As per Japanese analyst, Rakuten, Sony’s next-gen PS5 console may end up selling 12 million units in 2021 and as much as 20 million units in 2022, resulting in a total sales figure of 32 million in the first two years, some 5-7 million more than the PS4.
While we don’t doubt these figures, especially when you compare them against those of the PS4 and PS3, their reasoning is somewhat flawed. The analyst believes that PS4 users will be the primary potential buyers of the next-gen PS5 console. With around 120 million users around the globe, even if a quarter of them upgrade, it’ll be quite sufficient.
However, then the author continues and expects the eSports scene to adopt the PS5 consoles. It’s true that the competitive landscape is massive with as many as 100 million gamers and 400 million viewers across Twitch, YouTube, and other platforms. The reasoning is that the low price of the PS5 should encourage gamers to shift from PCs to the console.
One thing that he’s forgetting, however, is that eSports events are primarily sponsored by PC hardware companies such as NVIDIA, AMD, Zotac, Corsair, Cooler Master, etc, and most of the upper-tier players get their equipment directly from their sponsors.
Secondly, while the PS5 may be fast, it’ll still be comparable only to lower-end next-gen PC hardware such as the RTX 3060|3060 Ti which will be priced in the $200-300 range. NVIDIA’s Ampere hardware comes with many technologies that cut down the latency, allowing sub-1ms response times even at 240Hz, something the console space simply doesn’t offer.
Thirdly, a good chunk of eSports players in China and East Asia play in eSports Cafes which are again sponsored by PC hardware companies, requiring players to only pay a small subscription fee to play their favorite titles on high-end PCs.
While I do agree that the PS5 has the potential to be Sony’s most successful console yet, and that’s primarily due to the slew of first-party exclusives in the kitty. At the very least, it shouldn’t be too hard to beat the sales figures of the PS4. Increasing competition from Xbox, however, might keep Sony from breaking all-time figures.