Cowen Group analyst Doug Creutz recently spoke out concerning the growing popularity of games on mobile devices and on social networking sites like Facebook, saying that the death of consoles as we know them isn’t going to happen, at least not in the immediate future.
Speaking with Gamasutra, Cowen said these new outlets for game developers aren’t direct competition for consoles, but are instead a sort of side-segment of the industry, and will therefore not be competing for market share.
“We reject the notion that competition from non-traditional video gaming formats such as the iPhone and social gaming have significantly impacted the traditional console cycle. We believe that these newer gaming media represent a distinct and non-competitive market segment from console gaming, which is dominated by the core gamer.”
So then how do we explain the slow sales found in the console market last year? We blame the casual gamer, says Cowen. “While the Wii and the music genre helped grow the market beyond the traditional core gamer during 2007-08, casual gamers appear to have backed away from video games during 2009 (in part due to the recession), which drove the majority of the overall sales decline.”
Helping the console market even more is the implementation of price breaks on all three consoles, which Cowen says will cause the mass market to take notice and “reaccelerate” the market.
Companies like Ubisoft and Capcom seem to agree with Cowen’s line of thinking, as both have recently announced plans to concentrate on developing AAA titles for the PS3 and the Xbox 360, rather than the Wii or other, more casual platforms.