While we have been expecting next-gen consoles to arrive in 2020 for a long time, we did not expect such early announcements from both Sony and Microsoft. The next-gen Xbox and PlayStation consoles were confirmed in late 2019 and it would seem these early reveals are having a pretty major impact on the sales of current-gen console hardware.
The NPD Group has been tracking January console sales with year-on-year comparisons, working out that US hardware spending is down by 35 percent in January 2020 compared to January 2019. $129 million was spent on consoles in the US last month, with Xbox One and PS4 seeing significant drops, while Nintendo Switch sales remain steady.
As Niko Partners analyst, Daniel Ahmad, points out, the declines this year are sharper than expected but there are multiple factors at play. For starters, key ‘early 2020’ games like Final Fantasy VII Remake, Cyberpunk 2077, The Last of Us Part 2 and Marvel’s Avengers have been delayed, so some may be putting off their console purchases.
Beyond that, the PS5 and Xbox Series X have both received early announcements, with confirmation of backwards compatibility with current-gen titles. This seems to be the biggest factor, as current-gen console sales are declining faster than Xbox 360 and PS3 back in 2013.
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KitGuru Says: Given rumours around higher than normal pricing for next-gen consoles, it does make sense for some to hold off and save up. With backwards compatibility included too, it is likely that some of this year’s best games will be cheaper to pick up and play by the time new consoles roll out. Are any of you considering picking up a current-gen console this year at all? Or will you be holding off for new hardware?