New consoles, online games to keep market soaring to 2017

New consoles, online games to keep market soaring to 2017

PARIS - The global video gaming market is set to grow 11.1 per cent a year until 2017, boosted by a new generation of consoles and the increasing popularity of online games, according to IDATE digital research and consultancy firm.

The market, estimated at 53.9 billion euros (S$92.29 billion) this year, is expected to soar to 82.1 billion euros in 2017, the France-based firm said in a report.

Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft, which are jostling for control of the gaming market, have each released the latest versions of their consoles ahead of the Christmas shopping season.

The wave of new devices is expected to keep the market buoyant until 2017, IDATE said.

Home consoles like Sony's PlayStation or Microsoft's Xbox, which make up 31 per cent of the market today, are expected to have a 40 per cent share of the total market in 2017.

Handheld consoles such as Nintendo's 3DS or Sony's PSVita, which have a share of about 22 per cent in 2013, are projected to record declining share to 13 per cent in 2017, in the face of increasing strong competition from tablets and mobile phones.

"Smartphones and tablets offer a radically different experience, and... in terms of the budget, the tablet is a significant competitor for the consoles," Laurent Michaud, who is in charge of gaming research at IDATE.

"The choice of purchase between the tablet and the console will determine the success of this generation of machines," he said.

The offline computer game is expected to record an irreversible decline, while this year online games are emerging as the leader.

The increasing popularity of online games stems from the fact that they dominate the gaming industry in China and South Korea, Michaud noted.

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