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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            season outlook for games consoles            far more positive now than            was in April, as consoles            their 2020 launch deadlines while            majors face delays and market-entry           
  • Due to            with tech majors’  games initiatives            government support during 2020, the            holiday season is an opportunity            console companies to win over            gamers, without significantly increased competitive           
  • Console sales            unlikely to be impacted by            income disruption in 2020, but            followers (2021 buyers) still face            making this holiday season especially            to gain momentum for each           
  • PlayStation leads            ‘intent-to-buy’, with            planning to purchase                       compared to            planning to buy            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            users are at a higher            risk than PS Now users,                       of Game Pass users planning            buy            and            of PS Now            planning to buy Xbox Series           
  •            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