PS4 Will Win Console War by 2016, Says Pachter

Analyst Michael Pachter predicts a bright future for the video game industry in 2016.

Sony’s PlayStation 4 got off to a good start in late 2013 and according to Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter (via GameIndustry International), that momentum will carry the next-generation platform into first place in 2016. The outspoken sales expert released his industry forecast for the next three years over the holiday break and while he has high hopes for the industry as a whole, he noted that  he expects "Sony's PS4 to 'win' the next console generation.”

That’s a pretty bold statement, but really, that’s the man’s job. Pachter estimates cumulative worldwide sales of 37.7 million PS4 systems by the end of 2016, 30 percent higher than his expectation of 29 million Xbox One's sold. The Wii U, on the other hand, will only reach 20 million due to the high level of competition casual games on mobile platforms present.

What might make the biggest difference moving forward are the changing retail prices of the hardware. By the end 2016, he projects the Wii U selling for $150, the PS4 at $299, and the Xbox One sitting at $350.

"We think 'winning' is important to both companies," Pachter said, "and it is possible that Microsoft will reduce Xbox One pricing far faster than we have forecasted. Should hardware prices come down faster than we have modeled, it is likely that hardware and software sales will grow faster."

It’s a brighter future than we’ve heard about in quite some time, with gaming software sales expected to increase 10 percent this year, 7 percent next year, and 6 percent in 2016.