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PS4 'wins' eighth-gen console race

Sony's PlayStation 4 to be largest global installed base of any console by 2016, IDC predicts

PS4 'wins' eighth-gen console race
As of mid-April, Sony had sold more than 7m PS4 consoles worldwide

Sony's PlayStation 4 (PS4) has won the eighth-generation game console race and will emerge the largest global installed base of any console by the end of 2016, according to new insights from IDC.

As of mid-April, Sony had sold more than 7m PS4 consoles worldwide, according to a company statement. And in the Middle East, the PS4 has secured a major head-start on the Xbox One, which will not be officially available in the UAE or Saudi Arabia until September this year.

The competitive pressures caused by Sony's dominance will lead Microsoft to unbundle the Kinect sensor from its Xbox One console in 2015, IDC predicted. The research house added that Nintendo's Wii U will receive the equivalent of a $50 price cut worldwide in late 2014 or early 2015.

Despite Sony's success with the PS4, however, IDC cautioned that it expects eighth-generation consoles to generate 10% less retail revenue from console hardware and disc-based games than seventh-generation consoles through their first six years on the market.

Disc-based software revenue is expected to be far lower, IDC said. Indeed, the research house predicted that the number of eight-generation game discs sold to retailers is projected to be 45% below the seventh-generation total through six years of availability.

That said, eighth-generation console hardware is projected to be above the comparable seventh-generation total at the end of this period as a result of higher average selling prices (ASPs), IDC said.

What's more, if digital games and related online console revenue streams are included in the picture, the outlook for eight-generation consoles improves substantially, IDC said. The research house predicted that digital console game spending will push total revenue up to within a few per cent of the seventh-generation total through six years of availability. IDC also predicted that rising digital revenue will nearly offset the fall in disc-based revenue.

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