Global game console industry - additional information
The global gaming industry has been developing at a fast pace in recent years. According to a 2016 forecast, worldwide video game sales have amounted to over 71.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2015 and are expected to grow to 90 billion by 2020, while the total number of video gamers is estimated at 1.8 billion around the world. Although the market involves many other production layers, at its core, two segments are the most important for the end consumer. One is the software segment, which includes developers, designers and artists, all working together towards delivering engaging and of high visual and technical quality games. The second most important segment is hardware, which ensures the quality and performance of the devices on which the games are played, be it computers, consoles or even smartphones.
Consoles are some of the most popular devices for gaming, as well as for other activities, especially among global gamers aged 25 to 34. The mass appeal of consoles predates the advent of the widespread home computer, as the earliest video console, Magnavox Odyssey, was introduced in the early 1970s in the United States. A more successful console was launched later that decade by Atari Inc., while the 1980s were largely dominated by Nintendo. In the past decade, the console market has been highly volatile and leaders have changed quite often, due to ever improving technologies. Although video game console sales have been decreasing in the past years, the most significant console manufacturers in the industry remain Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft. As of 2015, Sony was the market leader based on unit sales. In that time combined PlayStation sales amounted to over 21 million units, compared to 9.5 million and 11.5 million for Microsoft and Nintendo game console sales figures respectively. In terms of console market share, Sony's results accounted for 50 percent of sales made by the industry's three giants.