As we finally gear up for the eventual next-generation console launches, predictions have already started to come out. On one hand, we have Microsoft, with its bold and offensive marketing strategy for the Xbox Series X. While on the other hand, Sony has adopted more of a reactive approach, treading carefully with its PlayStation 5 reveals.
However, one thing is clear; both companies are looking extremely good with their console offerings, which is not something that we could have said back in 2013.
There are many factors that determine the success of a video game console within a given generation. Games, price, power, ecosystem, design. backwards compatibility and many more things combine together to weave a console’s fate. And, while some factors are obviously more important than others, new consoles take time to gain momentum.
Having said that, previously built momentum and hype can obviously act as a massive advantage and we all know that Sony is the one who is ahead in that department. While it is true that Microsoft has made some massive strides over the past few years under Phil Spencer, the numbers that Team Xbox is pumping out are still a far cry from what Sony has been achieving as of late.
So, according to Piers Harding-Rolls, who is the research director for games at Ampere Analysis, we can expect PlayStation to carry over its current momentum way over into the next generation.
The PlayStation 5 will have sold over 60 million units by 2024
In his report, Piers starts off by stating that while the console market is expected to slow down in terms of growth, it will still remain as the primary form of gaming. According to him, the next generation of consoles will not be able to sell as many units as the previous generation owing to both economic and technological factors.
In his report, he predicts that the PlayStation 5 will be able to reach the 66 million sales mark in 2024. On the other hand, the Xbox Series X will be lagging way behind at 37 million units. This is in line with the current trends as the PlayStation 4 completely blew Xbox One out of the water this generation. However, we can still expect the gap to shrink between the two consoles for next-gen.
The disparity between the sales number shouldn’t be a surprise though. PlayStation is an older brand and also has a much wider global appeal. On the flip side, the Xbox brand is very popular within the North American and European markets. It would be interesting to see how Phil Spencer’s efforts to bring Xbox to more markets like Japan affect console sales in the coming years.
The price will be a big determining factor for next-generation
At this point, we know that both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X have somewhat similar hardware with minor differences. So, there won’t be much disparity at least in the performance department, unlike last gen. In addition to that, we also know that Sony has the first-party games nailed down for the PS5 with some of the best studios already working on games.
Meanwhile, despite having a rather weak last-gen, Microsoft has acquired a plethora of very talented studios as well with a history of producing some incredible games. We can expect some great first-party games from the Xbox Studios as well.
As a result, many people feel like this generation might come down to price points. Keeping Sony’s momentum and pedigree in mind, one would be hard-pressed to find a way for them to fail at competing against Xbox.
However, Microsoft is adamant at being aggressive with its pricing this time around. We can expect the Xbox to be priced the same, if not less than the PlayStation 5.
So, Sony needs to play its hand very carefully and not repeat the same mistakes it made with the PlayStation 3. We can expect both the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X to be between the $450-$500 price point.
Console sales not a big deal for Microsoft
Earlier last week, Xbox Boss Phil Spencer stated that the company is not concerned about the number of units that they sell. Microsoft has been pushing for the adoption of its ecosystem for a while now. In addition to that, most Xbox games making their way is proof that Microsoft is more focused on the software side of things.
Furthermore, services like Xbox Game Pass are the real profit-makers for the company, and pushing those as much as they can has been Microsoft’s sole strategy for a while now.
Having said that, console sales are crucial for locking people into your ecosystem. Moreover, they are the reason why consoles manage to gain momentum in the first place.
Do you think that the PlayStation 5 will be able to sell twice as many units as the Xbox Series X? Let us know down in the comments below!