MARKET ANALYST OUTFIT International Data Corporation (IDC) has predicted that Sony's Playstation 4 (PS4) will outsell Microsoft's Xbox One as the most popular games console this Christmas.
IDC didn't elaborate much on its prediction, instead saying that it expects the PS4 to outsell the Xbox One due to "a number of factors", most notably its lower price. Here in the UK the PS4 will retail for £349, while the Xbox One is available to preorder for £429.
Interestingly, IDC's prediction disagrees with that of Currys and PC World. In July, the UK retailer said that it expected the Xbox One to edge the PS4 in holiday sales. However, it still expected the PS4 to be the second best selling gadget this Christmas, after the Xbox One console.
IDC's research matches previous comments from Gamestop president Tony Bartel, however, who said in August that PS4 pre-orders are double those of the Xbox One.
As well as predicting Sony's rise to the top of the games console market, IDC said in its latest report that it expects console sales to be up overall this year, with sales set to come in "marginally higher" than the 33 million sold last year. If so, this will end a four year dip in games console sales that began in 2009.
This is reflected in the revenue generated by games console channels such as Xbox Live and the Playstation Network, too. According to the research outfit, revenue from full game, micro game and add-on downloads through these channels will overtake those from PC based game purchases, with PC game revenue presently in decline.
IDC research manager Lewis Ward said, "It appears unlikely that Nintendo, Microsoft, or Sony will be driven out of the living room from a gaming perspective by 2017 as result of non-console competition from the likes of Valve/Steam, Ouya, cable/telecom companies, or related hardware and web service providers."
Perhaps unsurprisingly, IDC concluded its gaming report by predicting that the number of gamers will also grow for the next few years, adding to these revenues.
Ward added, "The number of online console gamers around the globe is on pace to exceed 165 million by 2017. As a result, the opportunity to sell these gamers digital assets through Wii U, Xbox One, and PS4 online storefronts will grow substantially in the next several years." µ
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