entertainment. Further proof of this paradigm shift is in Nielsen’s U.S. Gaming: A 360 Survey, which shoes that now over half of all households in America own a current generation gaming console (Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Ninetendo Wii). This is a 50% increase over last year, meaning a lot of people are jumping on the console gaming bandwagon, and as new hyper-popular gaming franchises like Halo, Call of Duty, and others are drawing millions of customers, other companies will be looking to get into the market.

Furthermore, console gaming is coming out of the basement. Nielsen shows 65% of homes have their gaming console in the living room, which opens up major opportunities for companies to make gaming consoles comprehensive entertainment hubs, something companies like Sony and Microsoft have already started adopting. Microsoft initiated webs-treaming deals with the likes of Hulu and Netflix, and on April 1st will also be offering premium cable streaming from HBO GO. Nielsen also shows that the gaming portion of the console is "going family”, with Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360 Kinect making it into the living room 75% of the time.

Cross-platform gaming is on the rise as well, with almost one in four gamers playing games on more than one type of platform, either owning more than one console, or gaming on both console and PC or mobile device. Mobile gaming is the fastest growing of all gaming types, showing a massive increase on the number of people that game on Apple iOS or Android mobile devices and tablets. There’s increasing competition in this area as social networking games also have grown through Facebook and other websites. More of these games are pushing consumers into ecommerce and online sales, showing a 3% increase in retail sales online of games over last year. Finally, gamers are also spending more time online outside of playing games, contributing on blogs and gamer forums or looking at new media regarding upcoming or recently released video games.

The increase in online sales and web-gaming interest has not gone overlooked, and it’s rumored that the next generation (7th generation) console from Microsoft, popularly referred to as the Xbox 720 (360 x 2) will not even include a disc-drive, but will be entirely used by hard-drive and downloadable games from their XBLA Marketplace.