While the Wii U continues to flounder, the video game industry is looking to Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4 to boost the market as sales continue to slide. A forecast released recently by ABI Research paints a somewhat disheartening picture though, as it estimates that combined Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Wii U sales over their first five years of availability will fall short of Xbox 360, Wii and PlayStation 3 sales over the same period of time.
In a report issued recently, ABI estimated that cumulative Wii U, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 sales will total 133 million units during the consoles’ first five years on the market. During that same period of time, however, combined sales of Microsoft’s Xbox 360, Nintendo’s Wii and Sony’s PlayStation 3 totaled 140 million units.
“With many of the casual gaming segment embracing mobile devices for gaming, without a shift in strategy and pricing the Wii U will likely fail to match the success of the Wii which will impact future console shipments,” ABI analyst Michael Inouye said. “If China decides to lift its ban on consoles, however, in the short term this could boost future shipments of 7th generation game consoles while minimally altering the 8th generation.”
Inouye’s colleague Sam Rosen added, “The future prospects of gaming platforms depends in equal measure on compelling games and pricing falling within household reach for discretionary/gift spending. Without solid titles and first party franchises platforms will have a difficult time finding traction – streaming media is not enough when low-cost smart STBs are readily available. While we don’t anticipate a drop-off in game console households, barring significant changes to less developed console markets in Asia and Latin America there isn’t a great deal of growth opportunity beyond the current installed base.”