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Published January 6th 2020

5 Consumer Trends for the Video Gaming Industry in 2020

The console wars are coming, there are some huge VR releases to keep an eye on, and consumers are making their opinions known

2020 is going to be big for the gaming industry.

Looking ahead to the big events, and looking at our most recent research into tech and entertainment, here are our top consumer trends for the gaming industry in 2020.

1. The console wars

It’s been seven great years since the original console wars. Remember 2013, the mania? The need for a great Black Friday deal?

Well, it’s happening again. But this time gamers will be eagerly awaiting Microsoft’s next gen Xbox (The Xbox Series X) and Sony’s Playstation 5.

Each have generated hundreds of thousands of mentions, and as we hear more details we’ll be able to find out more about what consumers think of each of the options.

Rumours from Digitimes and GamesIndustry predict Nintendo will also be releasing a premium version of the Switch – more on them later.

2. Splashing cash in 2020

Regardless of what the consoles look like, you can be sure people will be spending big on them.

In our recent survey of 8,000 consumers worldwide, we found that personal electronics and entertainment were industries where people cared far more about quality than affordability.

With all this cash on the line, the rivalry between the Xbox Series X and the PS5 couldn’t have higher stakes.

Brandwatch image
Source: Qriously, Brandwatch Consumer Trends for 2020 report
Brandwatch image
Source: Qriously, Brandwatch Consumer Trends for 2020 report

3. VR to finally go mainstream?

Probably not mainstream mainstream. But there is reason to believe it’ll be a bigger thing in 2020 than in 2019.

Using Consumer Research, it only takes a few minutes to see that affordable and convincing virtual reality is something gamers are longing for. Current offerings are seen as expensive, but the majority of sentiment-categorized conversation around VR in 2020 is positive.

Meanwhile, in our Consumer Trends for 2020 report, we found that VR and AR beat out tech like blockchain and cryptocurrency as something that consumers think will transform society in 2020.

Half-Life: Alyx, a new, full-length virtual reality entry in the Half-Life series, is also anticipated to generate huge interest, because it is exclusively (at time of writing) for VR.

It still does feel like VR is niche. But 2020 could be the year we separate the gimmicks from the ‘game changing’ VR consoles and titles.

4. The most loved brands

Nintendo is a brand that does consistently well in our Brandwatch Index, ranking higher than gaming rivals Microsoft and Sony.

Whenever Nintendo releases a new title, it gets a huge reaction on social media, and it consistently generates positive conversation online.

If gaming companies are looking to improve their standings in the online world, our advice would be ‘Be more Nintendo.’

5. E3 2020 is going to be huge

Every year we measure the top conferences, titles, and brands on their E3 performance. With so many enormous releases scheduled for 2020, we estimate that this year’s E3 could be the biggest ever.

If the new consoles are on show, we’ll see enormous spikes in conversation, and analysis of those conversations could give an early indication as to which console will win out towards the end of the year. It can also give Sony and Microsoft some pointers as to what consumers want changed or fixed before the big launches.

We can’t wait to see how things play out in 2020 for the gaming industry.

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