CES 2013: Gaming Interest has Declined in 2012 Compared to 2011

While at the press conference for CES 2013 in New York City, they’ve discussed the sales expectations and sales of numerous electronic devices, including game consoles. According to the latest figures, gaming interest amongst the consumer has dropped a bit.

In 2011, home consoles had an interest of roughly 22%. This holiday season, it’s down to 18%. Handheld consoles had a 20% interest last year. This year, it’s down to 15%. Naturally, the highest amount of demand is within the Tablet market. While there are a variety of tablets on the market, Best Buy and Toys”R”Us have also entered the industry with their own internally developed tablets.

However, it’s strange to see gaming interests are down. Back in February, Sony released their latest handheld, the PlayStation Vita. While it started off quite strong in North America, it dropped its momentum shortly after. That’s to be expected though, as they released it in a time where there are no holiday sales to expect. At the same token, it gives the console time to get a slew of titles to release over the year, in time for holiday season. Look at Nintendo’s 3DS for example. They released their new handheld in March of 2011 with less success than initially expected. By the 2011 holiday season, the 3DS was one of the hottest items and had a ton of great games released in time to help boost sales. Now, going back to the PS Vita, Sony has a few bundles for the console ready for the holiday season. The first was released in August as a “Madden ’12″ bundle. While that’s not exactly a “holiday” bundle, there are still a few of those available in retailers. On October 31st, Sony released the “Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation” bundle, which was one of the Vita’s most anticipated titles. On November 13th, Sony has their latest planned bundle releasing with “Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified”. Now all three of these bundles are retailing for the same price as the WiFi model did at release, $249.99. Seeing as how they come with a game and a memory card (4GB, which is basically a “starter” card), the PS Vita would deem a solid buy.

To further question the decline in gaming sales expectations, Nintendo’s new home console, the Wii U, is set to hit retailers with two models on November 18th for $299.99 and $349.99. Nintendo garnered a huge amount of success with the casual market for the Wii and with their new goal of balancing the Wii U for both the casual and hardcore, they’re on the right path of winning back their core audience. With the amount of launch titles that appear to strike an interest amongst a variety of consumers and their revolutionary way to experience games, the Wii U will most likely carry holiday gaming sales as the Wii did back in 2006.

Based on the latest statistics unveiled here at CES, it’s interesting to see the expectations are lower for gaming consoles. Seeing as how there are two new consoles this year (PS Vita and Wii U), it’s head-scratching to see that the figures are lower. With that being said, what are your thoughts about this? Sound off in the comments below!

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