The ESA Takes A Look at 2003


2003 - that's not just the year that didn't see Half-Life 2 coming out. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) took a look at the titles sold in the past year and notes that the total sales of video and computer games generated revenues of more than $7 billion in the US. Slightly below the original predictions, but still above the $6.9 billion of the previous year. The lack/delay of some major titles is being seen as one of the reasons for the decreased percentage of M(ature)-rated games sold compared to 2002. E(veryone)- and T(een)-rated games made up about 84% of the market. And what did you guys buy?

Console game players most often purchased action (27.1%), sports (17.6 %), and racing titles (15.7%), role-playing games (8.7%), fighting games (6.9%), family entertainment (4.7%), and shooter games (4.6%).

Computer gamers, however, most often purchased strategy games (27.1%), childrenÂ's entertainment games (14.5%) and shooter games (13.5%), followed by family entertainment titles (9.5%), role-playing games (8.7%), sports titles (5.8%), racing (4.4%), adventure (3.9%), and simulation games (3.5%).

Platform-wise there's more to add: approximately 184.4 million 'units' were sold for all console systems, worth $5.8 billion. 52.8 million PC titles were sold, generating about $1.2 billion. Compared to 2002 this means: console revenues up (+$0.3 billion), PC down (-$0.2 billion). No less than 9 console titles sold more than 1 million units, 39 made it past the 500,000 'barrier'. Once again an uptrend compared to 2002. Well, I guess there isn't a lot to comment on. PC gamers aren't exactly cheering at the outlook.


I refuse to believe that PC gaming is "fading away". I am probably in denial but oh well. Until HDTV's are made more reasonable in price for the average household, consoles are powerful enough to produce the type of quality I see now (Far Cry, Doom 3, HL2), and FPS games play as well on a console as they do a PC I will stick with my PC for a majority of my gaming.

I'm with Flux. Until consoles can match PCs for multiplayer, high-res, and processing power, PCs will remain viable. And frankly, if (or when) consoles reach that point I'll be happy to switch.

Consoles can never match what a PC can do. The consoles will advance, but so will the PC's and at a faster rate. That being said consoles have become "good enough" for most folks. Console vs. PC is basically a microcosm of society. Mediocrity wins out over the competition because it's easier and less threatening.

I hate to see mainstream PC gaming go, but if all that's left is dumbed down games due to console ports and publisher meddling, PC gaming is already gone.

Wery ugly trend. It gives all the wrong messagess to PC games developers. As horible as it is we can expect more and more "Halo" and "Deus Ex2" cases, not to mention some even lousier ports...

What a shame...

I wonder how much piracy has to do with that. I mean, it's easier to copy PC games than console, right?

Bah, those categories of games don't really reflect anything except what titles are available. What *good* strategy and shooter titles on are consoles? Where would you rather play Madden - your desk or your couch?? etc, etc...

I suspect this year will be a pretty decent year for PC games. As the current generation of consoles nears the end of its lifecycle, modern PC games are going to be able to show off a lot more capability.

Consoles will never replace PC games. Videogames are too much defined by their interfaces, which are fundamentally different between consoles and PCs.

I wonder how much piracy has to do with that. I mean, it's easier to copy PC games than console, right?

I don't think piracy has a huge impact on game sales. But the industry's reaction to piracy is probably a factor. I can't speak for all consoles, but the people I have talked to said PS2 games aren't hard to pirate. If you are willing to run without the PS2 cover on you don't even need a mod chip.

Let's not forget about price, gentlmen. Getting my computer (currently 64 MB graphics card, 256 MB RAM) in shape to play HL2 would cost approx. $150 (new graphics card) + $25 (more RAM) + $50 (new motherboard, as mine doesn't have a PCI slot), plus the actual price of the game. Compare that with the GCN and a copy of Windwaker.