NPD numbers being reported by Screen Australia say that peripherals are the lone growth sector of the games industry, with console hardware and software sales providing the bulk of the year-on-year decline.
Citing now familiar figures showing a decline in box sales and brick and mortar retail from almost AUD$2 billion in 2009 to AUD$1.161 billion in 2012, the snapshot then goes into detail on the numbers, showing console hardware sales of $298.3 million, peripheral sales of $167.4 million, console software sales of $612.7 and PC software sales of $84.9 million.
"It's not surprising that we have seen a drop in revenues for hardware," says Ron Curry, CEO of the IGEA. "Firstly, we have seen a continued reduction in price of hardware over the past few years, coupled with the fact that we are at the end of a very long life cycle. This reflects a trend we saw in 2005 as we approached the release of the current generation of hardware."
When these figures first came out, the IGEA was quick to point out the absence of considerable revenue from the downloadable side of the market.
Curry continues: "What the software numbers hide is the fact that there has been a explosion in the uptake of digital and mobile games."
"Sales are being diverted to digital and mobile and this will continue to increase. Like the price of hardware, average software prices have also continued to fall year on year. Having said that, PWC have just released their latest forecasts as part of the 2013-17 Outlook Entertainment and Media Report. They forecast interactive games to experience growth at a compound annual growth rate of 3.4% to reach $1.6billion (excluding hardware and peripherals) by 2017."
"Comparing retail sales of gaming products is quickly becoming an outdated method of measuring the ongoing success of the video games industry as it moves onto a larger array of devices with content being delivered in a plethora of ways."
"We look forward to taking on the challenge of measuring the widening success of the industry as we move into the new era of next generation hardware and the increasing availability of gaming content."