There’s still a lot of information we don’t know about the PS5 (opens in new tab) or the Xbox Series X (opens in new tab), most notably the confirmed price and release date of the next-generation consoles. But that hasn’t stopped an analyst group from predicting that the PS5 will come out on top in the so-called ‘console wars’.
Piers Harding-Rolls, research director at Ampere Analysis, published a report (opens in new tab) that predicts the PS5 will outsell the Xbox Series X. Come the end of 2024, the report forecasts that out of the 103 million consoles predicted to be sold in the four years after the consoles’ launch, the PS5 will account for 66 million units and the Xbox Series X will sell 37 million.
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- All the Xbox Series X games we know about so far
- Plus: PS5 will be the most ‘customizable’ PlayStation ever
In the beginning, Harding-Rolls predicts that the initial gap between the two consoles will be reasonably narrow with the PS5 set to sell 4.6 million units in 2020 and the Xbox Series X expected to shift 3.3 million. However, as the next-generation moves on that gap is expected to widen.
This is an interesting prediction given a lot of signs are pointing towards the Xbox Series X undercutting the PS5 on price (opens in new tab). And Sony Interactive Entertainment boss Jim Ryan has even hinted that the PS5 will be more focused on “value” (opens in new tab) than offering the lower next-generation console price tag.
However, the PS5 is likely to ride off the success of the PS4 (opens in new tab), which has sold some 110 million units since it’s launch in 2013, whereas the Xbox One (opens in new tab) has shifted an estimated 47 million consoles. As such, there’s arguably a larger PlayStation fanbase for Sony to bring over to the PS5.
And with the likes of Horizon 2: Forbidden West (opens in new tab), Gran Turismo 7 (opens in new tab), and Spider-Man: Miles Morales on the way, the PS5 has some strong exclusive games to keep the Xbox Series X at bay. On the flip side, the Xbox Series X is promising comprehensive backwards compatibility (opens in new tab) and a strong set of services to go alongside its superior raw power. It also has a little game called Halo Infinite (opens in new tab) in the works that is sure to garner some attention, and we should see even more exclusive title's at Microsoft's July event.
Everyone's a winner
It seems that Harding-Rolls and Ampere Analysis have the PS5 pegged to be the winner when it comes to shifting the most game consoles. However, if both consoles shift tens of millions of units, both Sony and Microsoft could come out as winners.
This is pertinent as there’s been plenty of chatter that games consoles are losing their relevance, thanks to smartphone gaming and the emergence of cloud-powered game streaming that actually works...mostly. So shifting millions of consoles would show there’s still an appetite for hardware boxes.
Just don’t expect the PS5 or Xbox Series X to sell as well as the PS2, as Sony’s second-generation PlayStation shifted a vast 155 million units over its lifetime. Harding-Rolls said this is a sign of the time in the games console world.
"While the market is still substantial and likely to be consistently large at least during the next console life cycle, what has been proven over the last decade is that even with significant resources ploughed into growing adoption on a global basis, including more serious entry into a series of additional territories, substantial hardware unit sales growth for Sony and Microsoft combined has not materialised," Harding-Rolls explained.
Even with consoles not seeming to be quite as popular as they once were, the end is not nigh for PlayStation and Xbox. And excitement is building around the PS5 and Xbox Series X, especially following the recent PS5 games showcase (opens in new tab) that garnered more than 80 million unique views. For us, the “Holiday 2020” release window for the consoles can’t come around soon enough.