PS4 will have outsold its rival Xbox One to the tune of 11m units within five years, research firm IHS has predicted.
The company believes that by 2017 PS4 will have sold 49m units worldwide with Xbox One trailing behind on 38m units.
IHS believes that Sony's wider geographical brand allegiance – especially across continental Europe and Japan – will be decisive in allowing PS4 to outsell Xbox One on a global basis by the end of 2017,” Piers Harding-Rolls stated.
However, IHS says that the launch will be a close-run affair, with PS4 selling 2.4m units and Xbox One 2.2m units by the end of 2013.
Factors working in Xbox One's favour, IHS adds, are Xbox 360's existing strong community and the reluctance of groups of friends to transition away from Xbox Live. It also expects Xbox One to maintain the brand's lead in North America.
In addition, of benefit to both parties is the continuing weakness of Wii U which it believes will result in the further defection of more Nintendo fans to either PS4 or Xbox One.
It points out that Wii U has taken almost a year to sell 3.2m units – a number achieved by Wii in just its first few weeks, and that was with considerably supply constraints.
Added Harding-Rolls: We also believe that both Sony and Microsoft will continue to benefit from Nintendo's Wii U weak sales, with some past Wii users adopting the latest consoles instead of upgrading to Wii U.”