It is difficult to say whether fans want to buy more PS5 or Xbox Series X, but the supply chain seems to be banking on the PS5. Currently, electronics manufacturers in Taiwan estimate that Sony aims to produce 120 million PS5s in the next five years. If this is true, Sony expects the PS5 to sell better than the PS4, having sold 110 million units over the course of seven years.
The information comes from Digitimes, a Taiwanese publication focused on the electronic supply chain business. Cites the sources of “Digitimes” [Sony’s] Backend supply chain in Taiwan, ”which is a bit unclear. But given that the publication is highly hindered and fact-oriented, it is worth taking the report seriously.
There are two important components from the report. The first is that Sony plans to produce 120 million PS5 units over the next five years. The second is that according to similar sources, Microsoft plans to build around 60 million Xbox Series X units in the same timeframe.
There’s a lot to unpack there, so start with the “120 million PS5s” suggestion. First, Digitimes reports that Sony intends to ship 10 million PS5s in 2020, meaning that it will have to ship every 2700 million PS5s by 2025, meeting the 120 million mark. This may not be a realistic number, as the PS4 has sold fewer units over a longer timeframe. On the other hand, perhaps the PS5 will provide an experience that targets a wider demographic than traditional console gamers. Until the console launches, it will be hard to tell – and even then, Sony can add any number designed to attract new customers after the fact.
There is also the idea that Sony intends to ship twice as many units as Microsoft in the same time frame. Using Xbox One and PS4 sales as a template, this is by no means an unrealistic figure. The Xbox One has sold 50 million units in roughly the same timeframe as the PS4 was sold for 110 million, so the “two playstations for an Xbox” model may come true in the future. In addition, Microsoft has demonstrated a desire to build its ecosystem, perhaps prioritizing cross-platform compatibility over selling Xbox Xbox consoles.
In any case, these are only preliminary reports, and a lot can change between now and 2025. But assuming they are accurate, both Sony and Microsoft intend to sell more consoles than before, and in a shorter time frame, to boot. This may be a risky strategy with the rise of mobile gaming and cloud gaming, but people were on a decline in console console gaming when the PS4 and Xbox One debuted. As always, the market wants what the market wants.