Video-game retailer GameStop this morning reported its financial results for the holiday season, with strong sales of the new Xbox One and PlayStation 4 hardware boosting its overall sales by 9.3 percent to $3.15 billion.
That’s not a big surprise. But one underlying trend in the numbers is worth watching: GameStop reported a decline in sales of new video games, with that portion of its revenue dropping 22.5 percent to $1.08 billion for the nine-week holiday period.
I know what you’re thinking: The result coincides with the expanded ability to purchase and download games, including new AAA titles, on both Xbox One and PS4 — allowing gamers to sidestep the traditional retail store. Both consoles also have expanded their selection of non-game apps and content, potentially reducing the demand for games.
However, in its financial report, the retailer said sales of software for the Xbox One and PS4 were actually strong. The company blamed the decline in new game sales on lower-than-expected interest in games for the old Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
“During this transitional console period, strong sales of next generation software were offset by a greater than expected decline in Xbox 360 and PS3 software sales resulting in a 22.5% decline in the new software category,” GameStop said in a news release.
Depending on your bandwidth and the size of the file, downloading a game requires some patience on the new consoles, in some cases needing to be left overnight.
Let’s get the pulse of GeekWire readers on this: If you’ve purchased an Xbox One or PS4, where are you buying your games? If you’re using an Xbox 360 or PS3, are you still buying new game discs for your console?