Sony's successful PS4 will go on to join its predecessors the PlayStation and PS2 by selling over 100m units worldwide, DFC Intelligence predicts.
Only five consoles have ever hit that milestone – the record-holding PS2, DS, Game Boy, PSOne and Wii. Both PS3 and Xbox 360 fell between 10-15m short.
DFC notes that in 2015 PS4 sales matched its forecasts, while Xbox One and Wii U fell just short.
The firm also predicts a boom in digital games sales, thanks in part to due to the opening market for small developers and publishers that digital has opened. It reckons PS4 and Xbox One will between them reach $20bn in annual games revenue by 2019, by which time half of sales will be digital.
DFC admits that both Nintendo and VR are far more unpredictable factors.
DFC believes Nintendo is still a major player to watch in the game market but thinks that the company may not be ready to launch a new game system at this time,” it said. The other area to watch is the potential entry of new companies in the game space, especially Amazon, Apple or Google. These are all major factors that have resulted in a lowering of expectations for all manufacturers except Sony.
Of course, virtual reality (VR) is currently the big news item and its potential impact was examined. Overall VR is not expected to have a big impact on the console market. Sony has the biggest VR play with the PlayStation VR but that is only one of several reasons why the PlayStation 4 is expected to be the leading game system over the next few years.
VR could actually help the PS4 expand its audience over the next few years but it is currently not crucial to the overall forecasts as DFC is taking a conservative attitude towards the market.”