New York-based research consultancy firm SuperData Research warns that the video games industry could be heading towards a crash similar to what happened in 1983 when Atari was at the top of the console heap. A new report prepared by Superdata and released by Digital River warns that the market for consoles is already crowded; 79 percent of gamers already own a console, with the average consumer owning 2.6 consoles each. The report is based in part on a March survey of 1,105 respondents.
"Industry veterans will remember the crash of 1983, when the games market was saturated with hardware devices," the report states. "Today, the industry runs a similar risk, as [with] a higher-than-ever console installed base, consumers may be resistant to adding more hardware to their living rooms."
The report notes that, while there are more gamers than ever before, the habits of these gamers are changing. Superdata's research found that gamers are increasingly moving towards multi-purpose platforms like PCs and mobile devices.
In 2008, 42 percent of gamers played games on a console platform, compared to 37 percent who favored PCs and 5 percent who preferred mobile devices. Now 51 percent of gamers play primarily on PCs, and just 30 percent on consoles, according to SuperData. Around 13 percent of gamers play primarily on mobile platforms.
The report also pointed out the shift towards digital consumption of games in the US. America's digital game spending jumped from $1 per capita in 2000 to $14 in 2012.