The average video gamer is 30. According to the Entertainment Software Association site, the average gamer has been playing for 12 years. Sixty-eight percent of gamers are 18 years of age or older.
One thing is for certain - gaming is here to stay and growing by leaps and bounds. The future is bright - and speculation abounds.
Sit back and let your friendly, H-Town gamer guru, M4d Ski11z, give you some detailed speculation on the future of video games.
Let's kick off stuff that is NOT going to happen EVER in gaming.
1. The Xbox 720 will release in 2014.
Last week, a source leaked a 56-page document with data that seemed to reveal plans to release a new Xbox and plans to roll it out in 2014.
Here's a link to the document: http://www.gameinformer.com/cfs-file.ashx/__key/CommunityServer-Componen... (Update: Microsoft's legal team is taking down sites that have the document, so download fast!)
There are a few problems with that date. First, the 360 is already 7 years old - and still selling nicely in the U.S. However, software makers are already working with the new Xbox, so you know it's closer to release than 2014. The 720 will release in 2013, and expect the 360 to drop to $99 or $149 with a Kinect bundle.
Microsoft is still making money off the 360, but they will release a new console to keep Sony on the ropes.
2. The Wii-U will be a game-changer.
The graphics are on par with current-generation consoles. Ok. The Wii-U will offer a slick tablet-like controller to give a different, unique way to play video games. Nice. But all of that won't help Nintendo. Mark my words - the Wii-U won't be as successful as the Wii. Why did the Wii thrive? It lured nongamers into the fold. With little advertising, the Wii took off due to word of mouth. And limited supplies made it one of the most sought-after devices of 2006 and onward. Now? You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a Wii.
3. The Sony PlayStation 3 will win this generation.
Get real. Seriously, the time for the PS3 to dominate was when the Xbox 360 had the red ring of death issues. That was when Microsoft was against the ropes. Abroad, the PS3 is still doing good. In the U.S.? The Xbox 360 is checking Sony and Nintendo. It is dominating and making a name for itself in the living room. It offers many nongaming apps, including Amazon movie-viewing app, Crackle, as well as Netflix. Plus, AT&T lets its customers use their Xbox 360s with the U-Verse service for a fee ($99).
The Sony PlayStation offers the best Blu Ray player on the planet, but the 360 mops the floor with it on other points. From the Oprah effect - when she gave away several Kinects/Xbox 360 to John Stewart's audience in late 2010 - to exclusive content, the 360 is still going strong in the U.S. while Sony and Nintendo continue to struggle.
4. Next-generation consoles will NOT play used/older generation games.
Sony had this mindset early this generation. They knew people would graduate to the PlayStation 3 and stop buying PS2 software. To speed the process, they removed backward playback of older PS2 titles on the PS3. Bad move. If you want to get consumers to embrace your product, give them a reason to. You have one of the most successful consoles of all-time and you stop giving people the ability to play the vast library of games on your new system. Blu Ray players didn't remove the ability to play DVDs. That also goes with used games. Most gamers don't have $60 to just throw away on a game that may or may not be awesome. Removing the ability to play used games/rentals is a bad move and you'll feel the wrath as gamers close their wallets.
5. People will STOP wake up and refuse to buy Madden.
That's a wish some people would love to see become reality. Every year, the same game is released, with a few extra features. Every year, millions of hungry gamers buy the game. Every year after the season is over, you can buy the game for pennies on the dollar. Meh. Make a new version of the game. Give me some motion-controller features. Let me play it with the Kinect or the PlayStation Move. Let me make the gestures, be the quarterback and throw a simulated pass with my controller or my hands if I am playing with my Kinect. Let me by a wideout who runs, does a spin or two and makes a leaping catch in triple coverage. That's innovation, my friend. This same-old, tired format that's the same game with glorified roster updates is a hot mess.
Up next? The future of video gaming - Part 2 - 7 things that WILL happen in video games. Stay tuned!