idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
As for the actual console market, my only point there is that any gamer already playing used games is going to consider it a strong strike against the console for them to be unavailable. In some percentage of sales, that's going to cost them all new game sales, instead of winning them some sales in conjunction with used games.
So either used games are an actual problem, in which case publishers are losing a lot of money, and stand to lose FAR more by alienating those players completely. Or used games aren't really a problem, and they stand to lose a lot of money by completely alienating their fanbase by coming off as the major corporation that doesn't give two sh*ts about the quality of life of their fan base where it doesn't make them money.
Your conclusions are built on a faulty premise. A game player may consider it a strike against them if they can't buy used games but that only matters if they have an alternative. At some point, MS and Sony will jointly decide to block used games (or somehow monetize it) and, again, where will the console players go? Wii U? Just stop playing video games?
Probably not. They'll spend the same budget on fewer games, purchasing more selectively. And MS/Sony will get a full cut of each sale rather than missing out on an entire market.
For that matter, a shift to digital downloads likely won't happen until it's jointly decided between MS and Sony, just because of publisher concerns.
On the contrary, I would argue that you are placing limitations on the group without sufficient reason to do so.
For one thing, there's a meaningful difference between console gamers and gamers who play on consoles. The first group is the significant minority, and were always going to purchase a console, regardless of how worthless the generation leap was. They probably already knew which of the next generation they'd be purchasing (if not both) long before any rumors or specs about the next generation even came out.
But we're moving into a market where there are far, far more options. The gap between your average pc and a gaming console is closing quite rapidly. A $400 laptop is already capable of playing just about anything on the market at more than passable levels, and the next generation of cpus are showing an even greater increase in integrated graphics. The barrier to move to pc gaming has literally never been lower.
For the graphics-obsessed, that might not be a selling point. But I'd wager the majority of gamers who just happen to use consoles aren't caring all that much what's under the hood. And PC gaming has never before been so accessible. Particularly not with MMOs like WoW introducing so many new players to the system.
I'd also argue that more console gamers are likely purchasing their own systems than ever before, as the market has aged up with time. Most gamers aren't high school kids anymore, they're people in their 20s and 30s. Not because there are fewer high school gamers, but because former high school gamers grew up.
Plus, the notion of gaming has changed a fair bit recently. Gamers who are looking for a way to pass time are going to be more open to the idea of just using their standard devices for the task, because their standard devices (phones and tablets) are doing it increasingly well. And that market is growing fairly quickly.
Is there a decent population who won't care? Of course. Call of Duty is going to sell a LOT of consoles to gamers who don't even have particularly intentions to play anything else. As will Madden (etc.) games. That's a relatively guaranteed market.
It's also not one I imagine overlaps with the used game market at all. The used game market is filled with gamers trying to keep an eye on their budget. Those gamers are going to have to make a decision if they want to join the next console generation. And considering the options available, I'd be surprised if a decent bulk of them didn't pass it up.