While disc-based games will never recapture the peak years of the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo Wii generations, a new report suggests that this latest rift of next-gen consoles will lead to many more years of sustainable market growth for games on disc.
A new forecast report from Strategy Analytics notes that, while mobile and online games continue to explode in popularity, the launch of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One last year will lead to significant regrowth for disc-based games.
Strategy Analytics estimates that spending on disc-based games will grow by 16 percent year-over-year to $25.5 billion in 2014, compared to a spending increase of 6 percent for mobile games, to $17.3 billion.
"Console obituaries are premature," noted analyst Eric Smith of disc-based game sales. "We anticipate a large and sustainable market globally for some years yet, particularly in North America and Western Europe where they remain the bedrock of games spending."
This, he says, is down to three main points: Consoles still have a large following, mobile games are gradually exposing more people to console games, and console games still have plenty of deeply committed companies invested in them.
However, he added that disc-based games and games on console "must continue to offer a differentiated and higher quality experience than is available on other devices such as handsets or tablets."
And he noted that, while disc-based games and consoles are currently on the rise, mobile is where we'll see real long-term growth, especially after consoles begin to dip in popularity again around an estimated 2016.
Overall, global video game spending is forecast to hit around $62 billion during 2014, with 41 percent of that coming from disc-based games, 31 percent from online games, and 28 percent from mobile.