Piers Harding-Rolls, Director of Research and Analysis Games at IHS Markit, told GamesIndustrythat the research firm is almost doubling their 2017 Xbox One X ( Amazon, $499.99) sales forecast. This seems to echo Microsoft’s Albert Penello’s statement that the console will be a must-have item during the Holiday season.
Feedback on pre-order volume for both the limited edition Project Scorpio Xbox One X and for the standard version of the X console has led us to increase our 2017 sell-through forecast for Xbox One X. The Project Scorpio limited edition pre-order strategy has been particularly effective in driving what is expected to be a robust launch week in key sales territories. IHS Markit has therefore increased its 2017 forecast from 500,000 to 900,000 units. At this level, Xbox One share of total Q4 2017 Xbox One console family sales will be close to 20 percent, similar to the performance of PS4 Pro at launch. If Microsoft outperforms and delivers sales in excess of this forecast it will be considered a major launch success.
Harding-Rolls still doesn’t believe Xbox One X sales will be enough to change the tide in Microsoft’s favor against their main rival PlayStation 4, but it should offset the lower revenue from Xbox One S( Amazon) due to decreased average price.
Xbox One X is poised to give the company a boost in its ambition to compete more effectively with PS4 Pro in strategically important markets of the USA and UK. Other select markets, such as Germany in Europe with its PC gaming heritage, are also forecast to deliver solid launch traction. Overall, however, IHS Markit does not expect Xbox One X to have a dramatic impact on market share between Sony and Microsoft in continental Europe as the market’s current momentum is well entrenched. IHS Markit currently forecasts the Western Europe installed base of PS4 family of consoles to reach 26 million by the end of 2017 compared to 8 million for the Xbox One family of consoles.
Sales of the more expensive Xbox One X console will also help mitigate the fall in Xbox One S hardware average sales price which in recent fiscal quarters has undermined the positive impact felt by Microsoft of increased revenues from software and services. As such, Microsoft’s games business-related revenue is expected to increase year-on-year in Q4 2017.