Piers Harding-Rolls, IHS Markit Technology analyst expects the PS5 to outsell the Xbox Series X in 2020. The analyst claims that both consoles are expected to outsell their predecessors’ launch sales, and talks about Switch sales and future hardware updates for the next-gen consoles.
Piers Harding-Rolls expects that less brand switching will occur due to the appeal of backwards compatibility affecting brand loyalty and audience transition. Another factor is the retail price of both consoles. Even though Microsoft’s hardware appears slightly more capable than what Sony has planned, Sony customers are expected to pay no more than the PS4 launch price point of $399.
“I also expect pricing of both PS5 and Xbox Series X to be similar.”
According to reports, the PS5 backwards compatibility will feature a Remaster-like option; this would enable the ability to play PS2 games in crispy 4K. This would largely benefit Sony, as they have an advantage in exclusive titles released on PS1 and PS2. This would also serve a more reliable and cheaper choice for those who like emulation, as input lag is expected to be nonexistent.
In addition, the analyst claims that both consoles are expected to outsell their predecessors’ launch sales, but this would not be enough to outsell the Nintendo Switch, as the small console is destined to launch in China soon. Piers Harding-Rolls also doubts on the release of an improved Nintendo Switch since the Switch Lite has been a major success.
Better performance translates into a higher launch price, but Microsoft may opt to go through a dual-pronged product strategy, releasing a base option that would be cheaper and less powerful for the Xbox Series X. Harding-Rolls doesn’t expect Sony to follow that strategy at launch, which would give Microsoft a small advantage on market flexibility.
“I would wait to bring a cheaper version to market,” the analyst said.