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Analyst expects PS4 and Xbox One Q4 '13 shipments just below three million each

PlayStation 4 Screenshot - Xbox One vs PS4 controller

Xbox One and PS4 shipments in Q4 2013 are expected to hit somewhere between 2.5 and 3 million units. The estimate comes from Robert W. Baird & Co's Colin Sebastian who noted that the firm expects "similar or even slightly higher sales of Xbox One" in North America by the end of launch window. Many other analyst firms, however, predict just the opposite and give the edge to the PS4 in the region.

“Our shipment unit forecasts are slightly below consensus of 3 million or more for each platform,” Sebastian said. “We estimate 5-6 million total Xbox One and PS4 shipments worldwide in 2013. Overall, our unit forecasts are slightly below some other published estimates of 3 million or more units per platform by year-end; however, we do not have any near-term demand concerns, but rather anticipate normal launch supply constraints.

“Looking further ahead, we expect ongoing flow of new hardware in Q1, which should enable Sony to reach its 5 million unit target by the end of March 2014.”

The firm also noted "healthy premiums" for both consoles on eBay where the Xbox One is selling for close to $800 (vs. base price of $499) and the PS4 for $600 (vs. $399 base price).

“Our latest channel checks suggest initial demand indications remain positive for next-gen hardware,” Sebastian continued. “Overall video game sector performance has lagged as investors await more tangible next-gen data points, and as such, we remain cautiously optimistic on the group.

“To that end, both Sony and Microsoft are generally sold out of their initial unit shipments of PS4 and Xbox One, respectively. 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.”

The PlayStation 4 is set to release on November 15 in North America, while the Xbox One will hit shelves a week later on November 22.

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Matt Liebl You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigley. And his wife.
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