TOKYO / CHICAGO / Stockholm (Reuters) – Think Michelangelo vs Da Vinci. Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. Batman v Superman. Another epic rivalry resumes next week when Sony and Microsoft go head-to-head with the next generation of their blockbuster video-game console.
Sony, whose PlayStation 5 (PS5) is widely seen on Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Series S, received an epidemic-driven boom in consumer spending that spurred $ 150 million (£ 113 billion) into video games. Widely seen in pole position to capitalize. Industry.
According to industry experts, the Japanese company has a deep bench of sports and a wide fan base – it has sold over 100 million PS4s, winning the battle of the previous generation so it should maintain its edge over American archery.
“People who own Xbox tend to buy new Xbox, while those owning PlayStation tend to buy new PlayStation,” said Michael Pachter, analyst at Wesbush Securities.
Yet the industry is changing and cloud gaming is growing, allowing games to be streamed without heavy hardware. This could curb console sales in the coming years, analysts say, a change that could benefit Microsoft.
Two consoles – the first to be released by two companies for seven years – are eagerly awaited; The Xbox will go on sale on Tuesday, and the PS5 will be in the core markets two days later, priced at around $ 300 to $ 500.
The race to order the devices in advance actually started weeks ago, though eyelid and you might miss it. Sony’s PS5 pre-orders sold out within minutes on many retail sites, for example, leaving fans disappointed.
Julian Mercado, 17, managed to reserve PS5 from Walmart.com WMT.N On September 16, a few minutes after the pre-order began, knowing it would be against the gamers’ legacy.
“It’s absolutely like shopping for Black Friday, playing a video game with his father since the age of five,” said a high school student from Dallas. “You show up fast, you do something good. You look too late, you won’t walk with anything. “
Playing in a panda
Sony 6758.T There may be an edge, but the stakes are high for the Japanese company. Its gaming business is its biggest cash cow; Its FY 2019 division, which includes hardware, software and services, brought in nearly a quarter of its $ 77 billion group sales and accounted for about 30% of its $ 7.9 billion operating profit.
Microsoft MSFT.O Gaming results are not to be broken, although it is a smaller part of its business than Sony. It does not reveal hardware sales, but current Xbox One estimates that analysts have sold 50 million units.
Second Big Hardware Player for Japan’s Nintendo 7974.T, Hiking to last week’s forecast after sticking with the console, seeking its switch last week.
The PS5 will retail for $ 499.99 or $ 399.99 for the digital-only version, while the Xbox Series X will sell for $ 499.99 and the lower-exclusive Series S for $ 299.99.
According to media research firm Ampere, about 5 million PS5s are expected to sell this year, with the new Xbox expected to be 3.9 million, with combined sales higher than the previous generation.
See GRAPHIC tmsnrt.rs/3l3Rpe3 of PlayStation v Xbox Sales Forecast: tmsnrt.rs/3l3Rpe3
“The epidemic is expected to change the American holiday shopping season,” said Jason Benowitz, a senior portfolio manager at Roosevelt Investment Group. “Playing from home has become a way for some people to socialize safely.”
Sony’s game depth is supported by in-house studios behind exclusions such as “Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales”. Unlike the new Xbox, game experts say it will lack killer launch titles, with the latest in its flagship “Halo” series a hit as an epidemic next year.
However, the growth of cloud gaming may give the American software giant an advantage in the coming years. Although both companies have gone on to offer services, Microsoft has been more aggressive.
Its Xbox Game Pass subscription service has grown rapidly; It offers over 100 titles including brand-new games and has over 15 million users. Sony was reluctant to make its hottest titles available on services such as PlayStation Now, fearing that it might cancel the sale of big-budget games.
‘Supply of demand outfits’
According to industry experts, the epidemic has disrupted production of Sony and Microsoft, fueling some demand.
Pierce Harding-Rolls, Ampere’s director of games research, said, “Demand will outpace supply so that there will be some people who won’t be able to hold the console.”
Sony has announced that retailers like Walmart, Best Buy BBY.N And the goal TGT.N The PS5 will be sold exclusively online when it launches on November 12, to prevent people from camping outside stores during an epidemic.
By the end of January, according to Walbush, Walmart stands to sell $ 1.1 billion worth of new consoles. It dominates the US market with GameStop GME.NThe research firm said Target and Best Buy accounted for about 30% of console sales, while Target and Best Buy accounted for about 15%.
Target said it was working closely with its vendors to secure adequate inventory. Some Consolidated shoppers told Reuters that Target had said they could receive them a few days after the launch date.
Walmart said it would start selling the new console at launch, but declined to comment on whether it would have enough stock to meet demand. Best Buy also declined to comment on whether it would be able to meet the demand, while Gametop did not respond to requests for comment.
For DeAnthony Thicklin, a casino attendant who reserved their PS5 at Target.com in September, the priority is to get their hands on a console on the day of launch.
The 25-year-old offered some advice.
“All your card information is set, so only you need to click,” he said. “Not well. Hurry up.”
Reporting by Sam Nusse in Tokyo, Richa Naidu in Chicago and Supantha Mukherjee in Stockholm; Additional reporting by Uday Sampat Kumar; Editing by Kenneth Lee and Praveen Char