Games industry research firm DFC Intelligence shared an updated forecast on next-gen console sales, specifically focusing on the struggle between Sony's PS5 and Microsoft's Xbox Series X. According to the forecast up until 2024, Sony's console is expected to outsell the Xbox Series X by roughly two-to-one.
In recent months it has become clear that Sony and Microsoft are pursuing two very different strategies in the video game industry. The likely result is that the upcoming Sony PlayStation 5 should significantly outsell the Microsoft Xbox Series X. However, Microsoft may have the long-term winning battle plan. The latest DFC Intelligence video game console forecasts have the PlayStation 5 outselling the Xbox Series X by a margin of 2-to-1. The PS5 looks likely to be Sony’s third 100 million unit selling console game system. Microsoft is trying its best with Xbox Series X, but the past few months have revealed they are just too far behind Sony. Consumer brand preference is strongly towards PlayStation. As a piece of hardware there is nothing Xbox Series X is doing to change that perception. Sony is also a global powerhouse in video games. Microsoft is only strong in English speaking markets. The Xbox has no presence in Japan and is weak in most of Europe. Sony’s strength in global consumer electronics distribution has been too much for Microsoft to overcome, even after 20 years of concerted effort.
Still, the forecast isn't all doom and gloom for Microsoft. In fact, as briefly mentioned in the first sentence, the analysts at DFC Intelligence also noted that Microsoft's strategy may be a winner in the long-term, as the video game audience is nowadays much broader than just console. While the Xbox Series X may only manage 'decent' sales compared to PS5's estimated 100-million-plus potential, the fact that the critical Game Pass subscription service has now been fully untethered with respect to Xbox consoles could give Microsoft access to the much larger PC and mobile audience, too.
By comparison, DFC Intelligence mentioned Sony to be focused on 'short-term sales' rather than long-term vision, and with tech giants like Amazon, Apple, Google and Samsung still largely out on the fringes of the games industry market, Microsoft may have to compete more with Nintendo than Sony in that regard.
Of course, when it comes to the sales of PS5 and Xbox Series X, a lot will depend on their launch pricing which has not been revealed yet. We expect both Sony and Microsoft will have to fix that in the next few weeks, though, and at the same time we should also learn about the release dates of the two game systems.