Happiness and the pursuit thereof is highly elusive and honestly way too highbrow to tackle in a video game website article. However, ‘Gaming Happiness’ on the other hand is right up our alley. Over the years, the decades-long Console Wars have led many to believe that sticking staunchly to one brand and defending it to the death is the best way to achieve gaming nirvana. However, could recent statistics indicate that this ‘one gaming console only’ mentality is changing?
According to NPD’s Games Acquisition Monitor, at the end of Q1 [a] ballpark of 70% of people in the U.S. that owned a Switch also owned a PS4 and/or an Xbox One.
Growing up, our house rule meant that in order to get a new gaming console, the previous one had to be sold. That meant transitioning from the orginal Famicom/NES (most likely Golden China) to the SEGA Mega Drive, then eventually the original PlayStation, then the PS2 and so on. You get the picture. One gaming console at a time. This makes the NPD statistic above rather interesting. It means that 7 out 10 people (in the US at least) now have multiple consoles in their home. The figures in South Africa may vary quite a lot, but considering the size of the US market compared to the SA one, even if the numbers were vastly different here, we would be the exception.
The reason that such a large number of gamers currently own at least two consoles (one being the Switch) may be varied. However, there is one line of reasoning that stands out for me, personally: The Nintendo Switch has marketed itself as a ‘new type’ of console. The hybrid console with its ‘play anywhere’ model has resonated with many players. It could the way it has been marketed has worked so well, that people don’t see the Switch as direct competition for the PS4 or the Xbox One, but instead an a completely unique and essentially “extra” gaming device that serves a slightly different function? Perfect compliments of each other leading to joyful gaming perfection.
Considering that for many years, Nintendo was able to simultaneously sell both a handheld and a tv-based home console without cannibalising its own sales, could it be that a similar thing is happening with current gen consoles? But, now instead of SNES/GameCube/64/Wii/WiiU successfully co-existing with the various GameBoy and DS systems, it is the higher-end home-based consoles of the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X that are competing directly with each other, while the Nintendo Switch lives happily alongside them?
Could it be that now the equation is PS4/Xbox One + Switch = TGH (Total Gaming Happiness)?