PS4, Xbox One will both reach 100m units - DFC

DFC has given us exclusive access to their new forecast, which predicts "major growth" among the core gaming audience

In its new report, shared exclusively with GamesIndustry International in advance of its release, the researchers at DFC Intelligence have raised their worldwide game revenue forecast to $77 billion in 2014 (up from $68 billion in 2013), and by 2018 the firm believes the industry will be fast approaching $100 billion, reaching about $96 billion. The reason for the buoyed optimism? DFC sees the "core gamer spending more than ever."

In fact, while the Wii was the only console of the last generation to exceed the 100 million units sold mark, DFC is forecasting that PlayStation 4 and Xbox One both hit that mark (by 2020) and that "price and strength in Europe give the PlayStation 4 a slight edge." Moreover, PS4 "could easily become lead platform for Western and Japanese developer / publishers." That said, DFC said there's still "a great deal of room for positioning by both companies." If DFC's model holds true, it would be the first time that two competing systems both sold 100 million units.

DFC's David Cole told us that price cuts were factored into his company's new forecast, but they may come slower than gamers would like. "We modeled price cuts into that but we think they are going to happen fairly slowly and there are likely to be more bundles versus just a straight price cut. We think they will do their best to maintain a solid price point," he said.


One potential obstacle to the 100 million mark for either console could be if another competitor launches an attractive new system, whether Amazon, Apple, Nintendo or some other company. Because of this possibility, Cole said that DFC was actually "conservative" with its estimates.

While the MOBA genre has been dominating the PC market (which is also forecast to grow this year), Cole said it'll be more traditional genres like shooters and sports that remain on top in the console world. And as Forza 5 tested out, the virtual add-on market is only going to get larger. "Virtual items should become much bigger but we see them more as add-ons for established titles. So you buy the game and they continue to sell new content," Cole said, adding, "Sports will be an interesting category to watch as it always needs to be updated."

The DFC Intelligence brief will be released this week and will be available for free to readers of GamesIndustry International who signup here (be sure to check the box for GamesIndustry International).

Latest comments (25)

Martyn Brown Managing Director, Insight For Hire3 years ago
Yeah, right.

Are they pulling this out of fortune cookies?
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James Ingrams Writer 3 years ago
Totally agree. I think there should be international law that forces the media to tell us who paid for any given survey. Sometimes, like this, I think it's more about marketing.
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Richard Browne Partner & Head of Interactive, Many Rivers Productions3 years ago
Core console players are dropping out at the top end of the market and fewer are entering the bottom. This, to me, is almost blindly optimistic.
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Show all comments (25)
Curtis Turner Game Developer - Monsters of War 3 years ago
Seems like a rather far stretch. More than likely people are buying new cells and tablets, with whole families adopting this ecosystem. Which also comes with added phone/InterwebZ bills. Don't know anything about TV's, but I'd imagine many people are still upgrading to large flatscreen TV's.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Curtis Turner on 11th February 2014 6:14pm

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Craig Page El Presidente, Awesome Enterprises3 years ago
Why can't they make it to 100 million each? So far this generation is selling a lot faster than the last one, which also might make it over 100 million... Wikipedia says the Xbox 360 has sold 80 million after 8 years, and the PS3 has sold 80 million after 7 years. And they're still making them. Or look at the PS2 which sold 155 million units after 12 years.

My prediction is that people will always want to be entertained, whether they're in front of their TV, on their computer, or on the bus. And whoever can provide them with the best entertainment will make a lot of money.
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Nick Parker Consultant 3 years ago
It's the definitions of the market which are so frustrating. Software alone including online and mobile will not hit over $70bn this year, maybe by 2017/2018 so these numbers must include hardware sales which distort a valid analysis of the market unless you're a retailer. I only want to see games sales (packaged goods, MOG, MMOG, Mobile, casual and social) forecasts. As for console hardware unit sales, it's still up in the air as we don't know yet how consumers are going to use them (games machines or multi-media hubs) but 100m each looks optimistic so DFC are hedging their bets as one may but unlikely both.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Nick Parker on 11th February 2014 7:38pm

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This attitude of false-flag reporting dose not bode well for the true health of the consumer sector. We all know that the adoption of the Gen-8 machines has been mixed, but is still strong - but a large core audience has not transitioned. Will BS PR help that any? Or is this just a repeat of the old poor attitude of lying to the audience to hide problems. E3 will be fascinating in June.
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Matthew Hardy Studying Multimedia/Game Design, ITT Technical Institute3 years ago
IMHO, both PS4 & XB1 will struggle to get to 50 million. The idea of a gaming device that doesn't leave your living room is a relic of the past. By 2016 4/8 core tablets with video out & Bluetooth will replace traditional consoles.
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Antony Carter Senior Programmer, Epic Games3 years ago
I can see PS4 doing 80-100M, but One sales have dropped off fast its just to expensive and will have no traction in key markets like Japan and because of price a reduced market in Europe, so i reckon 50-70m.
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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany3 years ago
@Matthew Hardy
The idea of a gaming device that doesn't leave your living room is a relic of the past.
With 8M consoles sold in two months and all the consecutive player every hour in STEAM I am amazed of the capacity of some people pro-mobile/tablet gaming to look the other side and deny reality. Dedicated gaming device will continue to exist for a simple reason: A tablet just can't make a proper updated AAA experience.

Let's put Skyrim for example: let's imagine the graphic processing, battery consumption and overheating that it would have to be addressed for a tablet to run that game (notice I'm not even mentioning controls here). It will eventually be possible, but when...? in five years maybe? In four?. When tablets hit that milestone, consoles and PC will be, again, another twenty miles ahead.

Console market will grow, so will do PC gaming, and so will mobile and tablet but you move in a different direction. Tablet and mobile games are something that you play while in the bus, while traveling, in spare times... As a secondary time killer and that is why most of the mobile game are either console/PC ports or simplistic games that sometimes are brilliant (Candy Crash Saga) or cheap cash-ins (Every single Flapy Bird/angry birds/Cadi crash clone).
The proof is that I'm still waiting here for that big tablet/mobile exclusive hit that I can't play nowhere else. But that won't happen; Every mobile game can be ported to PC, a lot of them can be on consoles, but a CoD, a GTAV, a Last of Us? unless you want to stick a keyboard and a mouse on your tables that just can't be done (not without destroying the tablet's portable purpose)

So really sorry man, but as much as some of you wish for consoles to disappear (something that I will NEVER understand, considering how many people will end jobless) this will not happen.

Instead of prophecies, I would focus in not suffering a game crash like consoles suffered back them in the early 80's. Mobile gaming is aiming to that very direction and a lot of studios are closing already.
Bottonline is: in the end gaming will go where the gamers will decide with their wallets, not where companies want them to. Everything in between is just a trend.
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Here's a stumbling block for you. The price of games.
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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany3 years ago

Very good point! I have an equation for that:

What you expect from a product with that price
________________________________________ = Satisfaction/disappointment.
What you get in the end

I find fair to pay 2 Euros for a minigame. I also find acceptable to play 50/60 for a big game like Skyrim or GTAV
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Robin Clarke Producer, AppyNation Ltd3 years ago
Re: Matthew Hardy's comment: it's always been possible to build devices that massively outperform the current consoles and handhelds. Making a viable games platform involves more than technical specs though. People will continue to buy consoles because they know that the games they want will continue to live there, and will be marketed to them effectively.


I think the 100m figure is a bit optimistic, but then these machines are going to be around for a long time, and the cost of manufacturing them will fall much quicker than the previous gen. Plus you can sell into China now of course.
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@Alfonzo I agree with that personally. I dont think that is the case for everyone though, and that would be my number one reason for thinking 100 million each is probably too ambitious. Not all economies are equal. Never mind the price of the consoles, the upper games prices you mention in a lot of economies in Europe would be out of bounds by the vast majority of their population. Before competing technologies were around consoles couldn't achieve these kind of numbers in that time frame. I dont think they will this time round. Technology is just too diverse these days. It'll continue to be a mix of all current platforms and new ones.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Sandy Lobban on 12th February 2014 2:59pm

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Neil Young Programmer, Rebellion Developments3 years ago
On a really crude, back of the envelope, basis, they've sold about as many as the wii did in the same space of time. Which went to sell just over 100m.
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Felix Leyendecker Senior 3D Artist, Crytek3 years ago
@Sandy, even if you never buy a $60 full price retail game, a $400 PS4 is a good value proposition. That is, unless you only recently bought a decent gaming PC.
It already has more than enough indie and f2p games, not to mention free PS+ titles to keep you occupied for a long time. The additional AAA titles and future sony exclusives are just gravy.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Felix Leyendecker on 12th February 2014 3:34pm

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makes you wonder out of the supposed 100 games being released for PS4 this many will be home runs
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@ Felix. Dont get me wrong. I like consoles. I used to work for SCEE before starting up myself :) I do most of my gaming via Steam on my laptop these days though. I'll be happy if they sell 100 million consoles purely from the point of view of knowing that this amount of people want to play games of at least some depth, but I just think its a bit ambitious given the current/future mix of technology and with the competition for the living room only just heating up.
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Andrew Ihegbu Studying Bsc Commercial Music, University of Westminster3 years ago
I'm getting to the point where I feel that game developers are sacrificing their demographic majorly with their purchase prices. There seems to be this magical line in that sand that nobody spoke about separating free to play models and pay to play models.

Here's an idea. How about Skyrim with ads in the pause menus, GTAV with real ads on billboards (powered by HTML and updated whenever R* chooses), and all the other AAA games with ads baked in and removable with DLC.... and a £10 reduction in starting price to compensate us for putting up with it?

I would happily look at some adverts for the rest of my gaming life in order to get the game I want, and the console vs mobile debate seems to be losing more and more ground by the second. Look at Supercell overleaf making $600m, and look at GTA's £bn profit on GTAV on only £200m investment then tell me that game prices need to be as high as they are again, because I hear devs whining but I really don't see anyone doing something new to actively look like they are combating it and you know what they say about doing more of the same...

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Andrew Ihegbu on 12th February 2014 5:41pm

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Matthew Hardy Studying Multimedia/Game Design, ITT Technical Institute3 years ago
Reply to Robin & Alfonso; you're missing the point. No one plays on PC or console because they enjoy being tethered to a machine. They do so because those machines are powerful enough to run cutting edge software. By 2016/2017 tablets will be powerful enough to run full Windows & all the software that affords - including Steam & AAA titles. At that time PS4 & XB1 will be less than 5 years old & their sales will slow to almost nothing. IMHO.
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James Podesta Programmer 3 years ago
when they stop being sold out everywhere, we can start judging the actual ongoing demand for them.
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Robin Clarke Producer, AppyNation Ltd3 years ago
Matthew: That 2017 tablet won't ship with control peripherals suitable for PC or console games, and will cost much more than the consoles will by then. That's not even taking into account fragmentation.

You've been able to load Steam onto a gaming laptop for the last decade and it hasn't troubled consoles software sales overmuch.
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David Serrano Freelancer 3 years ago
I think until the development focus expands beyond multiplayer centric action - shooter, sports and racing titles, combined sales will hit a wall in the 30M to 40M range.
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Curt Sampson Sofware Developer 3 years ago
Matthew Hardy writes,
By 2016/2017 tablets will be powerful enough to run full Windows & all the software that affords - including Steam & AAA titles.
As far as graphics and CPU power goes, tablets will always be a couple of generations behind PCs, and won't be anywhere near PS4/Xbox One power in only three or four years. The problem here is that tablets have to contend with some very difficult heat dissipation and power issues for which much, much easier and cheaper solutions are available for PCs and consoles.

But even that aside, a good part of the PC and console gaming experience is about the controls and not having to play on a tiny (10" or smaller) screen. This presents no huge technical problem for tablets: HDMI outputs are already common, Bluetooth gamepads are now starting to become available, and it's certainly possible to build in a USB connection that would let me hook up my gaming keypad and mouse.

But so far I see neither manufacturers building much along these lines nor a strong consumer demand for this. I'm not clear on the reasons for this (I myself would love to use my tablet as a console for the games that will currently fit on it), but given how long the technology has been around in a capable form and yet still remained utterly nich, I can't see any reason why that should change any time soon.

I do agree that if you're looking to sell (or give away) more than a few million copies of your game, perhaps ten million at best in most cases, you want to be on mobile, not on consoles or PC. And the market on dedicated gaming machines is always going to be far fewer people than have phones, probably remaining in the low hundreds of millions of people indefinitely.

I find it difficult to consider a market with a quarter billion players to be "dead," though, especially when this minority of the population spends far, far more money in the market than the other much larger fraction.
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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany3 years ago
you're missing the point. No one plays on PC or console because they enjoy being tethered to a machine. They do so because those machines are powerful enough to run cutting edge software. By 2016/2017 tablets will be powerful enough to run full Windows & all the software that affords
Well, first of all by them PC's will be once again ahead, I think your argument is based in the idea that PC's won't evolve. At the same time, even when tablets became as powerful as current PC's that is irrelevant since the games will keep the same evolution curve because their market base and philosophy for mobile devices is "low price and cheap production cost".
Just compare the mobile market 4 years ago and the same market now. Games improved, devices improves, still behind. By the time 4k res is available on tablets (although I doubts it's use on them) another milestone will be on PC
At that time PS4 & XB1 will be less than 5 years old & their sales will slow to almost nothing.
The beauty about consoles is how much they can achieve with so little power. After 8 years previous gen consoles still sale an average of 50k per month. Consoles are made with less powerful hardware because of that; an economic alternative for high quality gaming that is still giving bigger games that you can encounter in a mobile phone/tablet (right now you can't play a Dead Rising 3 on tablet/mobile, and honestly, I doubt you will in 10 years without keeping you device plugged all the time).

Consoles are a separate market, and they'll stay there. PC keeps evolving and will continue to be ahead since it allow a lot more room in storage, graphic and processing power, and you don't have to worry about power consumption.

So I guess we agree that we disagree.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Alfonso Sexto on 20th February 2014 8:32am

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