The next battle in the 50-year-old games console wars will be shaped by the increasingly contrasting strategies of the two leading players, Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics.
“Microsoft has now clearly adopted a multiscreen strategy based on cloud gaming, with Xbox Game Pass as the hub of its customer relationships,” says Michael Goodman, Director, TV & Media Strategies. “As long as its titles appeal to users of smartphones and PCs as well as consoles, it stands a good chance of making a long-term success of its subscription business model. But it faces a number of challenges, not least in persuading games publishers of their incremental revenue opportunity.”
David Watkins, Director, Connected Home Devices, adds: “Sony has won the last several head-to-heads with Xbox and sees no reason to move away from its long-established focus on delivering the ultimate big screen experience. But it should also carefully monitor changes in gaming behavior across the entire market to ensure that growth opportunities are not being missed.”
The analysts identify a number of additional issues which will shape the games industry over the coming decade and beyond, including:
– How does the relative perceived value of games vary according to screen size and user experience?
– How many people would be willing to pay different monthly fees to access games on a subscription basis and which factors determine this acceptance?
– How will the games development, publishing and distribution ecosystem evolve in response to changes in demand and business models?
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