"Sales down!"

It should come as no surprise that the current-gen versions of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and Battlefield 4 are not selling as well as previous entries. After all, who wants to buy a game on an ageing console when they can wait a few weeks for the superior next-gen version? But a recent report from MCV reveals that sales for the two heavy hitters have suffered more than expected, and it may not be solely due to the impending PlayStation 4.

Official figures show that sales of Edward Kenway's on water excursion are down 60 per cent since last year, while Battlefield 4's have slipped a startling 69 per cent since Battlefield 3 in 2011. Splutter.

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Darren Cairns of Green Man Gaming concedes that the impending next-gen systems are mostly to blame. However, he also points a finger squarely towards the record breaking sales of Grand Theft Auto V, stating: "It's worth remembering the recent knock-out success of GTA V, which many players will still be making their way through." Dixons Retail's Simon Urqhart agrees, but also ascribes the dip in sales to the rise of PC and indie gaming. "I also wouldn't overlook the rise of PC gaming," he said. "Steam sales making back-catalogues desirable, free-to-play games with AAA content, indie titles picking up a surprise share of the market through digital distribution – it’s all cutting into cash-strapped gamers’ wallets."

Whether or not these numbers will sharpen up when the next-gen consoles arrive remains to be seen, but Games Centre's Robert Lindsay confirms that pre-order numbers are strong and will hopefully "make up most of the deficit". Have you picked up Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag or Battlefield 4 for your PS3 yet, or are you holding out for their PS4 counterparts? Scream and shout in the comments section below.

[source mcvuk.com]