A remarkable highlight for gaming this year is the increased use of portable consoles. Despite the expected release of next-gen home consoles at the end of 2020, consumers snapped up portable gaming consoles early in the year to such an extent that shortages were seen for weeks. CTA estimates that 4.3 million portable consoles will be sold in 2020, a 10% increase from 2019. Looking beyond this year, portable console unit sales will see a dip in 2021 as more next-gen consoles enter homes.
Over the past few years home consoles have struggled to maintain their yearly unit sales, but that should change soon. After seven years, both Sony and Microsoft are set to release their next-gen consoles, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X, for the 2020 holiday season. A generational console refresh always boosts sales. CTA predicts over 13 million home consoles (including Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony) will ship in 2020, a 5% increase from 2019. Because next-gen consoles will be released so late in the year, the real impact will be seen in 2021. CTA predicts over 14.1 million units will be sold, a 9% increase from 2020.
In the wake of these exciting changes and increased consumer engagement in gaming, CTA anticipates a 10% increase in the gaming software market from 2019 to 2020, reaching $40 billion in consumer spending as the arrival of new consoles this holiday season boosts the space. Further, video games are set to follow the streaming industry model with 16% growth in gaming subscription services revenue in 2020, representing the fastest growing segment of the gaming software market.
Although the year 2020 is one that many may wish to forget, thanks to increased engagement, content and new consoles, 2020 could be such a lucrative year that leaders in the gaming industry may not want it to end.
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