Used game sales remain a huge part of the video game business, while digital media continues its rise.
According to a new report from market analysis firm NewZoo (as reported by Gamasutra ), pre-owned and digital content makes up a total of 35% of all console game spending in the US. That's a significant ratio.
Nearly one quarter of all US console gaming dollars (23%) go toward used games, while 12% is used for digital content. Unsurprisingly, both ratios are lower in Europe, where 20% of console game spending is comprised of pre-owned titles, and 9% is saved for downloadable content. If you include console and PC, 85% of gamers said they sometimes buy used titles, and 25% told NewZoo they actually spent the majority of their cash on pre-owned games.
We still have a ways to go before we enter the realm of digital domination, though. Only a little over half (54%) of the estimated 36 million US console owners have purchased digital content. Those who did download extra stuff spent an average of $49/year on the digital offerings, bringing in $960 million for 2011 thus far. Yeah, times are changing rapidly but it'll be some time before we wave bye-bye to physical media.
As for used games, the move by major publishers (EA, THQ, Sony, etc.) to institute some form of Online Pass may have a negative impact on pre-owned sales in the future. That remains to be seen.