Declines in Gears of War and God of War sales may mark the end of the Xbox 360 and PS3 era

GoW Ascension

This month marks the eighth anniversary of our first glimpse at the birth of high definition gaming consoles. In April of 2005, Microsoft officially unveiled the Xbox 360, and the system was released that November.  The PlayStation 3 followed a year later. While the physical game market has been in steady decline since 2009, the consoles have had their ebbs and flows but generally seen strong sales. In the past year, however, the consoles also saw their sales start to slip despite lifetime low prices, suggesting that this generation of consoles are on the way out. March 2013 provided further insight into audiences’ fatigue with the current machines, and even franchises that once fueled Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 sales are sagging.

According to market analysts with investment firm Cowen & Company, Microsoft’s Gears of War series and Sony’s God of War have lost significant cache with gaming audiences. A note to investors estimated that those two series new games sold 425,000 and 360,000 copies respectively, staggeringly low totals when compared to debuts of previous entries in the series.

Consider Gears of War. Gears of War 3, released in September 2011, sold 3 million copies in its first month, and Gears of War 1 and 2 sold around 12 million copies between November 2006 and 2012. Even with People Can Fly developing Gears of War: Judgment rather than series creator Epic Games, the dip is absolutely shocking.

The same can be said of God of War: Ascension. That game was released almost exactly three years after its predecessor, God of War 3, plenty of time to drive fresh demand for the series. God of War 3 sold more than 1 million copies within days of release and went on to nearly triple that number by mid-2012. Yet Ascension debuted at half-mast by comparison.

There are mitigating factors to consider when examining these sales estimates. First, these totals and the stats compiled by research firm the NPD Group due later this week only refer to retail sales. Both Gears of War: Judgment and God of War: Ascension are available as downloads on their respective consoles. Both games were also positioned in a crowded schedule against major releases like BioShock Infinte and Tomb Raider, which Cowen peg as the victors of the month with 665,000 and 696,000 physical copies sold respectively. Both games were also prequels that followed the finale of a trilogy, and neither were able to critically outperform the previous entries in their respective series either.

Even with those circumstances influencing gamers’ spending habits, the dip in interest in these series so tied to the past success of their mutual platforms, demonstrates that 2013 truly is the end of an era.

Movies & TV

Captain Marvel’s original ending didn’t explain her absence in Infinity War

Captain Marvel editor Debbie Berman revealed that Carol Danvers' journey originally had a "jarring" ending, and detailed the changes that were made to help bridge the gap between Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame.

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Movies & TV

Avengers: Endgame: Everything we know about the Infinity War sequel

The events of Avengers: Infinity War changed the Marvel Cinematic Universe in some big ways and left fans wondering how its heroes can possibly recover. Here's everything we know about Avengers: Endgame, the sequel to Infinity War.

How to sync and troubleshoot your PS4's DualShock 4 controllers

Sony's Bluetooth-enabled DualShock 4 controllers for PlayStation 4 are some of the best on the market, but connection issues aren't unheard of. Here's how to sync them to your console.

The best of the last generation: Our 50 favorite Xbox 360 games

The Xbox 360 thrived during a generation where games were plentiful. Here's our list of the best Xbox 360 games of all time, including all game genres and even a few special indie hits.
Product Review

The Division 2 brings the most fun we've ever had to Washington, D.C.

After 55 hours with The Division 2, it’s clear that Ubisoft has improved on the original in almost every way. The world is richly detailed, the story missions are wonderful, gunplay and enemy design are great, and the endgame content is…

The Division 2 is another loot shooter with a dull story. Does it matter?

The Division 2 has a story to tell. It's not a good story. It's not told very well. But by-golly, The Division 2 is going to make you sit your ass down and listen whether you want to or not.

A new hope is lost as Disney dismisses rumors of a revival of Lucasfilm Games

According to job listings on the Disney website, the company has plans to revive Lucasfilm Games. This comes as a surprise following the shuttering of LucasArts in 2013 and could potentially mean more Star Wars games.

Last gen had some hits! Take a look at the best PS3 games of all time

Choosing the right PlayStation 3 game can be a conundrum, especially when there are nearly 1,500 titles to choose from. Thankfully, we've rounded up the best games to have ever made it to the platform.

Oculus shows off the Rift S, plans to phase out its original VR headset

Oculus plans to phase out its flagship Rift VR headset for its newly created Rift S. The Rift S made its debut this week at the 2019 Game Developers Conference and is expected to be released in spring 2019.

Hook up your Nintendo Switch with these deals on accessories right now on Amazon

The Nintendo Switch is a portable system with tons of accessories. The problem is, hooking it up doesn't come cheap. Every week, we look for the best deals on Nintendo Switch accessories on Amazon so you don't have to.

Epic Games is offering $100 million to game developers with no catch

Epic Games launched a new grant program called Epic MegaGrants. The program will dish out $100 million in funds to developers working in the 3D graphics community, even if they don't use Unreal Engine.

The best PUBG weapons to win you that coveted chicken dinner

Which weapons in PUBG are worth the time to scout out and fit with attachments? Which are going to help you become the last player standing? We've got the answers you need in our best PUBG weapons guide.