Sony Banks on Retro Gaming Boost as Early Imports Indicate Higher Score in 2018 — Panjiva
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Sony Banks on Retro Gaming Boost as Early Imports Indicate Higher Score in 2018

Cons. Discr. - Retailing 156 Info Tech - Tech Hardware 378 U.S. 3297

Videogame manufacturer Sony will follow the trend for console re-releases with a “Playstation Classic” scheduled to be released in time for the holidays. That follows a similar move by Nintendo in November 2016 and may be aimed at maintaining brand interest in an off-year for updates of its main Playstation line. As flagged in Panjiva research of June 13 all three of the big games producers – including Nintendo and Microsoft’s Xbox – expect to focus on new games rather than hardware this year.

While imports of games consoles normally peaks in October ahead of the holiday selling season, Panjiva data shows there’s been an early surge with imports in the three months to August 31 (including seaborne shipments) up 29.0% on a year earlier. That followed a 27.2% in 2017 vs. 2016.

A challenge that the console-makers have so far avoided are tariffs – 96% of U.S. imports originated in China in the past 12 months. Threats by President Trump to extend duties to cover all Chinese exports from the $250 billion currently facing duties may raise costs significantly in the peak season.

LEVELLING UP

Chart compares U.S. seaborne imports of videogame systems to total imports.    Source: Panjiva

Growth in 2017 was led by Nintendo’s Switch system though a 72.5% decline in seaborne shipments of related products in the past three months suggests the Labo cardboard accessory system has yet to achieve significant uptake.

Imports of Sony Playstation products have surged, however, with a 2.3x increase vs. a year earlier – so far though shipment data would suggest this is peripherals rather than the Classic system itself. Microsoft meanwhile is also seeing a renaissance with imports up 30.0%, possibly reflecting expected interest in the Xbox line after the release of the Xbox One X.

GAME ALREADY OVER FOR NINTENDO?

Chart segments U.S. seaborne imports of all products by videogame brand for Sony’s Playstation, Microsoft’s Xbox and Nintendo.    Source: Panjiva

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