Is it time for the next generation of consoles?
Do you remember what you were doing on November 15th, 2013? If you’re a console gamer, there’s a strong chance that you were in line ready to pick up your PlayStation 4. But just how many console units have sold this generation and how close are we to the next?
The rumors are here folks and they’re backed by data. Sony believes that the PlayStation 4 has hit peak sales. What does that mean? In a nutshell, you can only sell so many of your product before everyone has one.
What happens when everyone on earth owns a PS4? There will be no one left to buy any more of Sony’s latest console. We live in a reality where only so much of the population actually plays video games and according to Sony, we’re close to reaching that total.
How do Nintendo and Xbox fit into all of this? We’ll get into that and give you our best bets as to how close we are to the next generation of consoles.
Sony has sold 76 million PS4 units as of April 2018. The console is actually projected to sell over 90 million by 2019. Not to worry as there is still plenty of life for the PlayStation 4. Software sales went up from 218 million during 2017’s fiscal year to 247 million this fiscal year.
From 2016 to 2018 Sony has averaged roughly 18 million PS4’s sold per year. The moment that sales drop below 16 million we can expect a new console. After all, Sony needs to keep investors happy and ensure that they will continue to make the revenue necessary to vacation on all-inclusive luxury island resorts. If sales begin to trend down after 2018, Sony predicts a Fall 2020 release window for the would-be PlayStation 5.
What about Xbox One Sales? Microsoft has been tight-lipped about official numbers and hasn’t released any new details as of late. The last official statement was that the Xbox One sold 14 million units and that was in 2014. It’s been crickets since.
However, EA CEO Andrew Wilson revealed that the combined sales for Xbox One and PS4’s throughout 2017 were roughly 103 million. Using Sony’s published 2017 figures, the math says Microsoft has sold 30 million Xbox One units. Granted this is all just speculation, we can assume that the PS4 beat Xbox One sales at about two-to-one.
Why does this matter? Even if Sony has reached peak sales, Microsoft could launch their next console iteration before Sony in order to get a head start with sales. If we’re just taking Sony and Microsoft as factors – and we might as well since Nintendo does whatever they damn well please despite the competition – then the next console generation is coming.
Oh Nintendo you and your crazy antics. The original Wii was such a success (101 million) that Nintendo thought themselves untouchable. And then the Wii U happened.
The Wii U was quite the flop. Nintendo only sold about 13 million Wii U units during its 6-7-year run, but at least they were honest about it… ahem, Microsoft…
But the Nintendo Switch has proven that Nintendo does indeed have a brain and that Zelda fans will buy whatever console has a Zelda game. The Switch has sold about 17 million units as of March 2018.
Now if we take the estimated number of the competition into consideration, then the Switch is on its way to surpassing Xbox One sales. But how soon could we expect the next Nintendo console? To be honest they could drop it tomorrow!
Or maybe they might just make a cardboard add-on for their consoles! Oh wait, they already do that. It’s called LABO. Nintendo is too much of an unpredictable factor to really contemplate their place in the console war.
At this point, Nintendo is only competing with itself. The Switch and the 3DS are both handheld- I mean portable gaming options.
Holiday 2020: Place your bets
Am I a bit biased and favor PlayStation? Yes. But the reason I use PS4 sales a standard for comparison is that Sony actually publishes their figures on a regular basis. I would love to use Xbox sales as more of a predictor, but I cannot due to the lack of official reporting on Microsoft’s part.
As for Nintendo, they not only get to stay neutral during the console wars but even get other benefits like a ‘get out of online infrastructure free pass.’ So, there you have it. Sony themselves predicts a fall 2020 release. That gives us 2 more solid years with our current generation of fun machines. Xbox could get a jump on that release and Nintendo could do whatever they want when they want. Let us know your thoughts and predictions for the console wars.
Photo Credit: Windows Central & Gamespot