The Insights People

CONSOLES SHRINKING IN AN EVER-GROWING GAMING MARKET

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Our latest study published in Toy News, shows how kids’ landscapes are more fragmented than ever, with technological advances meaning they are now more connected and invested in more ecosystems than any generation before them.

Levels of access and ownership of personal mobile and tablet devices are increasing, even amongst the youngest of age groups – our latest data shows mobile ownership among 3-9s has increased from 20% to 25% over the last 2 years, equivalent to 357,200 additional kids owning mobiles. This increased ownership presents problems for console makers. Whilst gaming is taking an increasing share of their time, kids are gaming less on consoles and more on mobiles.

Playstation 4 is the most owned console, having a place in just over a fifth of kids’ homes, however, there has been a 21% reduction in 13-15-year-old owning them this quarter. The decline could be the result of children and parents waiting for the newest edition of this popular console – due out in time for Christmas 2020 – but conversely, this could reflect the wider, structural shift in gaming, moving further towards cloud and mobile options.

This shift follows a year of huge success for free-to-play, access anywhere games such as Fortnite, Roblox and Minecraft, with Apple, Google and Snapchat’s latest announcements regarding new gaming platforms also contributing. Google has positioned themselves to take a share of gaming, introducing their ‘Stadia’ device; a cloud-based gaming platform allowing children to play games anywhere and without an expensive console.

Whilst this changing landscape may be cause for concern amongst parents, regulators and brands alike, there are positive changes and opportunities coming out of this new era of gaming. 

Not only do we see a physical shift in the way this generation of ‘digital natives’ are gaming, but we are also seeing them acquire a new set of specific skills. Educators are using popular games, including Minecraft, to assist in coding lessons, helping kids learn and problem-solve on an entertainment platform they enjoy. Learning in this way is clearly influencing kids, with three of the top six career aspirations amongst tweens including computers, YouTubers, and games design.

Generation Z (born between the mid-1990s and 2010) and Generation Alpha (born post 2010) are the future of the workforce and while STEM toys do not currently sit inside children’s top 10 favourite types of toys, several popular toys on the market are also introducing preschool kids to coding. The majority (15%) are learning in school, whereas 6% are learning via apps and 4% say they taught themselves.

Consoles must remain relevant in this fast-changing environment by providing increased opportunities where children can not only be entertained but also by becoming a platform where kids can co-create, code, learn and even build their own creations.

Our methodology enables us to track the entire, inter-connected kid’s ecosystem from the toys and games they play with, to their favourite brands and devices. We specialise in helping clients identify new products before the masses do, understand the true performance of a product and how to maximise their investment from a sales and marketing perspective. 

To download a complimentary Kids Insights report (UK) click below:

 

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