It was a disappointing January 2020 for all consoles in the United States, but fascinatingly the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One performed worse than the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in January 2013. This is pertinent because both instances represent the final January of their respective hardware cycles.
Why, then, do current-gen consoles appear to be tailing off faster than their predecessors? Well, first of all, it’s perhaps worth keeping in mind that this could be anomaly – a mere example of a bad month. Alternatively, it could be because more has been announced about the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X than had been said about the PS4 and Xbox One at the same point seven years ago. Both upcoming consoles, of course, will feature backwards compatibility.
It’s also worth mentioning that the PS4’s price has barely changed for several years, with Sony opting for profitability above all else. It’s easy to imagine, say, a $199 price point prompting the current-gen console to rocket off shelves.
Fortunately, it’s not all bad news, as NPD analyst Mat Piscatella revealed that after 75 months on the market, the combined install base of the PS4 and Xbox One in the US market is up six per cent compared to the PS3 and Xbox 360 at the same time, and a whopping 16 per cent compared to the PS2 and Xbox. So much for mobile dominating the market, eh?