November 5, 2020
What a difference a year makes. With Microsoft and Sony poised to launch next-generation video game platforms, new data from ABI Research suggests 40 million combined units of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and Series S will ship by the end of the year. That tally is 6% higher than combined unit shipments in 2019, when gamers held off buying hardware and software — sending the gaming industry into a months-long funk.
In addition to the new consoles and relevant content, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has seen a surge in video game use in the home, driving sales of software, hardware and accessories throughout much of the year. With millions of consumers forced to stay at home in the first few months, game downloads and the number of active gaming users significantly increased. The demand for game consoles also increased in the first quarter of 2020, but supply chain disruption resulted in lower unit shipments. As operations resumed nearly back to normal in the second quarter, game console makers reported higher unit shipments in the second quarter.
“In addition to increasing demand in gaming, long-awaited next-generation consoles are targeting launch in November 2020, which will further drive the game console market,” analyst Khin Sandi Lynn said in a statement. “Although governments are reopening economies, still-imposed travel restrictions can impact logistics. Game console makers need to prepare for efficient production, content creation, and distribution plans to avoid supply chain shortages, especially during the holiday season when sales will peak.”
The Xbox Series X launches Nov. 10, and the PS5 bows two days later on Nov. 12.