IHS increases Xbox One X sales forecast – but does not expect a momentum shift

“The Project Scorpio limited edition pre-order strategy has been particularly effective”

Analyst HIS Markit has increased its projected launch sales for the Xbox One X, which arrives worldwide today.

Having previously predicted 2017 sales of 500k units, the company now reckons Microsoft could sell as many as 900k Xbox One X's by the end of the year.

“Feedback on pre-order volume for both the limited edition Project Scorpio Xbox One X and for the standard version of the X console has led us to increase our 2017 sell-through forecast for Xbox One X,” games director Piers Harding-Rolls said.

“The Project Scorpio limited edition pre-order strategy has been particularly effective in driving what is expected to be a robust launch week in key sales territories. At this level, Xbox One share of total Q4 2017 Xbox One console family sales will be close to 20 percent, similar to the performance of PS4 Pro at launch.”

However, IHS only expects a “small share” of PS4 Pro owners to shift across to the new machine and “does not expect Xbox One X to have a dramatic impact on market share between Sony and Microsoft in continental Europe as the market’s current momentum is well entrenched”.

However, it also reckons that the marketing tag line “world’s most powerful console” could have a positive impact on sales of the Xbox One S, as the existence of the X machine could encourage gamers to buy into the Xbox ecosystem again.

Sales of the new machine could also help to offset any revenue lost to the discounting of the S console on the High Street.

Overall, IHS Markit forecasts a Western Europe installed base of 26m for PS4 and 8m for Xbox One by the end of 2017.

UPDATE: An error with the timeframe of the sales forecast has been corrected.