Predictions are fun, especially when said predictions involve video games in some capacity. That's why it's no surprise that analysts are already making predictions about what the video game market will look like in 2016 - three years after the launch of the Xbox One and PS4.
In a note sent to investors today, Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter provided his very own predictions of how all three consoles will fair in three years time. It's important to note that these consoles will be nowhere near done in 2016 and we're likely to still see games being released on the Xbox 360 and PS3 at that time. A three year timeframe does, however, give analysts enough time to factor in a potential price drop that's likely to occur within the first three years of a product's life.
Moving onto the predictions, Pachter says that the PS4 will lead in 2016 with 37.7 million console units sold. Microsoft will be a little behind Sony with 29 million Xbox One units sold. As for the Wii U, he doesn't expect it to reach 20 million by 2016.
Of course, there are those console games who won't buy into new hardware until a price drop. Pachter expects Sony and Microsoft to both drop the price of their consoles by 2016 with the PS4's price dropping to $299 and the Xbox One's price dropping to $349. He gives no prediction for Nintendo, but he does expect the company to continue producing the Wii U through 2016. I personally expect Nintendo to institute another price drop in 2014 to further push Wii U hardware.
As for games, he expects the price of new games to stay at $60. There's always room for a price increase though. Some publishers may look at the rising cost of game development as an excuse to charge even more for games. While the AAA blockbusters will still sell well, the A and AA games will continue to suffer with the rising cost of game development. As they are now, indie developers will likely still be the ones propping up the lower end of the development spectrum while major publishers like EA, Activision and Ubisoft duke it out in the AAA packaged market.
Like always, it's important to note that this is all merely speculation. While Pachter and other analysts have access to data that helps better inform their decisions, they can still be (and are often) wrong. The games industry is an especially volatile market and one little change can have major repercussions throughout the entire industry.[h/t: Kotaku] Image via PlayStation.Blog/flickr