The International Data Corporation (IDC) is preparing to publish its 73-page report of its latest console forecast, and predicts that the Playstation 4 will dominate the eighth console generation by selling 51 million units by 2016. However, Microsoft’s Xbox One is expected to take the lead in North America once it unbundles the Kinect hardware from the console, allowing Microsoft to offer a competitively priced version against the Playstation 4. Nintendo’s Wii U is expected to receive a $50 world-wide price cut, but is not predicted to make a dent against competing consoles.
The IDC also predicts that the gaming industry will continue to see declines in hardware and physical disc sales. Eighth generation consoles are expected to earn about 10 percent less from hardware and disc-based games than the seventh generation consoles (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii) combined. The IDC forecasts that 45 percent fewer discs will be sold to retailers in comparison to the seventh generation, although console hardware revenue is projected to rise above the previous generation due to the higher average selling prices.
While physical disc sales are expected to drop considerably, the digital market will continue to grow and keep the industry healthy, with rising digital revenue forecast to counter the drop in disc-based sales. More than 50 percent of total game and app/service spending are expected to come through digital channels by 2019. With the inclusion of digital console game spending, subscription revenue, and other digital purchases, eighth generation console revenue is expected to match the seventh generation’s physical hardware and software sales.
The IDC’s report, Worldwide Video Game and Entertainment Console Hardware and Packaged Software 2014-2018 Forecast, will be published later this week.