The games industry is less than a month away from the release of next generation consoles and the chase for superiority – or the perception of it for marketing purposes – is beginning to look very close. That is, at least much closer than many would have expected coming out of the summer. The Xbox One was thought to be dead on arrival after some controversial privacy policies and the PlayStation 4 was thought to have a clear majority of gamers on its side. Since then, major Xbox One policies have been reversed and the race to become the king of next-gen is back to being a two horse race.
It was thought by some analysts that the PlayStation 4 was still slightly ahead of the Xbox One in terms of projected sales, but analyst company Robert W. Baird & Co. believe that sales between both consoles will have “similar or even slightly higher sales of Xbox One” by the end of the year. While analyst Colin Sebastian estimates the Xbox One will outsell the competition slightly, he doesn’t think it will be by much with each console selling 2.5-3 million units each by the end of Christmas.
“We estimate 5-6 million total Xbox One and PS4 shipments worldwide in 2013.”
There have been some concerns that more casual gamers are currently happy with their consoles and that there may be some stunted growth in the next-gen because of it, especially with several key launch titles seeing delays and several features (i.e. USB headsets) not ready for launch. Sebastian does acknowledge this and warns that neither console is a guaranteed success past their initial launches.
“While we expect strong initial demand for new hardware, we still believe that platform holders need to demonstrate a compelling reason to upgrade, and a clear value proposition for mainstream audiences, to drive growth beyond year one.”
As always, this kind of analysis has to be taken with a pinch of salt. For every analyst forecast of the next-gen console launches, there’s a conflicting report. Some suggest higher or lower sales for one console or the other and fans can often find the report they want to back-up their argument about which will sell better. Soon these reports will be turned into facts though as it isn’t long now until both Microsoft and Sony go head to head in the first round of the next-gen just in time for the holiday season.
Which console do you think is going to ‘win’ the battle for Christmas 2013? Do you think that it will have much bearing over who will sell the most consoles by the end of the generation? Let us know below.
The Xbox One is set to release on November 22, 2013. The PlayStation 4 is set to release on November 15, 2013.