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Console Gaming - US - August 2011

This report covers the U.S. market for home console hardware and video game software played on consoles. Games played on portable consoles, mobile phones and tablets, PCs, or online are discussed as competing technologies; they are not the main subjects of the report.

Sales data includes sales of console hardware and console game software. Sales data excludes revenue from game accessories.

Terms

  • Americas - The entirety of North and South America, used when presenting unit sales in this report.
  • Broadband - A communications channel with high (or wide) bandwidth capacity that allows fast transmission of high volumes of multiple kinds of digital information simultaneously. Also known as high-speed internet.
  • Casual Game – According to the Casual Gaming Association (CGA), casual games are “video games developed for the mass consumer,” even one who would not normally regard him- or herself as a “gamer.” Casual games are easy to learn and require no previous video game skills or expertise, or regular time commitment. Characteristics of casual games include games with simple rules or rules that many people are familiar with already from another format (such as card games and board games). Casual games tend to have short playing times and be inexpensive to purchase or play.
  • Casual Gamer – A video game participant who typically plays casual games and does not fall into the category of hardcore gaming enthusiast.
  • Current-generation consoles – Refers to the Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii.
  • Freemium – A business model whereby the initial purchase (download in the case of mobile games) is free but virtual goods (avatars, levels of play, enhancements) or premium enhancements are available for a fee.
  • Hardcore Gamer – According to the CGA, a hardcore gamer is typically an 18-34-year-old male who plays for exploration and stimulation. Games played by this group often include the genres of sci-fi, horror, suspense, or war game. A hardcore gamer is expected to spend five hours a week or more playing high-end packaged games.
  • In-game advertising - Advertising that is embedded within a game. In many cases, the ads are served into the game from an online ad server. If the game is played online, ads can be updated/changed and may be different each time the game is played.
  • Social gaming - In current usage, social games or social gaming are games played on and using the infrastructure of a social networking website such as Facebook or Twitter. Games are played with, against, or alongside social-network friends, often asynchronously.

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Sales data
            • Consumer survey data
              • Advertising creative
                • Abbreviations and terms
                  • Abbreviations
                    • Terms
                    • Executive Summary

                      • Current-generation consoles aging gracefully but nearing their end
                        • Game sales strongly tied to console sales and popular franchises
                          • Holiday season, new releases critical market drivers
                            • Gaming competition intensifies
                              • Three console companies and many publishers lead the way
                                • GameStop, Walmart and Best Buy are leading game retailers
                                  • Advertising and marketing savvy
                                    • Change is fast and furious
                                      • Ancillary revenue opportunities
                                        • Console gaming remains the domain of younger age groups
                                          • Teens want their Wii U
                                            • Six in 10 women gamers play fitness games
                                            • Insights and Opportunities

                                              • Advertising
                                                • Figure 1: North American* revenue from video game advertising, at current prices, 2006-15
                                              • In-game purchasing and downloadable content
                                                • Lowering up-front costs
                                                  • Serving the installed base
                                                  • Inspire Insight

                                                      • Inspire Trend: “Many Mes”
                                                      • Market Size and Forecast

                                                        • Key points
                                                          • Waiting for the next generation
                                                            • Figure 2: U.S. sales to dealers of video game hardware and software, 2006-12
                                                            • Figure 3: U.S. sales to dealers of video game hardware and software, at inflation-adjusted 2011 prices, 2006-12
                                                        • Market Drivers

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • The installed base
                                                              • Figure 4: Americas’ video game sales per console unit, Q1-Q2 2011
                                                            • Franchises deliver
                                                              • Figure 5: Americas’ best-selling games by franchise, 2011
                                                            • Holiday season
                                                              • Figure 6: Americas’ Q4 sales of gaming hardware and software, and share of annual sales, 2010
                                                          • Competitive Context

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Increasing competition from other platforms
                                                                • Figure 7: Methods of gaming, teens and 18-24s, June 2011
                                                                • Figure 8: Total U.S. sales of phone/tablet games, at current prices, 2005-15
                                                              • Social Gaming
                                                                • Other entertainment expenditures
                                                                  • Figure 9: U.S. sales of video games, music, and movie tickets, 2009 and 2010
                                                                • Cost-saving alternatives to list price
                                                                  • Figure 10: Game related cost-saving efforts, adults by age, April 2010-December 2010
                                                              • Segment Performance

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • Figure 11: Sales of video games to dealers, hardware vs. software, 2009-11
                                                              • Segment Performance—Consoles

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • Console sales down 33% from 2008
                                                                    • Next-generation launch schedule murky
                                                                      • Figure 12: Total U.S. sales to dealers of home consoles, at current prices, 2006-12
                                                                  • Segment Performance—Games

                                                                    • Key points
                                                                      • Hardcore and fitness titles battle it out
                                                                        • Highly anticipated titles for the 2011 holiday season and beyond
                                                                            • Figure 13: Total U.S. sales to dealers of console games, at current prices, 2006-12
                                                                        • Retail Distribution

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • GameStop, Walmart, and Best Buy lead game retailers
                                                                              • GameStop the dominant retailer for young adults and teens
                                                                                • Figure 14: Where video games were purchased or rented in past three months, by age, May 2011
                                                                                • Figure 15: Where video games were purchased or rented in past three months, June 2011
                                                                              • GameStop and teens
                                                                                • Figure 16: Use of GameStop, teens by gender and age, October 2009-December 2010
                                                                              • GameFly: Try before you buy
                                                                                • Digital distribution mostly for add-ons
                                                                                  • Loyalty through exclusive content
                                                                                  • Leading Companies

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Nintendo first out with next-gen console
                                                                                        • Figure 17: Americas’ unit sales of home consoles, by manufacturer, 2008 and 2010
                                                                                      • Game sales
                                                                                          • Figure 18: Americas’ unit sales of console games (including handheld games), by publisher, 2008 and 2010
                                                                                          • Figure 19: Leading U.S. game titles, by publisher, 2011
                                                                                      • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                                        • Cross-platform play
                                                                                          • Activision adds social networking via subscription
                                                                                            • Wii U’s touch-screen controller
                                                                                              • Kinect hacks
                                                                                                • NVIDIA 3D Vision Surround Technology
                                                                                                • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                                    • Television ads for games
                                                                                                      • Figure 20: Ubisoft—Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, TV ad, December 2010
                                                                                                      • Figure 21: EA Sports—Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12, TV ad, March 2011
                                                                                                      • Figure 22: Ubisoft—Just dance 2, TV ad, April 2011
                                                                                                    • Television ad for consoles
                                                                                                      • Figure 23: Microsoft Xbox 360—Children mimic animal poses and actions, TV ad, October 2010
                                                                                                      • Figure 24: Sony PS3—Kevin Butler mocks man seeking Blu-ray player, TV ad, November 2010
                                                                                                      • Figure 25: Sony PS3 Move—Kevin Butler stays 90 days with the McGuire family, TV ad, September 2010
                                                                                                      • Figure 26: Nintendo Wii—Jill’s parents come for holidays and only play video games, TV ad, November 2010
                                                                                                    • Social networks as marketing tools
                                                                                                      • Figure 27: Fans/followers of games and gaming brands on Facebook & Twitter, July 2011
                                                                                                    • Trailers, tournaments, tours, and more
                                                                                                    • Usage

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • More than a third of adults play or own video games
                                                                                                          • Figure 28: Video game usage, adults by gender, April 2010-December 2010
                                                                                                        • Generational differences
                                                                                                          • Figure 29: Video game usage, adults by age, April 2010-December 2010
                                                                                                        • Teens
                                                                                                          • Figure 30: Video game usage, teens by gender and age, October 2009-December 2010
                                                                                                        • Ownership/play correlates with household income
                                                                                                          • Figure 31: Video game usage, adults by household income, April 2010-December 2010
                                                                                                      • Platforms

                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                          • Over-45s more likely to play on platforms other than consoles
                                                                                                            • Figure 32: Methods of gaming, by age, May 2011
                                                                                                          • Gamers play across platforms
                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Methods of gaming, by gaming method, May 2011
                                                                                                          • Boys 12-14 most engaged with consoles
                                                                                                            • Figure 34: Methods of gaming used by teens, by gender and age, June 2011
                                                                                                          • Consoles owned/played
                                                                                                            • Figure 35: Video game systems played, by gender, April 2010-December 2010
                                                                                                          • Wii soars with 25-44s
                                                                                                            • Figure 36: Video game systems played, by age, April 2010-December 2010
                                                                                                        • Hardware Purchase Intent

                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                            • Consumers still buying current-generation consoles
                                                                                                              • Figure 37: Gaming hardware purchase intent, by age, May 2011
                                                                                                            • Teens want Wii U
                                                                                                              • Figure 38: Gaming hardware desired by teens, June 2011
                                                                                                            • Kinect and Move purchase intent
                                                                                                              • Figure 39: Ownership and interest in acquiring the PS Move, by age, May 2011
                                                                                                              • Figure 40: Ownership and interest in acquiring the Microsoft Kinect, by age, May 2011
                                                                                                            • Traditional interface vs. motion control
                                                                                                              • Figure 41: Preference for types of controllers, by gender, May 2011
                                                                                                              • Figure 42: Preference for types of controllers, by age, May 2011
                                                                                                            • Kinect making greater headway than Move
                                                                                                              • Figure 43: Experience with Kinect and Move, by age, May 2011
                                                                                                              • Figure 44: Experience with Kinect and Move, by gender, May 2011
                                                                                                              • Figure 45: Teen ownership and interest in acquiring a PS move, by gender, June 2011
                                                                                                              • Figure 46: Teen ownership and interest in acquiring a Microsoft Kinect, June 2011
                                                                                                              • Figure 47: Kinect or Move play among teens, by gender and age, June 2011
                                                                                                          • Spend

                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                              • Amount of spend
                                                                                                                • Figure 48: Spend on gaming, by gender, May 2011
                                                                                                              • Spend higher in households with children
                                                                                                                • Figure 49: Spend on gaming, by presence of children in household, May 2011
                                                                                                              • Number of games purchased/rented
                                                                                                                • Figure 50: Purchased a game in last 12 months, by age, April 2010-December 2010
                                                                                                              • Women buy/rent as many titles as men
                                                                                                                • Figure 51: Number of games purchased or rented, adults by gender, April 2010-December 2010
                                                                                                                • Figure 52: Number of games purchased, adults by age, April 2010-December 2010
                                                                                                              • Boys 12-14 heaviest buyers
                                                                                                                • Figure 53: Number of games rented/purchased in last 12 months, teens by gender and age, October 2009-December 2010
                                                                                                              • Gifting
                                                                                                                • Figure 54: Gift spend on game hardware/software, by age, May 2011
                                                                                                              • Game gift-giving more prevalent among adults with children
                                                                                                                • Figure 55: Gift spend on game hardware/software, by presence of children in household, May 2011
                                                                                                              • Gamers give game-related presents
                                                                                                                • Figure 56: Gift spend on game hardware/software, by type of games played, May 2011
                                                                                                              • Most games teens own were given to them as gifts
                                                                                                                • Figure 57: Game purchasing habits, teens by gender and age, June 2011
                                                                                                            • Genre

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Sports and action/adventure most popular
                                                                                                                  • Figure 58: Types of games played, by gender, April 2010-December 2010
                                                                                                                • Genre preferences based on age
                                                                                                                  • Figure 59: Types of games played, adults by age, April 2010-December 2010
                                                                                                                • Fitness games played by about half of adult gamers
                                                                                                                  • Figure 60: Fitness gaming, by age, May 2011
                                                                                                                  • Figure 61: Fitness gaming, by gender, May 2011
                                                                                                                • Action/adventure favorite genres for teens
                                                                                                                  • Figure 62: Type of games played in last six months, teens by gender and age, October 2009-December 2010
                                                                                                              • Purchasing Habits

                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                  • Men more active downloaders
                                                                                                                    • Figure 63: Game purchasing habits, by gender, May 2011
                                                                                                                  • Youngest adults most frequent downloaders
                                                                                                                    • Figure 64: Game purchasing habits, by age, May 2011
                                                                                                                • Connectivity

                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                    • Taking console gaming online still relatively uncommon
                                                                                                                      • Figure 65: Incidence of playing consoles online, by age, April 2010-December 2010
                                                                                                                      • Figure 66: Incidence of playing consoles online, by gender, April 2010-December 2010
                                                                                                                    • Playing online province of teen boys
                                                                                                                      • Figure 67: Incidence of playing consoles online, teens by gender and age, October 2009-December 2010
                                                                                                                    • Gaming sites visited by small but important share of adults
                                                                                                                      • Figure 68: Use of gaming information websites in the last 30 days, by gender, April 2010-December 2010
                                                                                                                      • Figure 69: Use of gaming information websites in last 30 days, by age, April 2010-December 2010
                                                                                                                  • Word of mouth and video chatting

                                                                                                                      • Figure 70: Word of mouth and video chatting, by age, May 2011
                                                                                                                  • Product Placement

                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                      • Product placement viewed positively by large minority
                                                                                                                        • Figure 71: Attitudes toward product placement in video games, by gender, May 2011
                                                                                                                      • Adults 18-24 feel most positive about in-game product placement
                                                                                                                        • Figure 72: Attitudes toward product placement in video games, by age, May 2011
                                                                                                                      • Teens enamored of real-world brands in games
                                                                                                                        • Figure 73: Attitudes toward product placement in video games among teens, by gender and age, June 2011
                                                                                                                    • Kids and Gaming

                                                                                                                      • Usage
                                                                                                                        • Figure 74: Video game penetration, kids by gender and age, October 2009-December 2010
                                                                                                                        • Figure 75: Video game console owned or played, kids by gender and age, October 2009-December 2010
                                                                                                                      • Genre played
                                                                                                                        • Figure 76: Types of video games played, kids by gender and age, October 2009-December 2010
                                                                                                                      • Number of games bought or received
                                                                                                                        • Figure 77: Video games bought or received in past year, kids by gender and age, October 2009-December 2010
                                                                                                                        • Figure 78: Plan to buy or receive video games, kids by gender and age, October 2009-December 2010
                                                                                                                    • Race/Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                        • Usage
                                                                                                                          • Figure 79: Methods of gaming, by race/Hispanic origin and age, May 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 80: Methods of gaming, teens by race/Hispanic origin, June 2011
                                                                                                                        • Hardware ownership and purchase intent
                                                                                                                          • Figure 81: Gaming hardware and 3DTV owned or plan to buy, by race/Hispanic origin and age, May 2011
                                                                                                                        • PS Move and Kinect
                                                                                                                          • Figure 82: Ownership and interest in acquiring the PS Move, by race/Hispanic origin, May 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 83: Ownership and interest in acquiring Microsoft Kinect, by race/Hispanic origin, May 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 84: Kinect and Move gaming experience among teens, by race, June 2011
                                                                                                                        • Connectivity
                                                                                                                          • Figure 85: Play video games on internet, adults by race/Hispanic origin, April 2010-December 2010
                                                                                                                        • Blacks, Hispanics buy more games
                                                                                                                          • Figure 86: Number of games purchased or rented, adults by race/Hispanic origin, April 2010-December 2010
                                                                                                                        • Genre
                                                                                                                          • Figure 87: Types of games played, adults by race/Hispanic origin, April 2010-December 2010
                                                                                                                        • Game acquisition among teens
                                                                                                                          • Figure 88: Gaming acquisition among teens, by race, June 2011
                                                                                                                        • Attitudes toward product placement
                                                                                                                          • Figure 89: Attitudes toward product placement in video games among teens, by race, June 2011
                                                                                                                      • Custom Consumer Groups

                                                                                                                          • Methods of gaming by age and gender
                                                                                                                            • Figure 90: Methods of gaming, by gender and age, May 2011
                                                                                                                          • Ownership and purchase intent
                                                                                                                            • Figure 91: Gaming hardware and 3DTV owned or plan to buy, by gender and age, May 2011
                                                                                                                        • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                                            • Traditionals
                                                                                                                              • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                • Demographics
                                                                                                                                  • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                    • Fitness Gamers
                                                                                                                                      • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                        • Demographics
                                                                                                                                          • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                            • Savers
                                                                                                                                              • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                  • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                    • Cluster characteristic tables
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 92: Console gaming clusters, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 93: Methods of gaming by console gaming clusters, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 94: Total spending on gaming in past three months, by console gaming clusters, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 95: Gaming gift spending in past six months, by console gaming clusters, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 96: Attitudes toward video games, by console gaming clusters, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 97: Attitudes to product placement, by console gaming clusters, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 98: Motion control vs. traditional control preference by console gaming clusters, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 99: Game purchasing habits, by console gaming clusters, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 100: Hardware owned and intent to purchase hardware, by console gaming clusters, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                    • Cluster demographic tables
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 101: Console gaming clusters, by gender, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 102: Target clusters, by age, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 103: Console gaming clusters, by household income, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 104: Console gaming clusters, by race, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 105: Console gaming clusters, by Hispanic origin, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                    • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix: Other Useful Tables

                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 106: Game related cost-saving efforts, by household income, April 2010-December 2010
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 107: Attitudes toward motion controllers, by household income, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 108: Gift spending on video game hardware/software, by race/Hispanic origin, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 109: Attitudes toward video games, by presence of children in household, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 110: Attitudes toward product placement in video games, by presence of children in household, May 2011
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 111: Attitudes and opinions about brand names in video games, by age, April 2010-December 2010
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 112: Attitudes and opinions about brand names in video games, by household income, April 2010-December 2010
                                                                                                                                                    • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                      Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                      • Barnes & Noble, Inc
                                                                                                                                                      • Best Buy Co.
                                                                                                                                                      • Blockbuster USA
                                                                                                                                                      • Casual Games Association (CGA)
                                                                                                                                                      • Consumer Electronics Association
                                                                                                                                                      • Entertainment Software Association
                                                                                                                                                      • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                      • Fédération Internationale de Football Association
                                                                                                                                                      • Friendster Inc
                                                                                                                                                      • GameStop Corp
                                                                                                                                                      • International Game Developers Association
                                                                                                                                                      • Microsoft USA
                                                                                                                                                      • Motion Picture Association of America
                                                                                                                                                      • National Football League Inc.
                                                                                                                                                      • Netflix, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                      • Nintendo of America Inc.
                                                                                                                                                      • PricewaterhouseCoopers
                                                                                                                                                      • Sony Corporation of America
                                                                                                                                                      • Target Corporation
                                                                                                                                                      • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                                                      • Ubisoft (USA)
                                                                                                                                                      • Walmart Stores (USA)

                                                                                                                                                      Console Gaming - US - August 2011

                                                                                                                                                      £3,199.84 (Excl.Tax)