On March 17, game developers from around the world will gather in San Francisco for the annual Game Developers Conference. Before the show, GDC surveys attending developers to find out which platforms they'll be releasing their next game on. Since this is the first year the Xbox One and PS4 are showing up, it will be interesting to see how they stack up against the other platforms.
In the 2014 State of the Industry report, a majority of the 2,600 North American developers surveyed revealed that their next game is going to be on mobile and/or PC. Thanks to the low barrier of entry and relatively low cost of development, these two platforms have risen in popularity over the last few years as easy ways to get your foot in the door.
Moving to game consoles, almost 20 percent of respondents said their next game would show up on the PlayStation 4. Most GDC attendees today are indie developers so the results aren't too surprising considering Sony's support of indie developers. It's also the reason why almost 7.5 percent of those surveyed will be releasing their game on the PlayStation Vita - another indie friendly platform. In comparison, the PlayStation 3 only has 6 percent of developers working on games for it.
As for Xbox, almost 17 percent of developers will be releasing their next game on the Xbox One. Thanks to Microsoft's ID@Xbox program, indie developers can now self publish their game on the platform. The same can not be said for the Xbox 360 where only 6 percent of developers plan to release their next game.
So, what about Nintendo? Last year, only 4.6 percent of surveyed developers said their next game would be out on the Wii U. This year, that number has dropped slightly to 4.4 percent. The original Wii fared much worse with less than one precent of developers releasing their next game on the system.
Nintendo's handhelds didn't fare any better. Despite the 3DS' success in 2013, the handheld is still primarily a vehicle for first party titles. Only 1.9 percent of those surveyed will be releasing their next game on the 3DS while only .5 percent will be releasing their next title on the original DS.
Outside of traditional game consoles, game developers can now also choose to develop for Android-based microconsoles. Almost 11 percent of those surveyed will be releasing their next game on the Ouya and its ilk. While the barrier to entry is just as low as it is on mobile devices, Android microconsoles are still selling poorly enough to make investment in games for these platforms a risky proposition.
All of this paints a rosy picture for the future of next gen consoles, PC and mobile. All the other platforms aren't doing so hot right now, but this is only a survey of North American developers. Game consoles would see more support if Japanese developers were thrown into the mix and European developers would give a major boost to the already dominant PC.
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