Entering text into the input field will update the search result below

Video Game Industry Hits Reset In 2020

Global X ETFs profile picture
Global X ETFs


  • The last console upgrade supercycle translated to strong stock returns for game developers.
  • Just as Netflix disrupted the distribution model for movies and TV shows, cloud gaming could have a similar impact on the videogame industry.
  • It's likely that within the next seven years, cloud-based gaming will displace consoles, as 5G speeds and edge computing eliminate latency issues.

Originally published February 28, 2020

Today's videogame industry has come a long way since the days of Atari consoles and video arcades. Yes, technological improvements now enable hyper-realistic 3D graphics that look nothing like the flat, jagged-edged 8-bit characters of the 1980s. But just as meaningfully, the preferences of a new generation of gamers are evolving, and so too are the companies seeking to meet those demands. For an industry that typically moves linearly from each console generation or game edition to the next, 2020 may seem like just another incremental improvement as next-generation consoles launch later this year. But underneath the veneer of even more polished graphics, the industry is preparing for long-term transformation that could upend the sale of consoles and games.

In this piece, we explore what the 2020 console upgrade cycle means for the industry and how advancements in cloud gaming may mean this is the last PlayStation and Xbox.

New Consoles Improve Graphics and Speed

Both Microsoft (MSFT) and Sony (SNE) are expected to release the new Xbox and PlayStation consoles this upcoming holiday season, representing the first major hardware upgrades since 2013. The new consoles are expected to feature 8K TV support, ray tracing, and solid-state drive (SSD) storage - enhancements that will bring unprecedented realism to games and faster load times. Other details are still kept under a tight lid by the manufacturers.

Despite the growth in PC gaming, consoles still make up a larger portion of the gaming market. Consoles account for 30% of the 2019 global gaming market at $45.3 billion.1 PCs fall slightly behind with 24% market share or $35.3 billion.2 Mobile, which we'll discuss shortly, represents the biggest market with 46% share or $68.2 billion.3

New Consoles Benefit Game Developers

Historically, the release of a new console generates positive spillover

This article was written by

Global X ETFs profile picture
Founded in 2008, Global X is a sponsor of exchange-traded funds (ETFs). We are distinguished by our Thematic Growth, Income, and International ETFs. Explore our insights on the trends and themes shaping global markets – from technology to commodities to emerging economies – at globalxfunds.com/research. Global X ETFs is a member of the Mirae Asset Global Investments Group. Important disclosures: globalxfunds.com/privacy

Recommended For You

To ensure this doesn’t happen in the future, please enable Javascript and cookies in your browser.
Is this happening to you frequently? Please report it on our feedback forum.
If you have an ad-blocker enabled you may be blocked from proceeding. Please disable your ad-blocker and refresh.