Ahead of the Game Developers Conference® this February, the GDC has released the results of the 5th annual State of the Industry Survey revealing trends in the games industry. It surveyed mroe than 4,500 game developers who have attended GDC in the last three years.
In the survey, it was found that game makers are feeling optimistic about Nintendo®‘s upcoming Switch, a hybrid portable/home console. Fifty percent of respondents believe that the Switch will outsell Nintendo’s most recent home console, the Wii U, which has a worldwide install base of roughly 13 million. While 14% thought that it would sell less, with the remaining 37% unsure.
As far as the product’s core selling point, its ability to switch between portable and docked console modes, survey respondents are a little more mixed with their predictions on whether or not the feature will resonate with the public. Only 19 percent offered an unequivocal yes (“the right product for the right time”), while 48 percent believe that it might resonate but doesn’t seem to be “world-changing”. 11 percent figured people wouldn’t be interested in the core premise of the Switch, and 23 percent said they were unsure of how it would be received upon launch.
Developers are also unsure on the mid-cycle console refreshes however, more are positive than negative. With both Sony and Microsoft releasing more powerful mid-cycle console refreshes like PlayStation 4 Pro and the Xbox‘s “Project Scorpio“, developers have mixed feelings whether or not these are good for the industry. Forty-one percent were undecided, 36% said they were neutral on the subject, and 18% of the respondents said they thought it was a good thing for the industry. While 5% said it was a negative development.
On the VR/AR space, HTC Vive outpaced Oculus Rift. Sixty-one percent of surveyed developes are not currently developing VR titles but among those who are, 24% are currently making games on HTC and Valve’s Vive headset, with 23% supporting Oculus Rift, and 13% are for Sony’s PlayStation VR.
When asked which VR/AR platform they expected the game after the project they are working on now would be released on, 40% of the respondents said they are planning to support HTC Vive for their next title. By comparison, 37% said their next game would release on Oculus Rift, and 26% for PlayStation VR.
As for the general level of interest in each of the major VR/AR headsets, the developers once again gave HTC Vive the lead. Forty-five percent indicated HTC Vive, 30% for Oculus Rift, and 29% marked PlayStation VR as a platform of most interest to them. Microsoft’s upcoming HoloLens Augmented Reality platform came in fourth with 24% of respondents.
A more detailed analysis of the survey can be found at GDC’s website.
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