The top three in the gaming console segment, Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo manage the launch of their new hardware in different ways. At last PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are coming up for a change of their respective gaming consoles to new ones. The question on everyone’s minds is how Microsoft will handle the switch from the present model to the one that is likely to be released in the market next year. Sony’s PlayStation 4 owners have been given some hints by the Japanese giant that many games they are currently playing can be carried on to the PlayStation 5 seamlessly.
Xbox One Sales May Dip in the Meanwhile
The worrying factor for the hardware marketers during such new version launches is the tapering off of the sales curve during this period. Typically, the gaming consoles form a large part of gifts people buy during the year-end shopping season around Christmas. Customers may not prefer buying the hardware now knowing very well that it will be replaced by a new one within a matter of a few months. If they invest in one now at whatever discounted price it is being sold at, the temptation to buy a new one cannot be resisted. Interestingly, there would also be a section of buyers waiting to buy the current version of hardware after the new one gets launched since the prices would be dropped steeply then. So, whichever way one looks at it, Xbox One sales are expected to return quite low numbers through 2019 and on to the early part of 2020.
Microsoft Media Event This Week May Clear the Air
Microsoft is holding a media interaction this weekend and there is an expectation that the company will more or less fall in line with what Sony has done and announce that release of the new hardware is some months away and most of the popular games can be played on the new console as well. The past experience is many game developers hold back their new big game releases during the hardware transition period. This year too, at the annual E3, the broader likelihood is that big-ticket announcements may be held back till they see the contours of the new console, the features being brought in, etc. The gameplay alterations are tuned to go with the hardware and make the experience better for the gamers.
Some people even see this year as being slightly different from previous occasions when the hardware got updates. It will be interesting to watch what is in store for the Xbox One.