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RolStoppable said:
curl-6 said:

The fact that it's already one of the highest selling systems of all time and that PS consoles typically don't fizzle out quickly.

The latter part is an outdated notion and too many people are unwilling to reassess that perception. Only the PS1 and PS2 can boast with strong legs, but none of the following three PS consoles came anywhere close. The PS3 sold only ~8m after the PS4 had launched, the PSP sold under 10m after the PSV had launched, the PSV tanked in all phases of its life. So in a dataset of five consoles we have three that fizzled out quickly, all of which are the more recent ones.

For additional context, the 3DS sold 11m after its successor had launched, showing better legs than any of the recent PS consoles. The Wii U was much like the PSV, the DS sold ~10m after the 3DS had launched, the Wii sold ~5m after the Wii U had launched. The Xbox 360 sold ~7m after the Xbox One had launched. When you look at all those numbers from the past two generations, it doesn't make sense to assign more longevity to PS consoles.

The factors that led to the PS1 and PS2 having strong legs - staggered launches across lots of countries over the years and general economical positives in certain parts of the world - did not apply for later generations anymore because PS consoles had more simultaneous launches across the whole world and there were no general economical boosts of the same magnitude anymore. That's why the PS4 should be expected to follow the PS3 and PSP trajectories, and if we look at the development of PS4 sales, we see indeed that PS4 sales are already strongly declining even before its successor is launching. The PS4's trajectory isn't going to get better once the PS5 is out. If @trunkswd 's current estimates are in the correct ballpark, then the PS4 is heading for a 40% decline in 2020 after an already notable decline of more than 20% in 2019.

All the above concerned global sales, but said sales trajectory of the PS4 holds true for the USA just the same. It's yearly sales dropped from ~5.5m in 2018 to a good 4m in 2019, so in 2020 it's likely going to sell about 3m, maybe even less. With the PS5 being available through the entirety of 2021, PS4 sales will fall by an even bigger percentage than in 2020, so a yearly total of under 2m is looking likely. Beyond 2021 it's just scraps. The PS4 needs another ~9m to match the Wii's lifetime sales in the USA, but the aforementioned numbers don't allow Sony to squeeze out much more than 6m and that is if things go well.

I don't think PS4 will have legs anywhere near PS1 or PS2 for the exact reasons you mentioned, but it should sell more post-replacement than PS3 simply by virtue of being a more popular system to begin with. If it drops by the same amount as PS3 percentage wise, shouldn't that still amount to a greater gross total as it's starting from a higher amount?

That said, I do expect Wii to end up ahead in the US, just not by a huge amount.