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Offline thiagosc2

Senior Newbie





« Posted 2006-11-10 12:45:38 »

Is the number of gamers on the PC greater than of consoles? I ask because I have the impression consoles are some sort of private party for americans, japanese and europeans from some countries.

Microsoft has just announced they will release XBox 360 here in Brazil, not only later than the rest of the world but for an unbelievable price, R$ 3000,00, that is around US$ 1350,00. Yes, you have read it right, A THOUSAND AND THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS.

Does it make any sense? Are they trying to make up for the losses in selling it in other regions? So I wonder if in other parts of the world the situation is the same, and if the total numbers of PC gamers is actually bigger than the console gamers.

PS.: If prices weren't absurd pirates wouldn't have such a big business. Sometimes buying pirate copies of games is the only way some people have to have access to such games, because a single game can cost HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS here.
Offline oNyx

JGO Coder


Medals: 2


pixels! :x


« Reply #1 - Posted 2006-11-10 13:29:05 »

>Is the number of gamers on the PC greater than of consoles?

No, the console market is bigger.

However, the PC market is rather big (in comparison) in europe and the us.

So, Brazil... how about Gamecube and Wii? They should be way cheaper than a semi decent pc.

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
Offline thiagosc2

Senior Newbie





« Reply #2 - Posted 2006-11-10 13:59:27 »

So, Brazil... how about Gamecube and Wii? They should be way cheaper than a semi decent pc.

Gamecube price is not as pathetic but paying US$ 100-150 for a single game is still too expensive, there aren't that many options available (not all games are release here), and PC games cost less and a PC can be used for lots of tasks so the money you spend actually is not for a "game machine" only. I haven't heard of Wii, but it must be released for similarly pathetic prices.

Anyway, for playing "Super Mario 173547" and "Pokemon blue-yellow-white-red 8847459 super league the-same-franchise-reused-to-death", no thanks. I have been playing on the PC only for years now, and I am not thinking of buying any console because of the outrageous prices.

You can get a PC for R$1000 (a third of the XBox price), a better suited PC for gaming for about the same price as the XBox.

At least Sony has some decency, they never released PS2 or PS one here, and I don't think they will ever release PS3. It's better that way, at least we can get a PS2 game in the pirate stand at the corner for U$ 5.

About the question, you mean "market" as the amount of dollars involved or numbers of people that buy such things? US or worldwide?

This "new generation" makes me want to vomit. Maybe another branch of evolution in gaming should appear in other places due to the ridiculous conditions such "products" come. Those "bright people at Microsoft" must be out of their minds and I sincerely hope such initiatives of bringing those consoles fail in here.
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Offline oNyx

JGO Coder


Medals: 2


pixels! :x


« Reply #3 - Posted 2006-11-10 14:48:08 »

>About the question, you mean "market" as the amount of dollars involved or numbers of people that buy such things? US or worldwide?

Money. The number of hardware sells doesnt tell you anything, because lots of PCs arent used for gaming at all.

I also dont think that the console manufacturers are at fault in this case. Most likely the price is a result of ridiculous high taxes.

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
Offline thiagosc2

Senior Newbie





« Reply #4 - Posted 2006-11-10 16:20:08 »

Money. The number of hardware sells doesnt tell you anything, because lots of PCs arent used for gaming at all.

US or worldwide?

I also dont think that the console manufacturers are at fault in this case. Most likely the price is a result of ridiculous high taxes.

It's always easy to blame the taxes. Why PC games, the greatest and the latest, cost about a third of the price of console games? Aren't they produced sometimes by the same company?

The fact is they are not even trying. If the taxes make it not viable what's the point of releasing it!? To get some pocket change? Judging by the number of possible customers of it, yes, it will be pocket change if compared to anywhere else in the world.

Consoles aren't a global fever, that's the point I would like to make in the original post. I don't think an intelligent person should go to such length to get a fu***** console, with poor availability of everything else. The cost of this Microsoft crap, or the other Nintendo crap, largely outweights its benefits.

I am a customer, I want good service for a reasonable price, if they offer something with an abusive price I, as a customer, can only think they suck. If it's the taxes, some greedy bastard, God or anyone else, that caused the price to be like this, do I need to care as far as the customer is concerned?
Offline fletchergames

Senior Duke





« Reply #5 - Posted 2006-11-10 18:00:48 »

I agree with you.  I see little point in buying a console (even here in the U.S.) when I can buy a computer that I can use for playing games and doing anything else.  Consoles don't have graphics that are all that much better, and you have buy new consoles at least as often than you have to buy new computers.

You can buy a laptop computer in the U.S. for $500.  It won't be able to run all the newest games, but it will be able to run any game that isn't at the cutting edge of technology.  You can buy a decent laptop for $1000.  Ten years ago, consoles were cheaper than computers, but that's no longer the case.

If people want to buy consoles though, that's their own business.
Offline oNyx

JGO Coder


Medals: 2


pixels! :x


« Reply #6 - Posted 2006-11-10 20:09:17 »

>Why PC games, the greatest and the latest, cost about a third of the price of console games? Aren't they produced sometimes by
>the same company?

Well, dunno. It isnt like that elsewhere. PC games and console games cost around 50 bucks.

Got... gb, gbc, gba, ds, nes, snes, n64, gc, md (genesis), saturn, dc, ps2, broken psx and like... dunno... 200 games. Some imported from the US and Japan... for roughly the same price. So... check taxes/customs duty and check where the high price comes from.

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
Offline CommanderKeith
« Reply #7 - Posted 2006-11-11 00:05:24 »

I've checked out sales for big companies like EA & around 90% of their game sales are on consoles, 10 % on PCs.

Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #8 - Posted 2006-11-11 02:27:40 »

I've checked out sales for big companies like EA & around 90% of their game sales are on consoles, 10 % on PCs.

Well, no. That's only true for a particular title / titles. It would be much fairer to say that, on average, PC sales are about as important as console sales, but bearing in mind that most companies focus on EITHER one OR the other.

Personal opinion: the skew will be more towards PC over the next 2-5 years. Next-gen consoles are far too hard to develop upon.

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline oNyx

JGO Coder


Medals: 2


pixels! :x


« Reply #9 - Posted 2006-11-11 12:06:55 »

>Next-gen consoles are far too hard to develop upon.

The past has shown that it doesnt really matter. And the only troublesome one comes again from Sony. The Wii is just a ramped up Gamecube and the XBox360 is again very PC like.

Consoles also offer 0 incompatibility. No need for different shader pathes, no fallbacks, no need to scale in any direction (if its an exclusive title) and no need to test it on different machines/operating systems/driver combos.

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
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Offline CommanderKeith
« Reply #10 - Posted 2006-11-11 13:58:30 »

I've checked out sales for big companies like EA & around 90% of their game sales are on consoles, 10 % on PCs.

Well, no. That's only true for a particular title / titles. It would be much fairer to say that, on average, PC sales are about as important as console sales, but bearing in mind that most companies focus on EITHER one OR the other.


That's not correct, I've researched this stuff.  EA ($17bn mkt cap) and Activision ($5bn) are the two biggest non-conglomerates who make games ***.  I can't find any specific figures in the current crop of annual reports but I remember that for either EA or Activision in their 04 or 05 report the revenue break-up was 90 vs 10, consoles vs PC games.

Top of page 20, from <a href="http://media.corporate-ir.net/media_files/irol/88/88189/reports/AnnualReportProxy2006.pdf">EA's 2006 annual report</a>:  "Because publishing products for video game consoles is the largest portion of our business, any increase in fee structures or failure to secure a license relationship would signnifcantly harm our ability to generate revenues and/or profits."

Also top of page 20, from <a href="http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/ACTI/67472608x0x49430/7746940C-47DC-4EE8-819A-A2366B6DDB60/ATVI2006AR.pdf">Activision's 2006 annual report</a>: "We primarily derive revenue from sales of packaged interactive software games designed for play on video game consoles (such as the PS2, Xbox, Xbox360, and GameCube), PCs, and hand-held game devices (such as the GBA, NDS, and PSP)."

*** = Unfortunately some of the big games companies are owned by massive conglomerates which you can't get individual financial reports for.  Blizzard (Warcraft, Diablo, Starcraft) & Sierra (Half Life) is owned by Vivendi Universal and their revenue from games is less than 10% of their total (mostly music) revenue.  Many others like the makers of Age of Empires are owned by Microsoft. 

Keith

Offline kevglass

JGO Kernel


Medals: 186
Projects: 24
Exp: 18 years


Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #11 - Posted 2006-11-11 21:36:37 »

Quote
Also top of page 20, from Activision's 2006 annual report: "We primarily derive revenue from sales of packaged interactive software games designed for play on video game consoles  (such as the PS2, Xbox, Xbox360, and GameCube), PCs, and hand-held game devices (such as the GBA, NDS, and PSP)."

Hmm, nasty spin on that one with the bolding. The statement does *not* indicate that the consoles are Activision's primary market (whether they are or not). It says:

Quote
We primarily derive revenue from sales of packaged interactive software games designed for play on

video game consoles, PCs, and hand-help game devices/

no indication as to which of the three is the biggest. Unless there's something else before or after that bit of text that I couldn't see when I checked the document?

Kev

Offline CommanderKeith
« Reply #12 - Posted 2006-11-12 09:14:15 »

Oops, I missed that.  Anyway, I just found the concrete figures I was talking about before from Activision's Financial report given above, page 19:

Net Revenues by Segment/Platform Mix:
Publishing:        2004                                  2005                              2006
Console       $ 812,345 (55%)          $ 713,947 (51%)          $ 508,418 (54%)
Hand-held    $ 158,861 (11%)          $ 138,695 (10%)         $    24,945 (2%)
PC                 $  183,457 (13%)          $ 220,087 (15%)         $  132,369 (14%)

Total                  1,154,663 (79%)     $1,072,729 (76%)        $ 665,732 (70%)
publishing   
revenues

So PC sales are about a quarter of console sales for Activision, the 2nd biggest non-conglomerate game maker. 

And Activision derive 50-50 sales from US & Europe. (pg 19)

By the way Thiagosc2,
Quote
If prices weren't absurd pirates wouldn't have such a big business. Sometimes buying pirate copies of games is the only way some people have to have access to such games, because a single game can cost HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS here.

I reckon they aree charging so much for the hardware since they have to make a profit from that since games will be pirated & they can't get sales from that.

Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #13 - Posted 2006-11-14 14:46:58 »

I've checked out sales for big companies like EA & around 90% of their game sales are on consoles, 10 % on PCs.

Well, no. That's only true for a particular title / titles. It would be much fairer to say that, on average, PC sales are about as important as console sales, but bearing in mind that most companies focus on EITHER one OR the other.


That's not correct, I've researched this stuff.  EA ($17bn mkt cap) and Activision ($5bn) are the two biggest non-conglomerates who make games ***.  I can't find any specific figures in the current crop of annual reports but I remember that for either EA or Activision in their 04 or 05 report the revenue break-up was 90 vs 10, consoles vs PC games.

Unfortunately, I've seen a lot of confidential figures for different companies but for which I don't know fo public sources I can point to. However, I can pass on my generic observations from those:

  • Every publisher has strengths and weaknesses - there is no publisher that publishes "the average" set of titles and SKUs. This is as true for the top 5 publishers as it is for the middle tier ones
  • There is a HUGE difference between "revenue" and "profit"
  • There is a large amount of seasonal variation due to the independent cycles of each franchise (annual, every 2 years, every 3 years, or even every 4-5 years) - particular franchises are often tied to particular SKU's, e.g. XB exclusive for Halo, or PC exclusive for WoW
  • There is good accounting reason (and some is legal) to book revenue at not-entirely-obvious times in order to smooth out the apparent revenue, especially when it comes to public information
  • Different companies account for "online" revenues in odd ways according to preference and how they are trying to pitch / sell the company to investors and the stock market.

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #14 - Posted 2006-11-14 14:51:44 »


*** = Unfortunately some of the big games companies are owned by massive conglomerates which you can't get individual financial reports for.  Blizzard (Warcraft, Diablo, Starcraft) & Sierra (Half Life) is owned by Vivendi Universal and their revenue from games is less than 10% of their total (mostly music) revenue.  Many others like the makers of Age of Empires are owned by Microsoft. 

Keith

i.e. basically, going on public info, one has no idea. You cannot possibly leave out for instance a company with just *one title* that makes on the order of $1 billion every year (which puts it right up there with EA - just on ONE TITLE).

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline CommanderKeith
« Reply #15 - Posted 2006-11-15 00:18:37 »

Accounting stuff aside, the figures show that console game sales way out-number PC game sales. 

My cousin works in Electronics Boutique, a game retailer, and he has told me that console games sell a lot more than PC games & he gives them much more shelf space, but that's just his experience.

Here is an excerpt from Electronic Boutique's annual report.  They actually sell PC & console games that others publish so these figures are more reliable since they inculde all games made by all publishers that EB thinks will sell.  From page 3 of http://media.corporate-ir.net/media_files/irol/13/130125/2005AR2.pdf

Industry Background
According to NPD Group, Inc., a market research firm, the electronic game industry was an approximately
$11.5 billion market in the United States in 2005. Of this $11.5 billion market, approximately $10.5 billion was
attributable to video game products, excluding sales of used video game products, and approximately $1.0 billion
was attributable to PC entertainment software.

So as I said earlier, 90% of sales are for console games rather than PC games.

Anyway, this shows that Java needs to make it onto a console!   Cheesy

Keith

EDIT: In my haste I sounded a bit abrasive, so I just changed it  Smiley 

Its great to have this conversation with you blah^3, all my research is theoretical so its very interesting to have your input 'from the front line'.

Offline Riven
« League of Dukes »

JGO Overlord


Medals: 816
Projects: 4
Exp: 16 years


Hand over your head.


« Reply #16 - Posted 2006-11-16 10:54:01 »

10% of the market is still so overwhelmingly large that only a series of AAA Java
games, would justify a serious effort to bring Java to the consoles. Don't forget that
developing for a PC is much easier (and less costly) than for a console, so if 'nobody'
manages to do it on the PC, why would we even bother with a console?

Engines on the consoles often work with direct iteraction with the hardware, no
layer like OpenGL / DirectX, even if such layers are available. Java is just not very
good at this, due to the JNI overhead. You could argue that the bytecode could be
compiled down to machine-code (instrincs), but that doesn't really give access to
the specialized vector math - just like SSE(2) only uses 1 float, instead of 4, on even
most recent Sun VMs.

Platform independant-solutions are very unlikely to use specialized hardware to
its full potential. Writing a decent JIT for it would take just about as long as for the
next generation console to arrive. And who's willing to pay that bill anyway!

Hi, appreciate more people! Σ ♥ = ¾
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Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #17 - Posted 2006-11-16 12:46:47 »

Accounting stuff aside, the figures show that console game sales way out-number PC game sales. 

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to deny this, though I ended up pretty much saying that Smiley, I was just trying to say that it wasn't a fair estimation to say it's currently a 9:1 ratio in terms of relative value/importance. PC is much more important to commercial games dev than that - although console is definitely (at the moment) the bigger cherry for most studios.

But's a complex situation. There are really hard things to developing on console (hardware never gets any better) as well as on PC (hardware varies wildly from customer to customer), and there are big pros and cons on the commercial side for both too (for instance, it costs nothing to publish on PC, and no-one can stop you, whereas on console you have TCR hell - whilst the console market tends to be bigger, but you may not be able (or allowed!) to publish your game on more than one console).

Etc etc etc...

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
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