Sony Holds Lead in Console Market, Platform Subs on the Rise

IHS Markit reports that Sony led the gaming hardware, software and service market last year, nearly doubling the share of Microsoft and its Xbox One. Sony is expected to continue its dominance through 2017. According to IHS, Sony captured 57 percent ($19.7 billion) of spending by gamers in 2016, “thanks to growth of digital console games,” notes VentureBeat, adding, however, “that the overall console game market shrank in 2016, and Nintendo is newly competitive this year with the launch of the Switch game console.” Additionally, Microsoft may experience a rebound this year with the launch of its PS4 competitor, Project Scorpio.

“The overall console hardware, software, and services market shrank 2.5 percent to $34.7 billion in 2016, but it is expected to grow 4.1 percent to $36.2 billion in 2017,” reports VentureBeat. “World console hardware spending in 2016 fell to $10.5 billion from $12.8 billion in 2015. Games content spending helped mitigate the decline in hardware spending, as both physical media and digital content combined reached sales value of $21.6 billion, up 5.6 percent on 2015.”

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Platform subscriptions experienced a significant increase last year, reaching a record $2.8 billion. Also, Sony and Microsoft saw gains in spending on digital games content across consoles.

“Both companies are evolving their digital games content monetization strategies,” explains VentureBeat, “with Microsoft recently announcing its Xbox Games Pass offer and Sony confirming that PS4 titles will be coming to its PlayStation Now streaming service in 2017, driving a share of catalog business into new subscription services.”