Back in June, IGN hosted The Summer of Gaming as a replacement for E3. The event ran over the course of 11 days with a 13MM user average daily reach, 277.7MM video views, and 40MM engagements; that’s a lot of eyeballs! Throughout the event, many upcoming games were discussed; some will run on both consoles, such as NBA 2k21 and the Keanu Reeves game Cyberpunk 2077, while others are console exclusives.

To the basic consumer, the new consoles being released this Fall will show similar performance, so marketing needs to come down to the games and the price, as console exclusive games are, well, exclusive! Consumers need to ask themselves, “Do I want to play as Miles Morales AKA the friendly neighborhood Spiderman, or do I want to shoot aliens in Halo Infinite? And how much am I willing to pay for all this?” At this time, prices haven’t been released, however, most people say they’d pay between $400-$500 for a console with a disk drive, as there is an experiential aspect to physically owning a game vs streaming it via the cloud. And with stores like GameStop closing their doors amid COVID, it will be interesting to see how physical game sales do in Target, Walmart, and Best Buy. Many games will also initially launch on the current generation of consoles and be upgraded to the next generation for free (at least in the case of the Xbox Series X). Some games (such as GTA V) will be receiving the remaster treatment, wherein new content will come specifically to the upgraded versions of these games, forcing consumers to upgrade to if they want to play the most up-to-date version of a game. IGN says that 54% of people say that they will purchase the PlayStation 5, 22% say the Xbox Series X, 12% say both consoles, and the other 13% say they won’t be purchasing a new console this year.

IGN's survey data says 54% of people say that they will purchase the PlayStation 5, 22% say the Xbox Series X, 12% say both consoles, and the other 13% say they won’t be purchasing a new console this year. | Sourced by IGN

All in all, it’s an interesting year for the console wars to be going down. People are staying at home more since everything is closed. The film and television industry, once thought to be untouchable, is hurting hard. The only thing that seems to continue to rise (in terms of entertainment) is video games. But with COVID wreaking havoc across the globe, that 12% of people previously surveyed saying that they won’t be purchasing a new console might possibly be a much larger size of the overall population than we think. While conversations surrounding all these factors will continue to increase throughout the remainder of the year, will people pull the trigger when it comes to buying a new console, or will they purchase the current generation version of games and wait until life returns to normal? Will they shift entirely and focus on mobile gaming (which by the way is probably a great move for advertisers this year given the sheer size of the mobile gaming landscape)? These are things that people won’t just be considering in the line of gaming consoles, but also when it comes to many other types of products and verticals, especially come the Holidays.

We just want to leave couple of brief points before signing off:

Google Trends Data shows that when a new console is announced, queries for the previous generation begin to decline, while the new iteration gains traction. | Sourced by IGN
  • History repeats itself. We’re about to experience a surge in searches for the new consoles. These queries are going to keep going up over the next few years (or at least until the next generation of consoles is released)
The IGN Summer of Gaming drove more views for IGN than E3 had over the past two years. | Sourced by IGN

The IGN Summer of Gaming drove way more views for IGN than E3 had over the past two years. This could be due to several things:

  • It is important to remember that now more than ever, IGN has more touchpoints for people to see their content
  • The massive number of views this year could also be the result of more people trying to learn more about the new consoles
  • More people are unemployed due to COVID and have more time on their hands to watch streams