To listen to gaming journalists tell it, the game industry is shrinking and we are in a lull. The lull, they say, is caused by the end of the console cycle and that new consoles will rejuvenate interest in games.
Is that really the case?
The games industry in Japan has been shrinking almost the entire time the PS3 has been on store shelves. Japanese gamers are reporting a decreased interest in gaming as a social concept and an growing interest in western games as eastern games are thought to be boring. Series like Final Fantasy that used to be rumored to effect the countries GDP (with the entire country taking days off work) are now known to be struggling. Some critics like to point at Nintnedo's landmark of Wii sales to say there is no lack of enthusasm for games, but that sales number does not indicate people's overall satisfaction with the unit and Nintendo as a whole. The weak sales of the Wii U are a more apt descriptor of just how many Wii gamers were really satisfied with their purchases.
Will a new generation of consoles really turn the tide on slumping games industry, or is the problem something deeper and not at all tied to hardware?
I'm interested in discussing in what way the console market is different than it was 10 years ago, and what the next year or two will be like.