A new report suggests that gamers aren't shifting into a digital distribution model as quickly and massively as people in the industry might think. The report, from Wedbush Securities, looks at the world of downloadable games as more of a complement, not a substitute, to the long-running tradition of going out to the store and picking up a box. People just aren't ready to give up their packed bookshelves.
The most perfect case study of this is Sony's bungled PSPgo, which was revolutionary in that it did not include any sort of physical media bay. Users had to be able to either connect to a WiFi network or tether the device to a computer in order to buy and download games. "Many investors believe that consumers are abandoning packaged products in favor of mobile and social games, and think that the publishers who have lost share will never recover. We think that this thesis is only partly true," Wedbush said in its report.
"If we are right, the packaged goods business should be viewed as consisting of hard core games (the vast majority of sales on the Xbox 360 and PS3) and more casual games (the vast majority of sales on the Wii and DS). Our thesis has been borne out by the 2011 figures (according to the NPD Group), with Xbox 360 software sales up 12%, PS3 software sales up 4%, DS software sales down 21% and Wii software sales down 31%," the report added.
[via PSX Extreme]