PS4 and Xbox One launch sales could be closer than we think
The next-gen console competition could be a lot closer than we all think. Most research firms, surveys, and polls indicate that the PS4 will outsell the Xbox One at launch, and while the latest estimate from IHS Games and Research seems to agree, the firm believe sales will be much closer than anticipated.
"With the determination of both companies not to give either a head start, the simultaneous launch of both PS4 and Xbox One results in a more complex forecasting environment," IHS said in a note on Wednesday (via CNBC). The firm estimates that Sony will sell about 2.4 million PS4 consoles by the end of 2013, while Microsoft will sell around 2.2 million Xbox One consoles in the same period. Although the PS4 is still expected to outsell the Xbox One, the company's latest forecast paints a much more competitive picture -- not the 2:1 ratio some have predicted.
IHS believes geographical brand allegiances will remain in place, leading to the Xbox One outselling the PS4 in North America. The PS4, on the other hand, is expected to outsell the Xbox One across Europe.
The company notes the Xbox One's launch sales should be "significantly stronger" than that of the Xbox 360 because the community is much larger than the transition from the original Xbox to the Xbox 360.
The PS4, meanwhile, has price on its side. The PlayStation 4 will release this Friday (Nov. 15) for $399, while the Xbox One will launch a week later (Nov. 22) for $499.
"Back in 2006/2007, the PS3 launched at an eye-watering price point of $599/€599/£425, making it at least $200 more expensive than Xbox 360 at launch. This time round Sony has the pricing edge, which IHS believes will strengthen its sales potential in both North America and the U.K. - geographies dominated by Xbox 360 during the current generation," the firm said.
Of course, the success of a console comes down to more than just initial launch sales. As we learned with this generation anything can happen in the span of 10-or-so years. On that topic, the firm commented, "IHS believes that Sony's wider geographical brand allegiance - especially across continental Europe and Japan - will be decisive in allowing PS4 to outsell Xbox One on a global basis by the end of 2017."
IHS estimates that Sony will sell about 49 million PS4 consoles by the end of 2017, while Microsoft will sell about 38 million Xbox One consoles over the same period.
Do you plan on purchasing a PS4 or Xbox One at launch?