The Challenge facing Console Platforms

GeForce Gaming Expo

Recently, the UK saw its first ever PC-specific gaming convention to be held in the UK. While this may not seem like a big deal given the vast number of other conventions that are hosted on an annual basis (not to mention to historic dominance of console title sales), it quietly highlights the rising popularity of PC gaming and the way in which it continues to challenge the traditional status quo. In this respect, console gaming is being forced to fight off a considerable challenge in a bid to maintain its existing market share.

But hang on a minute, isn’t it online gaming (and being free to stop for online bingo) that is supposed to represent the future of gameplay and provide the single biggest threat to consoles? The short answer is yes, but you have to question how these games and experiences are being accessed by players.

It is fair to surmise that desktop gaming was already enjoying a considerable renaissance before the proliferation of online gameplay, but the depth and diversity of virtual titles has afforded this further momentum. With a huge number of players accessing social, casino, and bingo titles on their home PC, it is clear that online and desktop gaming platforms have merged to create a better value proposition to players. Borrowing from the creative flair, diversity, and flexibility that underpins freemium online gaming, the desktop platform has been able to emerge as a dominant market force.

This is reflected by the number of active number of Steam users, with 125 million people utilizing this medium to share PC content online. This is higher than the number of regular PlayStation and Xbox Live users, suggesting that PC gaming has actually overtaken the console market in terms of appeal. This trend is likely to continue into the future, particularly with online games becoming increasingly popular and the concept of cross-platform gaming coming increasingly into its own.


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