OK folks, so I’ve been following video games a long time and I’m here to predict the 2nd North American video game crash (the 1st happened during 1983). Now, keep in mind that I’m not an “expert” by textbook standards. I was, however, playing (and studying) the game market long before these so-called “experts” were born.
You will often hear E.T. on the Atari 2600 catching the brunt of blame for the North American crash of 1983. This is not the case. Granted, there were a lot more copies published than Atari 2600 owners, which was an idiot move, but E.T. isn’t to blame. The crash happened because of a very saturated market, product confusion and a serious lack of quality across the board. There were dozens of gaming consoles and low-end computers which doubled as gaming machines. There were hundreds of publishers pumping out games at such a rapid pace that consumers couldn’t keep up. Sound familiar?
Heard of the Nintendo NX? Unless you’re close to gaming – you probably haven’t. It’s Nintendo’s next console which is rumored to offer portable gaming as well as console gaming at home. I’m also going on the record and guaranteeing that you will begin to see the 2nd North American gaming crash next year when the NX releases.
Here’s why. The gaming industry is already saturated. This past weekend as I strolled into Gamestop, I was able to pick up Halo 4 on the cheap ($4.99). I also remember a time back in the day when I picked up mainstream Atari games for the same price out of an eerily similar bin. I know, I know, games always discount as they age. Here’s the problem, though. They don’t go away. Halo 4 is just as solid of a game as it was 3 short years ago when it debuted at $59. Halo 4 is an example, but I could name off hundreds more. Borderlands, Fallout 3, Call of Duty, Gran Turismo…see the trend? These are solid games!
At some point, consumers will have too many games to choose from and too many systems to keep up with. What’s the sense in shelling out $400 for a new gaming rig when the last generation (even the one before that) is still so fun to play? With the release of the Nintendo NX, Nintendo will be trying to support the Wii (yea, they still support it), the 3DS, 2DS, Wii U and their newest system, the NX. That’s just Nintendo! Factor in the explosion of mobile gaming, online gaming through social media platforms, Sony, Microsoft and PC gaming and I promise you, the storm is upon us.
For consumers, that’s great news! You can slide into a local game store and purchase a boss gaming rig with all the fixings and a stack of games for less than $200. For game publishers, on the other hand, it’s terrible news. It means they won’t be able to peddle their product for the new asking price of $69 a game, while releasing them half-finished and relying on an online patch to finish up (also the new trend). Mark my words, we are about to see most game publishers go under.
In closing, everything has lined up for the 2nd North American gaming crash. The market is saturated, which has bottomed out the prices for most games only months after their initial release. There is a heap of consoles that will begin confusing the average gamer (it’s also why Wii U isn’t selling. People can’t distinguish it from the original Wii b/c of its name). The end is near, but fear not. Crashes lead to beautiful beginnings once the gaming industry has to take a year off and hit the reset button. Anyone remember how the original NES rose from the ashes last time around?