At the tail-end of last year, Sony and Microsoft released their first major consoles in more than five years. It was kind of a big deal, with multi-million dollar advertising campaigns, relentless media coverage and a strategic launch date aimed to capitalise on the Christmas shopping frenzy. You'd therefore expect these months to create a significant boost to JB Hi-Fi's software sales. Except they didn't. In fact, sales went in the opposite direction.
CD picture from Shutterstock
In its latest half year results presentation, JB Hi-Fi reported an 11.9 per cent drop in software sales compared to the same period in 2012. That's a pretty woeful showing when you consider that this was the first time gamers had a chance to snap up Xbox One and PS4 titles.
Now admittedly, JB Hi-Fi does lump games, DVDs and music into a single 'software' category, which goes some way to explaining the sharp drop in sales. Nonetheless, you'd think that the pre-Christmas launch of the Xbox One and PS4 would have helped to stem the tide somewhat. (Video game sales routinely trounce all other forms of entertainment, after all.) It seems odd that the combined software sales for two brand-spanking new consoles failed to improve profits over the previous financial year.
Then again, the current crop of next-gen video games haven't exactly set the world on fire in terms of hype or critical acclaim. Perhaps we're all just biding our time until something decent comes out. If you're interested, you can check out the rest of JB Hi-Fi's financial results here.
A 11.9 per cent drop in software sales sure does sound a bit crappy. Could the balance finally be shifting towards digital media as more consumers go digital? Is piracy to blame? Or has the quality of software just been a bit crap this year? Share your thoughts in the comments section below, me hearties!
Originally published on Kotaku