Console gaming has been around since the early 70s and was in a development phase long before that.
Fifty years later, console gaming still remains strong, yet we constantly see rumors floating around about how it will die soon.
So, is there any truth to this?
It depends on what your definition of dying is, though, we can firmly say that console gaming isn’t going away any time soon.
Let’s take a look at the most important reasons why gaming won’t breathe its last breath just yet.
Is Console Gaming Dying? Not Just Yet — Here Are 5 Reasons Why It Won’t Go Gently Into the Night
One of the most important reasons that prevent a console gaming demise is the fact that many exclusives are still released on consoles.
This means that people are still beholden to buying a console to play specific franchises such as God of War, The Last of Us, and more.
For this reason alone, and if games developers continue to release games in this fashion, then it’s unlikely we’ll see console gaming dying off any time soon.
However, we are starting to see more systems open up to allow cross-platform play such as through the Xbox Play service that allows you to play exclusives on both a PC and an Xbox.
This makes sense for Xbox though, especially since they’re owned by Microsoft who has a vested interest in both the Xbox and PC market.
It’s unlikely we’ll see Sony following along with this not unless they can strike a lucrative deal to have their exclusives on other formats too.
2. Proprietary Services
Proprietary services such as in-game stores are extremely profitable, mainly because games consoles don’t give you any other store to buy from.
For this reason alone, games companies will want to hold onto their console user base for as long as possible to continue extracting as much profit as possible.
In case you didn’t know, in-game stores are often extremely expensive and often charge the highest possible prices for game releases.
This may seem like a negative but console companies have expert marketing teams who rope you in with marketing gimmicks like points to keep you sticking around as long as possible.
Until there’s a mass exodus against practices like this, console companies will continue to hold you under the guise of marketing gimmicks that keep you sticking around longer than needs be.
For many of the reasons we’ve already mentioned, console ecosystems are extremely profitable, hence why console companies need to keep them as attractive as possible for potential buyers.
As they say, money makes the world go round, and where there’s money to be had, there’ll often be products that follow along to keep extracting it hand-over-fist from their buyers.
In fact, consoles are great for making a profit from their end-users, mainly because you’re exposed to only things the company wants you to see such as proprietary store services or company products.
Consoles are kind of analogous to being in an Apple store; everything you see is the products they want you to see rather than giving you options to compare.
Again, this might seem like a negative but people are tribal and they’ll often stick to certain products or services that they’re familiar with.
Console companies know this, and thus, it’s unlikely we’ll see console systems dying any time in the near future.
4. Fanbase and Identity
Linking into our previous point, tribalism is a strong factor in why people buy certain services or products from specific companies.
If you’ve spent years building up an account on a certain ecosystem, it’s unlikely you’ll want to move across to something different as it means you’ll have to start right from the beginning again.
This is why people keep buying Sony or Xbox, they want to remain relevant in an ecosystem that they’ve carved an identity out inside.
This gives us a sense of pride, power, and prestige which are all linked to positive human emotions.
Again, console companies know this so they’ll often gamify or deliberately design systems that keep you hooked forever, or will at least play on those feelings.
Most of our points have negative undertones, mainly due to how corporations operate and exploit their console ecosystems to generate maximum profit.
One thing that is positive for console gaming, and one of the main reasons for why it won’t die is purely the ease of use that it gives the average person.
One of the barriers to using a PC gaming system is that it requires a greater degree of technical understanding compared to consoles, or at least that’s the perception.
Consoles are designed for simplicity and to allow as many people as possible to play them.
They’re also designed with efficiency in mind meaning you can get to the meat of what you want to do rather quickly i.e. play games.
Basically, there’s no fluff or overly complicated setup process — you just plug and play.
If consoles are going to die then PC will need to come up with a more user-friendly solution before it sees mass adoption from the general population.
In short, console gaming won’t die any time soon due to a few factors; profitability, tribalism, and ease of use.
Consoles are too profitable for companies to simply stop making them and they also have loyal fanbases who don’t want to see years of progress wiped or gone, not to mention all the games that people have collected from the prior console iterations.
Exclusive games, points systems, and achievements keep fanbases loyal to console systems because it’s hard or impossible to move across to other systems with the same prestige.
There are also psychological factors to consider such as tribalism which basically means people like to belong to something where they can carve out an identity.
It’s kind of like why people pick football teams or like to go for certain phone brands such as Apple or Samsung.
Once an identity has been established in something, it’s hard to get someone to want to change that.
On a more positive note, though, console games are much easier for the average person to get to grips with which is a great thing for the gaming industry in general.
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