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Next-Generation Consoles PS5 Starts in Pole Position

Report by Karol Severin
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The 20,000 Foot View:  The winter holiday season has always been important for next-generation console launches, but this one is different. Negative effects of the current recession will intensify, engagement will be less predictable and device-agnostic games subscription competition is set to heat up. The 2020 winter holiday season will help shape momentum for Xbox and PlayStation, though for different reasons. Both are now increasingly competing with the rest of the attention economy rather than each other. Consumer intent-to-buy currently points in favour of PlayStation, but there are enough interested, yet undecided, consumers to potentially put Xbox in the lead. The undecided will be of utmost focus for both console companies over the coming months. 

Key Insights

  • The winter holiday season outlook for games consoles is far more positive now than it was in April, as consoles meet their 2020 launch deadlines while tech majors face delays and market-entry complications
  • Due to complications with tech majors’  games initiatives and government support during 2020, the winter holiday season is an opportunity for console companies to win over new gamers, without significantly increased competitive pressures 
  • Console sales are unlikely to be impacted by disposable income disruption in 2020, but early followers (2021 buyers) still face risks, making this holiday season especially important to gain momentum for each product
  • PlayStation leads consumer ‘intent-to-buy’, with        planning to purchase the        compared to        planning to buy the Xbox Series X
  •        of consumers intend to buy a next-generation console, but have not yet decided which one – this segment will be the focus of the holiday season battle 
  • Xbox Game Pass users are at a higher flight risk than PS Now users, with        of Game Pass users planning to buy        and        of PS Now users planning to buy Xbox Series X
  •        buyers are more likely to use YouTube than Xbox Series X buyers, but less likely to use Twitch        versus       

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: Amazon, Crucible, Disney, Microsoft, Luna, PlayStation, PlayStation Now, PlayStation        Sony, Stadia, Twitch, Vivendi, Xbox, Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Series X, YouTube, ZeniMax Media

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