Will the new PS5 and Xbox put gaming stores out of business?
They very well could.
Both PlayStation and Xbox are releasing less expensive, digital models this year. The main difference between their core and digital models?
No disc drive.
Now, with a lower price point than ever before, and a traditional holiday release, the PS5 Digital and Xbox Series S will give their disc drive counterparts a run for their money.
Where does that leave gaming stores? EB Games, Microplay, that little corner shop owned by a local enthusiast. The outlook isn’t good.
Their saving grace, for now, might be the backwards compatibility offered by both consoles. The new PS5 and Xbox consoles will be able to play games from the previous generation, PS4 and Xbox One. That’s a big deal for anyone that has amassed a few shelves of games, and will be a driving force of sales towards the pricier disc drive models.
In the coming months, consumers will either continue with the familiarity of their disc drives, or continue the shift towards digital only platforms; the final blow to the retail gaming store as it is today.
How can gaming stores survive?
They need to reinvent themselves. Provide some real value to their customers, beyond just what’s on the shelves. And they need to do it before they become too irrelevant for their customers to notice.