The Accelerated Transition

The Accelerated Transition

Written by Benke on the 12th of March 2014 at 15:56

Next-gen is now current-gen. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are about to turn four months. There are around 6 million PlayStation 4 units on the market and somewhere around 4 million Xbox Ones. Overall somewhere close to 10 million console gamers have moved to the new generation.

Compared to the install bases of PS3 and Xbox 360 this may not seem like much, but you have to factor in that these are likely the most affluent, early adopters and likely also a majority of the console gaming whales (who pick up 15-20 or more titles per year). With every new purchase of PS4 and Xbox One the last generation loses one of their more active users (presumably).

We saw it with Thief. PS4 and Xbox One accounted for 75% of first week sales in the UK. Sure those numbers are unlikely to hold up in subsequent weeks, but it says something about the nature of the gamers who have transitioned. They're the ones willing to pick up a core stealth title like Thief week one.

Batman: Arkham Knight is one of the first major third-party releases to do away with PS3 and Xbox 360 and it will likely be followed soon by other big franchises, with the likes of Call of Duty and FIFA likely to be the last ones sticking around on last gen.

This all moves faster than the industry was anticipating, and we could potentially see some games ditch PS3 and Xbox 360 ports in the lead-in towards release. Will Dragon Age: Inquisition really sell on PS3 and Xbox 360 towards the end of 2014 or early in 2015? That's a question EA has to ask themselves. And Ground Zeroes could very well be the only Metal Gear Solid V to see release on PS3 and Xbox 360.

We're fast approaching a tipping point where the increasing softness of PS3 and Xbox 360 software sales creates an implosion, and publishers will abandon ship. The future is now.