The Doomed Console Market

Consoles have helped to create the large gaming industry we know today, but it seems that gaming might leave these beloved consoles behind entirely.


Brandon Dosen

Consoles may have made the gaming industry, but there time is coming to a close.

Brandon Dosen, Columnist

Video game consoles have been around for what feels like forever, and have been a staple part of the gaming industry. However, all good things come to an end, and it seems that consoles are no exception. Video game consoles were the best way to play video games for the longest time, being the most convenient way to play the most varied catalogue of the best looking games, but because of technological advancements, it seems that two other ways have overshadowed the once prominent market.

The biggest appeal for consoles was their vast amount of games. With so many game developers and companies putting their games into only one type of way to play, many would pick the console that had the most games. But this is being taken away by PC. All three major console developers, Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo, have tried to focus on exclusives over the years. However, recently it seems that only Nintendo has held up the once prominent standard. Microsoft has put all of their games onto PC and have even started to put them on the Nintendo Switch, and Sony seems to be slowly adapting to put their exclusives on the platform Steam for simply the reason that the games have a larger profit with an expanded reach. Steam is a computer program which hosts hundreds of thousands of games in which they can be purchased through the platform. Although, the problem went much further even before PC received the Xbox and Playstation exclusives. PC itself is much easier for indie developers to create a game with its expansive tools. Not only that, but it has a greater chance to end up on something like Steam then it does on the Playstation and Xbox store. Because of this, PC has quickly built up many games exclusive to itself.

Another thing that PCs have stolen from consoles is power. As technology advances, the so-called “generations” that the console market was based on becomes a thing of the past. Technology doesn’t develop in huge leaps anymore. Instead, you have small improvements that build up over a period of time, so a new console is really just buying a new CPU which processes information for your computer, and GPU, which processes graphics for the games, for what you already have. Consoles do not technologically progress as fast. The new versions of the mainstream consoles are only released every 5 years or so. Consoles cannot be re-made and re-manufactured after a new technological breakthrough is discovered, which is why the console industry remains so dry in terms of self improvement. However, with PCs, new fans, graphic cards, processors, and much more are able to be customized and put into use by the PC since they are so customizable. This leaves many gamers turning towards PC because of significantly higher performance and customization. The only reason the console industry is still running as strong as it is is in part due to a budget. Consoles are significantly cheaper, and though not as customizable and great on performance as a PC, they are still a great deal for the money they cost.

On top of this, consoles are just more efficient. You just play, which is a feature that many want and many use to reason the use of a console. However, that is all going to change, and it was seen with Google Stadia. Google Stadia was a failed gaming platform. However, it proved the ability for streaming games. Google Stadia allowed for quick access to your games and allowed you to play on practically any major smart technology, a TV, smartphone, computer, and more. It pushed the limits and allowed for a seamless way to play games. The only thing that held it back was the fact that the internet and WIFI aren’t up to the standards that streaming games need. But in time that will change, and the market for streaming will overtake consoles.

Consoles are running out of time. They are slowly growing obsolete in the only ways that they had an edge. Every reason someone would want a console is being taken over by something else. Even Microsoft and Sony see it. With both of them putting their games on PC, it seems that they can only accept their fate and try to establish a wider range for their marketing. Not only that, but Xbox itself is continuing the dream of Stadia with Xbox xCloud, a streaming service with the same idea as Google’s streaming platform. It is only a matter of time for the change in gaming platforms and markets.