The gaming industry is always evolving with new technology coming out every year. Companies always have to stay on their toes to ensure they stay at the top of the market.
With the everchanging field of technology companies that revolve around technology either have thrived and have done really well for themselves or hit a few speed bumps along the way and may have not done as well as other companies have. Large companies like Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo have been going head to head against each other within the console gaming market for years now. All of these companies have countless amounts of accomplishments but they also have a few failures as well no company has a perfect track record. These companies have to go through a rigorous process when designing implementing and creating new and interesting systems for their fan base to enjoy. In past few years the gaming industry has seen a huge boom in popularity which means the market has become much more competitive than what it used to be. Currently the top gaming platforms are the: PlayStation 4 Xbox One Wii U and PC's.
Sony's PlayStation 4 was released an astounding three years ago during the month of November 2013. Even though Sony's PlayStation 4 is three years old it still packs a punch and holds up well today. Currently what is inside a PlayStation 4 is a 1.6HHZ AMD 8-core CPU AMD Radeon GPU storage sizes ranging from 500 gigabytes to one terabyte and 8 gigabytes of GDDR5 memory. What makes the storage in Sony's PlayStation 4 so interesting is that it is essentially "upgradable" meaning consumers are able to swap out the stock storage and replace it with a solid-state drive. Replacing the original hard-drive on a PlayStation 4 with a solid-state drive means the user will have faster system boot times faster game installation faster booting of the game and faster load times while in the game.
What makes Sony's PlayStation 4 so desirable is the large selection of games and exclusives available it has region-free games meaning consumers can play PlayStation 4 games that are only released in a certain country say Japan as an example and the fact that the graphics on the PlayStation 4 are slightly superior to the Xbox One's graphics this has made it one of if not the best choice for those consumers who are new to gaming or if you are a veteran gamer and want to make the best decision without have to worry about buyer's remorse.
Since the PlayStations 4 launched three years ago back in November of 2013 Sony has since sold 42 million units worldwide and generating about $16 billion in revenue for Sony. Not only are the sales of the physical console doing well, but according to Julia Alexandra "PlayStation 4 software sales also remain strong with more than 270.9 million copies sold in retail stores globally and through digital downloads on the PlayStation Store." (1). The PlayStation 4 is currently available in 124 different countries and regions worldwide. Sony estimates that an additional 20 million units will be sold during this fiscal year which runs from April 1 2016 through March 31st 2017. As of right now Sony's PlayStation 4 currently has 55 percent of the market between the three different consoles.
It really would not be a true console war if Microsoft did not release the Xbox One the same time Sony released their PlayStation 4. Released in November of 2013 Microsoft has seen huge success with the Xbox One. Even though the Xbox One is successful now they did however run into a few speed bumps at E3. When Microsoft first announced the Xbox One they wanted the Xbox One to be an all in one system that would not only be able to play games but be the only entertainment system a consumer's family would need. The idea sounded great on paper but the gamer market did not agree gamers wanted the console to do one thing and for it to do it well which is play video games. Another speed bump Xbox One ran into is that it was originally planned to have DRM restrictions meaning consumers would not be able to lend share or resell any game previously purchased. After a massive amount of backlash from Microsoft fans Microsoft decided against having the DRM restrictions which was a smart business move by them because the Xbox One is now successfully thriving in the market.
Just like the PlayStation 4 the Xbox One packs some power under the hood. Currently inside of an Xbox One consumers will find an 8-core AMD CPU 8 gigabytes of RAM a GPU with a clock speed of 853 MHz's. Unfortunately the Xbox One's storage is not upgradable like the PlayStation 4's storage which can be a letdown for some consumers. Even though the storage on the Xbox One is not upgradable it does support the use of an external use of storage meaning consumers can buy another hard-drive or solid-state drive and connect it to the console via USB 3.0.
Even though being released three years ago Microsoft has kept very quiet about how many units the Xbox One have been sold so far. According to Horia Ungureanu "recent estimates show that more that 21 million Xbox Ones were sold." (2). Console sales are doing okay but the sale of games is surprisingly high consumers bought 116 million games for the console since its release back in 2013. Even though these are good numbers they do not compare to Sony's PlayStation 4 sales. To say Microsoft's Xbox One is not doing well would be unfair, but as of right now they are indeed losing. Currently Microsofts Xbox One has a market share of 28 percent between Sony's PlayStation 4 and Nintendo's Wii U.
Nintendo dominates the handheld market with their Nintendo 3DS but the company always seems to never do well when it comes to their consoles the latest console being the Wii U. The Wii U cannot seem to keep up with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The Wii U was released an entire year before the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 so for that year it was king of the next generation of gaming. The one area where the Wii U excels over its competitors is how creative the overall console is, having a gamepad instead of a regular controller. The gamepad in theory was a great idea to innovate the classic controller by putting a touchscreen in the middle of the controller and have games switch between the television and the gamepad. The gamepad acted almost like a tablet similar to an IPad as an example it had its own touch screen with motion controls front facing camera and a variety of other interesting features. The idea of the gamepad was to make it more immersive for the consumer but what ended up happening was that consumers would usually forget that they had another screen and would end up never utilizing the gamepad to its full potential.
What is inside the Wii U is where consumers can really see the differences in power between the Wii U and its competitors. The Wii U has a IBM power multi-core processor AMD Radeon GPU and only has between 8 gigabytes and 32 gigabytes of storage depending on which version a consumer purchases. It is clearly visible how much less power the Wii U has compared to its competitors. The Wii U even though it was released first did not mean that it would stay on top. Hopefully with the next generation of console Nintendo can come out on top and become the new powerhouse when it comes to console gaming.
The current number of Wii U consoles sold so far is only 13 million units. That is 8 million units less than the Xbox One and is 29 million units less than the PlayStation 4. It is safe to say that Wii U lost this generation of console wars. Currently the Wii U only has a market share of 17 percent.
Pc gaming is by far the most customizable out of the PlayStation 4 Xbox One and Wii U because of the fact the consumer gets to choose all of the parts that make up the guts of the computer. Guts meaning what kind of CPU GPU RAM motherboard storage power supply so essentially users can have a modest "rig" or go all out and build a power house of a PC. Not only can users choose what goes inside of their "rig", but users can also purchase elaborate cases and customize those cases with led lights to fit their aesthetic. Users that are PC gamers may also decide what kind of screen they play on meaning if a user can afford a 4k monitor than they will be enjoying their time in 4k which is already leaps and bounds ahead of the other consoles which can only at this time play in 1080p locked at 60 frames per second. With all of this customization available to users many of the people in the PC gaming community truly believe that PC gaming will always be better than any console that Sony Microsoft and Nintendo put out.
Large Companies like Electronic Arts better known as EA Valve and Ubisoft all have created their own software where users can download a client where they can purchase or pre-order new games or buy older games no longer available in stores. The software also stores all of the information on a cloud server so if something were to happen to a users hard-drive all of their information would still be available to them. Out of these clients available to the public Valve's Steam is by far the most popular having approximately 125 million active users. The reason why Steam is so popular is because of the fact that there is such a large selection of different titles available to consumers. The one thing that sets Valves Steam apart from the other clients is the sales they have. Two of the biggest sales being during the summer and winter better known as the "Steam summer sale" and "Steam winter sale". During those two seasons Steam will discount games ranging anywhere from 40 percent all the way to 80 percent off they will even bundle games together so instead of consumers paying 40 dollars for one game they will get two or three games provided they are from the same publisher.
Steam does not release financial information unfortunately, but in an article written by Angus Morrison he "estimates that Steam is worth 3.5 billion. In the article Angus writes estimates show that Valve controls 15% of the global PC games market." (3).
In conclusion the gaming industry continues to constantly change and evolve as the technology that powers these systems grow at an exponential rate. Companies like Microsoft Sony Valve Nintendo and Electronic Arts will have to compete against one another to remain in the top of the market. Each of these companies has their own strengths and weaknesses within the gaming industry but they will have to continue to work hard to improve all of their products. It's only a matter of time before the next wave of new technology completely changes the gaming industry completely and these companies will have to become more innovative and creative to create something that will impress consumers more spectacular than what anyone has ever seen.
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Alexandra, Julia. "Sony Has Sold More than 40 Million PlayStation 4 Units Worldwide."Polygon. N.p. 26 May 2016. Web. 16 Nov. 2016.
Ungureanu Horia."Microsoft Xbox One Reportedly Tops 20 Million Units Sold Worldwide Still Trailing PS4." Tech Times. N.p. 16 Mar. 2016. Web. 16 Nov. 2016.
"Morrison Angus. Steam Games Market worth $3.5 Billion in 2015." PC Gamer. N.p. 05 Jan. 2016. Web. 16 Nov. 2016.
"PlayStation 4 Sales Surpass 40 Million Units Worldwide." PR News Wire. N.p. 26 May 2016. Web. 16 Nov. 2016.
"Stuart Keith. Xbox One DRM Restrictions Dropped after Gamer Outcry." The Guardian. N.p. 19 June 2013. Web. 16 Nov. 2016.
"Swinder Matt. PS4 vs Xbox One: Which Is Better?" Tech Radar. N.p. n.d. Web. 16 Nov. 2016.
Poladian Charles."PS4 vs. Xbox One: Close To 40 Million PlayStation 4 Consoles Have Been Sold Since 2013 Launch." IB Times. N.p. 28 Apr. 2016. Web. 16 Nov. 2016.