There’s no doubt that the PlayStation 4 is doing very well for itself, selling over seven million units at last count, and likely working its way towards another major milestone as we type. However, writing as part of its latest console forecast, the International Data Corporation predicts that even better times await the Japanese giant’s freshest format. In fact, according to Games Industry International, the research firm reckons that the machine will have sold 51 million units globally by the end of 2016.

That’s a pretty bold estimate, and we’re not convinced that the console will achieve it. As already alluded, the system is selling extremely well at the moment, but it would need to maintain that exact same pace globally for the next 30 months or so, and we can’t see that. Moreover, it would need to pick up pace in regions like Japan, where it hasn’t exactly got off to the strongest start, while also keeping its nose in front in extremely competitive territories such as North America and even the UK.

Bafflingly, despite the bold estimate, the company doesn’t think that the PlayStation maker will win the format war in North America – especially if Microsoft opts to unbundle the Kinect camera that comes included with the Xbox One. “Assuming that the console and sensor are unbundled in 2015, IDC expects the Xbox One to recover and emerge with the largest installed base of any console in North America by the end of 2016,” it said.

Elsewhere, the firm reckons that disc sales will continue to decline during the first six years of this generation compared to the last one, as digital purchases continue to pick up pace across all major platforms. The organisation expects disc-based sales to decrease by 45 per cent during the abovementioned time span, but predicts that rising digital revenue will offset the decline in physical sales. Do you think that Sony will hit that outlandish sales estimate? Are you ready to buy purely from the PlayStation Store? Let us know in the comments section below.

[via gamesindustry.biz]