PS4, Xbox One to ship 10m units by March - EA

EA is extremely bullish on next-gen gaming based on what the publisher has heard from Microsoft, Sony and retailers

On its earnings call today, the first one led by Andrew Wilson as new EA CEO, EA fielded numerous questions about the impending launches of the next-gen consoles from Microsoft and Sony. The takeaway was clearly that EA is excited and incredibly bullish on the new platforms, not just for itself but for the industry as a whole.

EA COO Peter Moore noted that based on what he's heard from Microsoft and Sony, production has been much smoother and there should be around 10 million units combined on shelves by the end of EA's fiscal year next March. "I can squint and see 10 million units combined... easily," he commented, adding that Microsoft and Sony are "about to engage in a level of spend that is unprecedented in this industry."

Wilson stressed that EA is incredibly well prepared for the console transition this time around, and the company is excited to start next-gen with its five titles at launch. EA will have Madden, FIFA and Battlefield 4 on day one for both Xbox One and PS4, and NBA Live 14 and Need for Speed: Rivals will follow closely afterwards.

"This is my third major transition. We started work earlier than ever before and worked more closely with MS and Sony. These are the best launch games to ever come out of this company," Wilson said, adding that "the foundation we have will ensure that we deliver great games for years to come."

Moore said that all the hard work EA's been putting in means that "We're somewhat inoculated from the bumpiness of console transitions."

Wilson believes that excitement around next-gen really started building in earnest at E3. "We saw an energy around our industry we haven't seen in some time, and it reached a roar by Gamescom," he said.

Beyond the launch window, EA is also very bullish on the prospects for its Respawn-developed shooter, Titanfall. Patrick Soderlund remarked that all the data EA has suggests that the game will be very highly rated when it ships next March, and it should help fuel EA's next-gen sales.

While next-gen is grabbing the attention of media and analysts, it's still important to remember that current-gen consoles will make up a bulk of sales for EA and the industry. Battlefield 4 is off to a good start, EA said, and in fact Moore sees the performance as a positive indicator that the current platforms will continue to perform.

"All of the core elements are in place [on Battlefield 4]. Current-gen seems to be holding up. The pre-orders are up 35 percent on Origin vs Battlefield 3," he noted.

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Latest comments (5)

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 8 years ago
Honestly I dont know how much microsoft is paying EA... but I see EA being biased towards SONY. With even more EA news "Against SONY" TitanFall is apparently xclusive for the life of the XboxOne. And this was apparently negotiated by EA without the knowledge of Respawn. Im still waiting to see if EA has any exclusive treats for PS4 gamers. So apparently I have yet another reason to dislike EA being a buyer of PS4. Its dissapointing it wont come out for PS4. So Im hoping microsoft payed them enough to make up for the potential buyers that they just screwed. Titan Fall would have been a dayOne purchase for me, regardless if it was released a year or 2 later.
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 8 years ago
I wasn't interested in most of what was on the earnings call beyond the Titanfall announcement. There were various rumors leading up to this but after having them confirm it I gotta say that this is the best Xbox One news I've heard all week. I'm now going to go preorder two copies of Titanfall. March 11th can't come soon enough.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Jace on 30th October 2013 4:30am

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David Serrano Freelancer 8 years ago
The combined worldwide 360 and PS3 installed base is now in 150 M range but the overwhelming majority of core games released each year, including many labeled as best sellers, are only purchased and played by a single digit percentage of the installed base. While a handful of core titles have generated billions in profits, no game released for this generation reached more than 32 to 33 percent of the installed base. According to NPD, only 14 percent of core gamers play for five or more hours per week on any platforms. And as Microsoft recently announced, 40 percent of Xbox Live members are female and 42 percent of XBL members use their console to watch 30 hours of movie or TV content every month.

So the question I haven't heard Microsoft, Sony or the large publishers answer is outside of the 30 M 360 and PS3 owners who are hardcore multiplayer and sports game fans... what incentive or motive will the remaining 120 M console owners have to purchase either of the new systems? Why will 360 and PS3 owners who won't buy titles like GTA V, Madden, FIFA, Battlefield 4, NBA Live, Need for Speed, etc... for the consoles they already own invest $400 to $600 in a new console which will exclusively feature the same types of games? And what incentive will the 42 percent of XBL members who primarily use the 360 to access movie and TV content have to purchase an XBO? They can continue to use the 360's to access the same content for the foreseeable future and when Microsoft begins scaling back services, they can simply purchase dedicated set top devices for a fraction of the price of an XBO or PS4.

So outside of the roughly 30 M people who love bro-dude centric multiplayer and sports games, why will the remaining 6,970,000,000 people on the planet want to purchase the XBO or PS4?

Edited 2 times. Last edit by David Serrano on 30th October 2013 5:28pm

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Show all comments (5)
Nick Parker Consultant 8 years ago
@David - Why would they, but they do. 10 million in 4+ months is feasible. I'm always cautious with forecasts and I can see 4 to 4.5 million units of the two consoles combined sold by end December which is lower than some other forecasts. To sell a further 5.5 to 6 in the JFM quarter following the launch is possible. In 2006, Xbox 360 sold through 7.1m units in its first full year while in 2007, PS3 sold through 8m in its first full year at much higher prices than their successors will be. I'm not expecting the next gen to outsell the current gen through the whole lifecycle and I agree that current Xbox 360 users on Live for other media will not need Xbox One necessarily, but the early months could generate significant demand.
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James Ingrams Writer 8 years ago
I don't believe any numbers given out, because they are always given out by the industry that is obviously biased and out of touch with reality. If any company that relies on income from the games business produces a survey or prediction, I cannot see how it's not biased.

I also think this industry is so full of itself, I do not think they see how the deep recession in the West is going to affect numbers in a major way, and that that will effect the number of games released. It could turn into a vicious circle!
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