PS5 and Xbox Series X Expected to Beat Launch Figures of PS4 and Xbox One, Says Analyst


As we get closer to the launch of PS5 and Xbox Series X, the next-generation consoles by Sony and Microsoft, they are bound to be an increasingly bigger conversation topic within the games industry.

In the latest MCVUK magazine (March 2020, issue 955), analyst Piers Harding-Rolls (Head of Games Research at IHS Markit) revealed strong expectations that PS5 and Xbox Series X will beat launch figures of their respective predecessors, albeit with a couple of caveats (price and lack of supply constraints).

PS5 is Getting a New Array of Colorful Faceplates in June

Although there is quite a lot we don’t know about the launch of next-generation consoles, my expectation is that both PS5 and Xbox Series X will launch strongly if there are no supply constraints and pricing is within an acceptable range, that being $499 or below.

By strongly I mean that both the PS5 and Xbox Series X will beat the launch figures of PS4 and Xbox One. I hold this view because the PS4 has a significantly bigger active userbase compared to the PS3 back in 2013, which should put Sony in a stronger starting position at launch. I also expect Microsoft to have a much more effective launch this gen compared to Xbox One and to be better positioned to drive early adoption.

Piers Harding-Rolls also expressed his belief that PS5 and Xbox Series X will also compete on subscription services, which could be a critical factor for customers when they choose a console over another.

Next-gen, I expect a stronger focus on services to differentiate console offerings. It’s clear that Microsoft will be focused on Xbox Game Pass, but only as part of a collection of ways to access content using different distribution and monetisation models. I do not expect a wholesale transition to subscription services. I also expect Sony to continue evolving PlayStation Now. How the platform holders blend their services together and how they are integrated as product offerings will play an important role in engaging consumers.

Microsoft has made a big deal of its Xbox Game Pass, merging it with the Xbox Live Gold subscription in the XGP Ultimate tier. Could Sony do the same with PlayStation Now and PlayStation Plus? Would you like that? Let us know in the comments.