The entry of the new generation consoles in the first world countries has so far been a success, in the emerging countries, the story will be different.
To understand this reality we must put ourselves in context.
An average family in the US, according to huduser.gov, enters $ 78,500 per year, in Peru $ 12,000, in Colombia $ 12,000, in Argentina $ 8,000, in Chile $ 18,000 and in Venezuela, about $ 1,000 (at the exchange of the day).
Hence, it is not the same for an average American family to incur the expense of acquiring a next-generation console than for a Latin American family. Unless it is, at the cost of almost a superhuman effort.
The retail prices of these consoles not only vary in each of these countries, but it is also that in some of them, due to exchange and tax issues, they become twice those that these devices would cost in first world countries.
The growth of the console market is almost nil in Latin America, with certain exceptions that may include Mexico and Brazil, due to their size. In fact, there are very few official headquarters. Latin American buyers, having to deal with “distributors”, do not enjoy the same service or guarantees that there are in developed countries.
If a PS5, Nintendo Switch, or an Xbox Series X, comes defective from the factory, in the US they simply replace the device with a new one, on this side of the world that contingency is a true viacrucis.
None of the console manufacturing companies, Nintendo, Microsoft or Sony, could speak of commercial success in this region, which incidentally, has twice the population of the US and almost the population of Europe.
Exhibiting as a success selling a couple of tens of thousands of consoles in a potential market of hundreds of millions is a laughable, not to say regrettable result.
There are actors within the industry who have seen the problem and have decided to act accordingly.
The first thing is to recognize that the console is not the best vehicle to grow the gaming business, in emerging economies, they are expensive to acquire and will now be even more expensive to maintain, due to the already announced rise in the price of games that in those markets easily could reach $90 per game.
Already Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Nvidia and Tencent have done it.
Whoever, of the above, manages to penetrate first and with force, is going to earn a lot of money, more than what they earn today in other markets, supposedly more profitable
The second is to be able to regionalize access, which would allow average families in emerging markets, to be able to enter fully and legally in gaming. And I say legally because there is certainly, as a consequence of the above, a large pirate market, especially on PC, which is the major gaming platform in the region, after mobile.
A service scheme such as the one that is being promoted using streaming or the cloud is the only possible way to enter this territory strongly and consistently.
Do not believe in fantasy stories about the shortage of next-gen consoles in Latin America. Is it possible that they run out? Yes, but not because the demand is brutal. They are sold out because the inventory distributors have, in general, is so small that it is impressive. There are large stores in the US that sell more than some countries in the region.
In particular, I am watching closely the evolution of these streaming and cloud-gaming services such as Amazon Luna, Gamepass, or GeForce. In Latin America they will mark the end of consoles and not because they are not incredible devices, it is that it is not a sustainable or profitable business.
Do you hear that Sony? Hopefully yes.
Buy a next-gen in Latin America? It is an individual decision but before making that tremendous investment, you should ask yourself some questions: Do I have a 4K TV or do I plan to buy one soon? In addition to the cost of the console, do I have contemplated the costs of online gaming services (PS Plus, Xbox Live Gold, or Xbox Game Pass)? o Am I willing to spend an extra $ 500 on games over the course of a year?
If the answer to all these questions was yes, then go for it.