The entire gaming sector is awaiting the date of February 20th because that is the date that the “official” Next-Generation of consoles look to be unveiled. Even though the Next-Generation officially started with the launch of the Nintendo Wii U, many considered the launch as more of a catch-up to the XBOX 360 and PlayStation 3 more than anything. For the sake of numbers though, remember the fact that Nintendo’s newest console is included in the sales figures for this upcoming generation.
The unveiling of the PlayStation 4 that is looking likely to happen on February 20th will start the craze that consumers have been waiting for over the last couple of years. Consumers will begin to save their pennies for the next console that they are set to purchase, and the sales of those up coming systems could be higher than any figure in history.
According to data compiled by VGChartz, who compiles data of every system’s total sales since the Super Nintendo and the Genesis, every generation of console sales has been on a steady climb. From the 90’s, approximately 77 million consoles were sold from the SNES and Genesis, the next generation which included more consoles than ever including the likes of the Saturn to the PlayStation One sold around 140 million units. When stepping up to the time frame where gaming consoles truly became more than a “geeky” pastime, the PlayStation 2, XBOX, and Gamecube sold a combine 207 Million Units. Then there is today, which marks the longest life cycle of any console era, the XBOX 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii sold a combine 244 million units which was, of course, the highest sales figures in the history of gaming.
When you look at the average sales percentage increases from the time where consoles began there ascend to living-room entertainment supremacy, the numbers are overwhelming. If we apply that average to this past generations numbers it looks as though we could be looking at more than 300 Million units sold over the Next-Generation. That could be a very attainable number and here’s why.
Looking at this past console cycle, it took nearly 7 years for us to see another set of consoles come around. Console production costs are at an all time high and that is a major reason for us seeing such a long gap. Normally we see new consoles every 5 years, but with consoles releasing more and more products to drive sales for a sustained period of time over this current generation don’t look for anything different this time around. If you also take a moment to look at early launch titles on each of the systems from this generation to what is offered now, there is a clear difference in the quality of what we have. Gaming developers have admitted over the last 6 months that they finally have hit the cap on the potential for the current systems (yes the Wii’s potential was hit on day one) and what their games can achieve.
It doesnt look like the PlayStation 4 or Next XBOX will be anything different. Many developers have said too, that consumers should expect only moderate changes from launch titles on the next systems versus the current generation. It will take time for them to hit their stride and truly tap into the true power of the new systems. For this reason, it is also believed that these consoles will last longer than any other generation out there. So 300 Million is a number that makes sense and should be achieved. The numbers may not look as impressive when other factors, such as the length of the generation are considered, but nevertheless we should expect another record smashing performance this time around.