With the PlayStation 4 (PS4), Sony is on a path to reproduce the success of the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo Wii, having shipped 18.5 million units in its first year as total Game Console shipments grew 11 percent year-on-year in 2014 to 34 million units.
According to Strategy Analytics’ Connected Home Devices (CHD) report, “Year One Shipments Show Strength of Console Gaming,” the global installed base of Sony’s PS4 is predicted to reach 80 million units by 2019, compared to 57 million for Microsoft’s Xbox One, giving the PS4 a lead of 40 percent.
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Sony shipped 18.5 million PlayStation 4 units, far outpacing the 10.5 million units shipped in the first year of PS3 availability, nearly matching the 20.1 million units PS2 shipped during the same period of time.
Microsoft shipped 12.4 million Xbox One units, cruising past the 10.4 million Xbox 360 units shipped in its first year, but mirroring some of the difficulties of the PS3 launch, such as a high price point.
The struggling Nintendo Wii U is following in the footsteps of the GameCube, having shipped only 5.9 million units in its first year of availability, but appears to be staging a modest comeback with the release of several key first-party titles.
Eric Smith, senior analyst, Connected Home Devices, said: “Despite reports to the contrary, the Game Console market is not dead. Core gamers have moved faster to this current generation than in any previous generation. The main difference in this generation is that casual gamers who bought a Wii are remaining largely on the side lines as free-to-play casual games and mid-core games on Tablets and Smartphones have captured this segment of consumers.”
Michael Goodman, service director, Digital Media Strategies, added: “Strong Year One shipments and a quickly growing installed base for PS4 and Xbox One are proving that Game Consoles are still an essential part of the ecosystem. While cloud gaming may appear to obviate the need for expensive hardware at first blush, the more likely scenario will be an enhancement to hardware allowing for very powerful current generation game rendering locally and backward compatibility to large game libraries in the cloud.”
Strategy Analytics, Inc. provides advisory services, consulting and actionable market intelligence for technology, mobile and wireless, digital consumer and automotive electronics companies. It has offices in North America,Europe and Asia.
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