“The console installed base is as big as it’s ever going to get, [this] generation is not going to be bigger than the last generation. We’re going to be about the same.
“The Wii U is going to sell 20 million units compared to 100 million for the Wii. The PlayStation 4 is going to sell 120 million or 130 million – that’s great. The Xbox One will sell 100 million to 110 million – that’s great. Add it all together and it’s 260 million units, maybe, and the last cycle was 270 million."
Does this mean no PS5 will ever come our way?
Well, not really. Pachter clarified:
“This is the last real console cycle, I don’t mean that Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo will go bankrupt and shut down – they will not. Each of them will make another console, some people will buy them, and the next console cycle will be to this console cycle what the 3DS is to the DS. The 3DS is selling about 15 million units a year, the DS had five consecutive years where it sold more than 26 million. So about half as big.
“So when I say that this console cycle is the last console cycle, the reason is that console games shouldn’t require a console. And I’m not talking about the cloud."
Come on, wouldn’t you like this PS5 in your living room? (concept art by David Hanson)
PS5 will exist, but could be a different concept from today’s consoles
Pachter mentions that all you need to play video games is a screen, a controller, a CPU, a GPU and some storage. By the time this console generation nears its end, “you’re going to have a CPU/GPU in your house that is connected to your television,”. GamesIndustry mention it could be your smartphone, or a set top box such as the Amazon Fire TV.
This does not mean the death of console gaming according to Pachter, but rather its renaissance: consoles, as devices, are a shrinking market. However, gaming as a market, is expending. when a $100 device such as the Fire TV lets you play call of Duty, there is no need for a dedicated console anymore.
As such, the PS5 could be not necessarily a console, but a service. A combination of online servers and stores such as the PSN, applications for your smartphone or your dedicated TV box (Fire TV or others).
Pacher added, if you remove the need to purchase an expensive console to access games, this could dramatically increase the number of player. Many people in their 30’s would love to play a specific game, but would not buy a console for it.
Ha, at least if the PS5 is not a physical device, this would reduce “out of stock” problems of the current generations at launch 🙂
PS5 is still a thing!
My take on this is that the PS5 is still a thing. It is likely Sony and Microsoft will expand their gaming offer as services, as they probably make much more money on the service (PSN, etc…) than console sales. I would still imagine that a limited number of “dedicated hardware” PS5 devices would be manufactured, if only for the geeky collectors among us (raise your hand if you own 2 PS4s just because you love that glacier white Taken King version)