With it being the holiday season, you’d think video game makers would be enjoying the best days of the year. But the industry – worth over $197 billion – is at risk of posting its first annual sales decline in at least a decade. That’s even while the latest edition of the world’s most popular video game, Call of Duty, became the fastest game to reach $1 billion in sales.
Inflation has certainly played a role in the decline of video game sales. It was the first time online sales on Thanksgiving and Black Friday hadn’t grown, according to Adobe Digital Economy. Of 2,200 Americans surveyed, 60 percent said they would be spending less money this holiday season, with the average shopping budget down 23 percent, to $200. You can’t even buy three new video games on that budget.
Despite the expected downturn for the industry, Microsoft is attempting to acquire Activision, who makes Call of Duty. But the Federal Trade Commission sued Microsoft to block the merger, and for good reason. While PlayStation, a Sony company, has a 93 percent market share when it comes to gaming consoles, its share of the video game market as a whole is just 46 percent. Microsoft trails even Nintendo for world market share of the $197 billion industry, with 25 percent.
Microsoft has decided to play third fiddle no more, and has the money to make it happen. The company is valued at $1.8 trillion – 18 times more than Sony – and it made $18.8 billion in the second quarter of 2022. That’s half of what Sony makes in an entire year. Acquiring Activision would allow Microsoft to withhold content from its competition, namely the Call of Duty franchise.
Microsoft doesn’t make money on its gaming console, the Xbox. It makes money off the sale of games, and people don’t buy a gaming console for any other reason than the games that are available to play on that console. If Call of Duty could only be played on Xbox, Microsoft would enjoy a considerable increase in both global console market share and overall revenue. This is also a direct path to a video game monopoly, which is why the FTC has stepped in to block the Activision acquisition.
Switches for Playing Video Games
With all this news of video game wars during the holiday season, it’s an opportune time to introduce you to all the video game switches available at E-Switch. When it comes to gaming controllers, many of our tactile lines are a good fit. The TL3305 Series ultra-miniature tact switch offers a small footprint of just 4.5 by 4.5 millimeters and can be delivered with an actuator that’s 3.8, 5, or 7 millimeters high and features two operating force options: 160gf or 260gf. Most importantly, it can be mashed 500,000 times.
Of course, you can’t have a gaming controller without a means to navigate your character through the game’s world, and the JS1300 Series 5-position navigation switch provides that means. This switch could also be used to provide characters with at least five different actions all in one switch. In fact, given the many button combinations and button sequences this switch offers, the list of actions that can be programmed is practically endless.
Then there’s the JS1400 Series joystick navigation switch, which has a life expectancy of 100,000 cycles and offers a modest footprint of 7.4 by 7.7 millimeters. Three actuator heights are also available: 4, 4.5, and 5 millimeters. Silver terminals in either flat gull wing or inverted gull wing designs are also available.
Whether it be Microsoft’s Xbox, Sony’s PlayStation, or the Nintendo Switch, E-Switch has a switch for every video game controller.