Traditional game sales are dying with console makers like Sony with their Playstation and Microsoft with their Xbox 360 left scratching their heads as to what to do next. Now Telstra is looking to take a slice of their business.
On Friday Microsoft said that they will not release a new Xbox console this year however there is a possibility that the Company will launch one in 2013.
Sony is also planning a new Playstation console however insiders are saying that this device will be as much a content media hub as a gaming console when it is launched in 2014.
The Xbox 360, is still profitable following the launch 18 months ago of their Kinect motion-sensor accessory.
Analysts claim that Microsoft has no reason to launch a new after the Company posted a 45 percent increase in Xbox sales to $8.91 billion in the last fiscal year however several are tipping that the market for Xbox consoles has peaked and that June 2012 could reveal a different story.
The big threat to the console makers is TV companies who will shortly be selling smart TV’s with quad core processors and access to cloud based gaming. Also threatening the viability of console gaming and DVD gaming sales is organisations like Apple and Google who are delivering access to games via their Play Store or the Apple App store.
These games are being played on a new generation of smartphones and tablets.
Locally Telstra is set to launch a cloud-based gaming service, with the company claiming that the service will be commercially ready before the end of the year. JB Hi fi is believed to be one of their partners who will offer access to the service.
The new service allows Telstra customers to stream the latest video games direct to a T-Box digital set-top box.
Recently Telstra executives were in the USA and Europe negotiating with major game studios, including game giant Electronic Arts.
Earlier this month the NPD Group reported that year-over-year sales of games dropped by 20% and that sales could drop even further in 2012.
In February 2012 games sales fell 24% according to the NPD Group.
Some analysts are blaming used game sales for the fall in new games DVD purchases.
David Braben, co-writer of Elite and founder of Frontier Developments recently said “pre-owned has really killed core games. In some cases, it’s killed them dead. I know publishers who have stopped games in development because most shops won’t reorder stock after initial release, because they rely on the churn from the resales.”
“It’s killing single player games in particular, because they will get pre-owned, and it means your day one sales are it, making them super high risk.”
Overseas games retailers are starting to shut up shop with questions now being asked about Australian gaming retailers as consumers switch to cloud based gaming. The Game Group operates 95 stores around Australia; they are under pressure due to their parent Company losing support from EA, Microsoft and Activision, and several big upcoming titles.
The Company that also owns GameStop in the USA was recently handed a lifeline after the owner of the electrical chain Comet emerged as a white knight buyer.
Turnaround group OpCapita is understood to be in talks with Game’s lenders, including the Royal Bank of Scotland, with a view to buying its debt as well as settling its bills with suppliers in full. Any rescue deal is likely to involve closure of many of its 600 UK stores the Guardian recently reported.