Console revenues to grow 29% by 2017


Report finds Xbox One, PS4 will draw 61% of revenues from packaged goods, predicts “blood bath” for control of living room.

John Riccitiello isn’t the only one expecting a console comeback. DFC Intelligence and Live Gamer today released a new report projecting significant growth in the worldwide console market through 2017, thanks largely to the forthcoming Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The firms expect console software revenues to jump from $18.5 billion this year to $24 billion in 2017, a jump of more than 29 percent.

The report also expects an increase in the amount of game revenue drawn from digital sources instead of packaged software, although “the high-end of the market” will still be made up mostly of offline purchases. By 2017, 36 percent of Xbox One and PS4 revenue is projected to come from digital offerings, with 61 percent still accounted for by physical goods. The remaining 3 percent of revenue will be advertising. (Additional digital revenue from offerings like video or music content was not considered.)

Despite the growth, the report still raised a few challenges for the console market. Consoles will need to fight with mobile devices for users’ time, PC gaming will still draw more money overall, and Sony and Microsoft will be facing more than just each other in the race to offer a do-it-all set-top box.

“The battle for digital delivery in the living room could turn into a blood bath with no clear winners,” said DFC Intelligence CEO David Cole. “The challenge for content providers will be how to best monetize their product for any given platform or market.”

 

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Twitch closes $20 million Series C investment


Take-Two joins investors in Twitch’s growing media platform.

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Twitch has announced a Series C round of investment totaling $20 million, led by Thrive Capital. West Summit Capital and Take-Two Interactive Software also participated, with additional funding coming from existing investors Alsop Louie Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners. The funding will be used to grow Twitch Media Group, the company’s internal ad sales force.

“Gamers today have a healthy appetite for both producing and consuming live video game content, so it’s vital that we’re not only keeping pace with them, but staying one step ahead,” said Twitch COO Kevin Lin. “With the investments from Thrive Capital, WestSummit Capital, and Take-Two Interactive, it ensures we can more effectively grow and tap into new markets.”

Twitch has reached more than 45 million unique visitors per month. The service will also be integrated into the upcoming Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One, so part of the new funding will be used to get the service’s infrastructure ready for those launches.

“Given the excitement surrounding Microsoft and Sony’s upcoming video game consoles, Twitch will be in a lot of living rooms this holiday season,” added Lin. “Their intuitive and accessible integration of Twitch removes the barriers to entry which casual broadcasters currently face, so we expect traffic numbers to soar when these consoles launch. The trend of video game based content as entertainment is not only here to stay, it’s becoming a critical part of the holistic gaming experience.”

“Twitch is a company that we see riding multiple waves both in gaming and online video,” said Thrive Capital partner Chris Paik. “By providing gamers a new way to express themselves, Twitch has built a strong, passionate and fast growing community around itself.”

 

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The Elder Scrolls Online “Was Never Planned to Come to Consoles”, Sony Convinced Bethesda to do it


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Gamescom award winning The Elder Scrolls Online is set to come out next year on PS4, Xbox One, PC and Mac, but if it wasn’t for the efforts of Sony’s third party relations team, it would have been a PC/Mac exclusive.

Adam Boyes, VP, Publisher & Developer Relations at SCEA, told GameInformer:

Bethesda… cooking up the whole The Elder Scrolls Online deal – that game was never planned to come to consoles and we just kind of kept sitting with them and being like, ‘Why not? PS4′s…’

As we’re sort of disclosing the team and telling them more about the details, I’m like, ‘There’s no reason – I love MMOs and I love The Elder Scrolls.’ So I was like, ‘Why don’t you do this?’ They’re like, ‘We’re not planning it.’ I’m like, ‘Well, what if we built a plan that we could do that?’

Getting that, knowing that a game’s coming to console that was never going to come to consoles, that’s the kind of stuff that is like, “yes!”, you know, hugely awesome.

Of course, with TESO charging $14.99/€12.99/£8.99 a month, whether the game will be a success is up for debate, but at least we now have the choice.

PS4 launches Nov. 15 in North America, Nov. 29 in Europe


Sony confirms 1 million preorders for next-gen system, announces discounts for next-gen upgrades on big games.

Playstation4

The PlayStation 4 will launch in North America November 15, with a European bow to follow on November 29. Sony confirmed the release dates today as part of its Gamescom press conference, adding that the system will roll out in a total of 32 countries this holiday season.

Before announcing the dates, Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Andrew House also touted the company’s success in building anticipation for the system. To date, he said the PS4 has attracted more than 1 million preorders globally.

House also used the event to unveil a new next-gen upgrade program, saying gamers who purchase the PS3 versions of select games will be able to buy digital versions of their next-gen counterparts at “a significantly discounted price.”

Games already confirmed for the program include Battlefield 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts, and Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag. House said Sony is also working to expand the number of publishers participating in the discount deals.

Similar upgrade incentives have been offered for Xbox One titles lately. Amazon and GameStop both have programs allowing players who purchase an Xbox 360 version of select games to trade that title in toward the purchase of an Xbox One edition, which they can they obtain for $10.

 

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PS4 ‘interest will exceed supply’, says SCEA CEO


Sony Computer Entertainment America CEO Jack Tretton has become the second PlayStation executive to suggest that the company will struggle to make enough PS4 units to satisfy consumer interest.

After SCE CEO Andrew House warned last week that PS4 demand “may well outstrip supply”, Tretton told Forbes:

“I certainly think, given the technology that we’re offering, given the software lineup, given the price point we have, that we’ll have consumers interested in excess of what we’re able to manufacture.”

Tretton said last week that GameStop executives had informed him the retailer would purchase “every single [PS4] unit” Sony can manufacture, adding: “We’re excited about the momentum.”

Sony showed off the PS4 hardware for the first time during its E3 conference, when it confirmed a Christmas PS4 release date in Europe and the US and a PS4 price of £349 / €399 / $399, undercutting the Xbox One price by $100.

The PlayStation maker also used E3 to address the controversial issue of pre-owned games and always-on internet restrictions, confirming that PS4 games don’t require regular online check-ins and that disc-based titles can be traded or sold on. PS4 owners will however need to subscribe to PS Plus to play online multiplayer.

 

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