Sales of the current generation of consoles will fall ever so slightly short of previous generation of machines.
That’s according to Michael Pachter who Games Industry reports told a DICE Europe audience that he believes PS4 will sell between 120m and 130m units in its lifetimes. Xbox One, meanwhile, is expected to reach between 100m and 110m. He reckons Wii U will reach just 20m units.
If Pachter’s predictions are correct, that would mean total current generation hardware sales of 260m – just shy of the previous generation’s 270m.
Said the analyst: "The console installed base is as big as it’s ever going to get. [This] generation is not going to be bigger than the last generation. We’re going to be about the same.”
Pachter also went on to make some slightly woollier predictions about the demise of the console, arguing that the actual need to own console hardware will itself be eroded – leading to potentially huge motion growth.
"You’re going to have a CPU/GPU in your house that is connected to your television," he said, references devices such as the Amazon Fire TV or Apple TV. "What happens when you lower the entry so nobody has to buy a console?
"If Activision sells 20m copies of Call of Duty to people with a console, how many people would buy it who don’t have a console? I’m guessing 20m more. To make it easier for the Europeans in the room, how many more people would play FIFA if a console wasn’t required? Another 20m.
"There’s plenty of 30 or 40-somethings who would like to play FIFA or Call of Duty, but they can’t. They’re not going to buy a console for one game, and I’d say that’s true of every single [console] game made. There’s a market of probably several million people who would never buy a console to play the game, but would absolutely buy the game.
"How many people would play Grand Theft Auto if you didn’t need a console? 100m. It’s crazy numbers. This just makes so much sense. It is going to happen."