PlayStation 4, Xbox One Outpacing PlayStation 2, Xbox 360 Install Bases
Around the time the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 were due to make their debut, many analysts predicted the death of the console. Phones and handhelds were much more popular, and dedicated gaming devices were supposedly on their way out, these analysts said. As we know now, that's not the case. In fact, they're selling better than ever. Games and interactive media research firm SuperData has released its updated console sales figures and predictions, and the results show that the current crop of consoles is far from done.
The most notable numbers are that both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are outselling their predecessors. The PlayStation 4's current 55 million-strong install base ousts the PlayStation 2 as Sony's fastest-selling console. The latter reached 112 million total units sold throughout its lifetime. Similarly, the Xbox One's 26 million-person install base beats the Xbox 360's install base (22.1 million) at the four-year mark.
SuperData attributes the growth of the console market to "the bundling with big ticket titles and the growing popularity of full game downloads, which generated $7 [billion] in 2016." The firm also predicts 2017 will generate $7.8 billion in sales of console game downloads.
[Source: SuperData Research]
It's cool that the current round of consoles is doing better than the previous generation. One would assume the growing number of people in the games market (and world) would make this a foregone conclusion, but that's not the case: if that were true, the PlayStation 3 would have beaten the PlayStation 2 in sales (and the Wii U would have beaten the Wii, but that's another story).
The PlayStation 4 is also far ahead of the Xbox One at this point (which we already knew), but seeing the difference in numbers is still a bit surprising. It'll be interesting to see how the market's affected by the launch of the Switch in March and Microsoft's Xbox refresh with Scorpio, assuming it hits this year.