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"Incredible" OZ Gaming To Hit $2Bn?

By Oonagh Reidy | Monday | 02/12/2013

Midnight launches, sold out consoles, gaming market set to explode, industry boss predicts.

The value of the Aussie gaming market in 2013 will be "incredibly greater" than last year $1.61 bn value, says Ron Curry, CEO of Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) told CN. 

This is thanks to two major launches this week - Xbox One and PS4, both of which are already sold out on pre orders alone, with new deliveries not coming until early 2014. 

Gamers queued up at retailers including EB Games, JB Hi-Fi at midnight for both consoles - the first major launch on either  platform in over 5 years. 

The PS4, XBox One launch met expectations, and retailers are "very happy", says Curry. Any major release stimulates the industry and "reminds people how good gaming is".

This next generation of consoles - PS4 and Xbox One is all about entertainment - whether its accessing catch up TV, Facebook or getting movie downloads on the humble console.

"Games are playing the same consoles for past 6-7 years which a long, long time", says Sam Yip, Telsyte analyst. Conditions for both Xbox One and PS4 are "perfect" coming into the critical holiday buying period. 

Gaming is a "big, big market", he says -  b
oth consoles will top consumer Christmas gift lists - the pricing at $549 (PS4) $599 (Xbox) is "very competitive - almost half the price of a smartphone." 

Being sold out isn't "detrimental to sales" either - just look at iPhone or iPad waiting lists in the past. "Gamers are prepared to wait" says Yip, and won't switch platforms, considering the stickiness of both PlayStation and Xbox networks.  

But "its too early to tell" whether the Xbox One, which sold 1 million in 24 hours worldwide, or PS4, which sold 1.5 m in US alone, will be more successful, says IGEA boss.

"Initial sales are based on supply not demand," and it takes 12-24 months to get a "critical mass" install base. 


Telsyte, too, expect the local gaming industry to grow "massively" this year and beyond, citing increased mobile gaming, uptake of Android tablets, and games on the Google platform, in the past quarter.  

This has led to widening of the gaming platform to children, in particular - the top games on iPad are often kids titles, Yip notes. 

Data for game sales show "incredible growth in online and social gaming", Curry also confirms. The gaming market is widening due to new games on Facebook, online, mobile and new formats. 

But boxed games are far from dead and still very much in play, with sales "very healthy."

So who is the average Aussie gamer, anyway?

7 out of 10 Aussies now play games  - the average Aussie gamer  is 32 year old - 47% are female. Women gamers generally opt to play on a PC, tablet. 

Male gamers, meanwhile, tend to opt for the console or tablet.

 The 50+ are the fastest growing gamers by age category - playing the likes of Sodoku, Candy Crush and cognitive gaming like brain training. Older women have taken a liking to social games. 

Gamers play for different reasons - those who play on Facebook are often "snacking" filling up time on the train for ten minutes, says Curry. 

But if they want immersive games they opt for consoles. 

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