International Data Corporation (IDC) published their Worldwide Video Game and Entertainment Console Hardware and Packaged Software 2012-2016 Forecast. The report states that they don't believe that the console cycle is failing, that Wii U will reach 50 million by year-end 2016 and that digital sales will eat retail sales to the tune of 3 percent annually through 2016.
"The console ecosystem is in a state of flux since these platforms need to support an ever-growing array of non-gaming features and services at the same time that game distribution and monetization is moving in a digital direction," said Lewis Ward, research manager of IDC's Gaming service. "At the same time, it doesn't appear that alternative platforms - set-top boxes from cable companies, Web-connected smart TVs, and so on - are positioned to materially disrupt the trajectory of the 'big 3' console OEMs in 2013 or 2014. Discs will remain the console game revenue mainstay for years to come."
"2011 and 2012 were tough for many console game disc developers and publishers," added Ward. "With the advent of eighth-generation consoles, starting with the Wii U, historical norms strongly imply that game disc revenue will stop bleeding in 2013 and rise substantively in 2014."