Gaming Levels Up, and Into the Metaverse

Overview The U.S. gaming industry engages 164 million users across virtually every social demographic. That’s an increase of nine million new users since 2019. Gaming is a big business driven by ingenious tech that makes experiences deeply immersive, highly accessible and very customizable. Gamers of all ages are flocking to consoles and cloud streaming services, spurring industry innovators to continuously level up their technologies to sate the public’s appetite for new virtual worlds and challenges.

Beyond entertainment, gaming now shapes how we teach, test, collaborate and motivate across a variety of industries. Game platforms and technologies enable rich experiences that have pushed significant growth in terms of revenue and user populations. Per the latest forecast from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®, gaming revenue will increase to $54.4 billion in 2023. Additionally, some 73% of 224 million U.S. adults and adolescents now make up the active gaming population, according to CTA’s recently released study: The Future of Gaming 2022. These findings illuminate an industry buoyed by diverse and cutting-edge gaming options.
At CES® 2023, game publishers, hardware manufacturers and retailers will have a wealth of creative and technical opportunities to explore this growing market, one that CTA knows uniquely as the convener of innovation at CES. Further, we actively monitor trends in the gaming industry as part of our robust research and reporting work. Take a look at what we are seeing as the gaming sector expands.

Gaming Soars to the Cloud

Advancements in cloud computing and gaming streaming services have whetted gamers’ appetites for new ways to access and interact with their gaming experiences.
With similar potential for expansive libraries like audio and video streaming services, cloud gaming offers the promise of easier access to a wider range of titles on a singular platform. Further, the improvement of latency and performance in cloud gaming provides gamers with the flexibility to stream and play games from a variety of compatible devices that include laptops, smart TVs, tablets and even phones. The ability to capture mobile gamers is critical as it allows cloud gaming providers to tap into the double-digit growth in adoption rate of mobile gaming.
Despite the shutdown of Google Stadia in recent weeks, cloud gaming services continue to grow with Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass, Amazon’s Luna and Nvidia’s GeForce Now emerging as leading platforms. Consequently, and according to CTA research, nearly half of gamers in the U.S. are paying for a gaming subscription service, in part as a result of heightened awareness of, and access to, new and varied cloud options.

Gearing Up for the Metaverse

Hardcore gamers and young people are also entering new digital realms via the evolution of the metaverse. Specifically, 62 million (37% of gamers) are excited to live out gaming experiences in the metaverse, with 38 million gamers self-identifying as metaverse enthusiasts, and as our research has revealed.
Gamers anticipate that the future of gaming will see the increased incorporation of augmented and virtual reality to build even deeper metaverse experiences. Nearly 30% will buy a VR/AR headset in the next 12 months.

This is unsurprising, as the 41 million Americans who identify as active and avid gamers in are serious investors in technologies that up the challenge and complexity of content. Gamers are emptying retailer inventories of immersive-enabling hardware such as 8K televisions and soundbars. More than half of U.S. gamers already use a TV with 4K or higher quality with 36% planning to upgrade to an 8K TV in the next 12 months. Some 40% will purchase gaming-caliber headsets with microphones, soundbars or surround-sound speakers and more to boost their experiences.
As the metaverse evolves in the coming years from visual perception to a more tactile experience, haptic technologies -- like the vests and gloves on display at CES 2022 from exhibitors like Owo and Skinetic -- will also become a key piece of gaming equipment. A Ready Player One-like gaming of a sci-fi future may truly be coming closer to our present.

Top Takeaways

Gaming is a multifaceted activity; gamers play primarily to escape (82%), achieve (58%) and connect (37%). Two-thirds (65%) of gamers expect gaming to become more social in the next five years because gaming is becoming more virtual, driven by the metaverse. Outside of the metaverse, mobile gaming will see double-digit adoption with a market share growth of 11 percentage points from 2019.
Find out what trends are moving fastest to the fore – they’ll be showcased at CES 2023. Major names in the industry will be exhibiting, among them Microsoft, Sony, AMD, Razer, Intel, Qualcomm and HyperX. Be there, and be first, to see what’s next. Register today

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