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It's Official: Mobile Gaming Is Not And Will Not Kill Console Gaming

PricewaterhouseCooper issued a new forecast on the electronic media and entertainment industry, and as usual the retail PC market is in a steep decline. However, the report also shows that mobile gaming is in no way impeding on the console market nor will it disturb the sales for years to come, opposite of what industry heads such as John Romero and UKIE's Andy Page have said.

The latest forecast sees the U.S. market alone gaining a 4.1% increase in revenue, going from $13.3 billion dollars in 2011 to $16.4 billion dollars by 2016. This sort of ties-in with DFC Intelligence's report that the overall gaming market will boom at $70 billion by 2017.

The European market is also expected to see major growth by 2016. The entire European market, also labeled as EMEA, is expected to go from $18 billion in 2011 to $22.7 billion by 2016 with an average growth rate of 4.8%.

Despite the rise in spending, retail PC gaming is still being forecasted as declining, as outlined in the PricewaterhouseCooper report from last year. Retail PC gaming is expected to drop from $534 million in 2011 to $434 million by 2016. Both reports, however, note a climb in digital and online game spending, with the online market expected to go from $2.6 billion in 2011 to $3.9 billion in 2016. You can see a full breakdown for the North American chart below.

As an aside, the digital PC market the world around is just booming, with China expected to accrue $6.1 billion from MMOs alone.

As for the home console vs mobile gaming debate, the home console and handheld market in North America will see a minor shift from $9.6 billion in 2011 down to $9.4 billion in 2012. But given that the new consoles from Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony are on the horizon, the report suggests that the market will see a steep incline to $10.6 billion in annual growth by 2016, in the North American market alone. Check the stats below.

The report also breaks down the mobile phone gaming market, which includes phones, tablets and wireless communication devices. The market is expected to see a 7.1% compound growth spur, reaching $1.5 billion by 2016, up from the lowly $1.1 billion in 2011. So how about between that time? Well, the numbers are expected to steadily increase, with the mobile wireless market in North America to reach $1 billion by the end of 2012. That's hardly enough to put a dent in the $9.4 billion home console market, and the declines that are present in the console market is because of the fact that this seventh generation of gaming has been the longest console generation in the history of the gaming industry, with the big three milking as much as they can, while they can. You can check out the North American wireless or mobile phone market numbers in the image report below.

The console and handheld market in the EMEA resided at a reputable $9.5 billion in 2011, and the market is expected to decline slightly in 2012 to $9.3 billion. However, by 2016 there will be 1.9% increase to $10.4 billion.

The wireless and mobile market in the EMEA, however, sits at a paltry $1.6 billion in 2011 alone. For 2012 the estimate sits at $1.7 billion and by 2016 there is a forecasted percentage jump of a significant nature, putting the wireless market at $2.4 billion. While the number is respectable it still only makes up for a very small fraction of the revenue generated by the console and handheld gaming market, which was sitting at $15 billion in 2007 in the EMEA and it was at $9.4 billion in North America in 2007.

Compiled together, the global mobile and/or wireless market in 2011 was only $3.1 billion dollars. Let's compare that to the 2011 console market from the EMEA and North America, which comes up to $19.1 billion dollars, which means that the mobile market barely equates to 17% of the home console market (as of last year).

Even if you count the estimates of the mobile market by 2016, EMEA and North America combined that's only $3.9 billion. In 2016 the EMEA and North America will have an estimated combined console and handheld revenue intake of $21 billion, which means that by comparison the mobile market will only make up for 19% of the console market, even by 2016. The 2% jump over the course of the next couple of years is hardly a call for the mobile market to "kill console" gaming, as many game developers and some analyst have been saying.

You can learn more by visiting the Official Pricewaterhouse Cooper Website

Will Usher

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.