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Forums - Sales Discussion - Will/Can the PS4 Outsell the PS2? - Analysis - Sales

The PS4 will fall short, probably settling at less than 130 mil at the end of its life, so no...it will not come close to PS2 sales.



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curl-6 said:

Not gonna happen.

PS2 sold as much as it did in its later life due to factors like it being dirt cheap, releasing very late in a lot of developing markets, and PS3 stumbling out of the gate and so not quickly superseding it.

PS4 is in a totally different situation. Sony is showing no inclination to aggressively lower its price, its already been out in the developing markets for years, PS5 is unlikely to have PS3's struggles, and Sony have stated that they plan to move transition customers to PS5 faster than in previous generations.

All this suggests PS4 will not sell anywhere near as much after its replacement as PS2 did, and with PS5 likely less than 6 months away, another 45 million sales from here on out is simply out of reach.

I expect it will settle between 130 and 140 million lifetime; an extremely respectable total and the third highest selling system of all time. Better to celebrate this achievement than hold it to an impossible standard that will only lead to disappointment.

You may be right, no one knows, and this is very probable outcome yes, no question.

However sony can talks as much as they want for a faster transition, but when you have 500$ or 600$ console vs 200$ or 300$ at worst console you can't do fast transition, 200 or 300$ price difference will take at least 3 years at best to transfer most of those PS4 gamers, this is not happening just with one launch or one holiday, with the PS5 being 500/600$ I can see PS4 at 200 or 250$ been bought so many times for the next 2-3 years ...

Which leads to my second point of your comment... (which I already said)

There is no need for the PS5 to be slow selling console or to be as slow as PS3, for the PS4 to continue to sell well.

It will just be okay, let's say some 10M first year and some 12-15M the next 2 years, these are very stable and good numbers for a console.

In the same time PS4 can continue to sell this first year of PS5 - 2021 let's say 10M (example PS2 did 16M in 2007 and PS3 less than that, and their difference was the same it can be with PS4 and PS5 - 350$, PS2 was 149$ and PS3 the cheapest one was 500$) and for the next 2 years PS4 can continue to sell 6-7-8M when PS5 is doing 12 or 15M 2022 and 2023

Of course those are just some possible examples.. but once again, there is no need for one console to fail for the other to be selling good, they can both sell good at the same time, see PS1 and PS2 for example, PS1 for it's sales was doing OK sales numbers after 2000, and PS2 in the same time was doing very good.

The only true fact or thing that can prevent the good sales for the PS4 that I can agree is the willing of sony to drop the price. The customers are there, if PS4 is at the right price, sales will be there. However what sony wants and will do ? Will they do a pricecut ? or 2 ? will they reach 199$ ? will they reach 149 or 99$ in 3-4 years time from now ? On this question pretty much depends the whole conversation and PS4's fate.



No way. The PS2 sold what it did mainly through completely market share domination in all three major regions as well as strong legs post-replacement. The PS4 hasn't had the commanding presence the PS2 did in North America and Japan, which will diminish its WW sales potential, and it's unlikely to have the legs the PS2 did as developers will likely stop supporting both the PS4 & XBO in about the same time frame they stopped supporting the PS3 & 360.

In the U.S., the PS4 is lagging way behind the PS2. It's not even close. The PS2 sold 46.7M in the U.S. according to the NPD. The PS4 is currently at about 33.3M as of the end of April. That means the PS4 needs to sell another 13.4M units between now and when it's discontinued. It sold only 3.87M last year. It would have to average nearly that every year for the entire period from 2020 to 2023 just to match the PS2. Considering that it's been on a significant downward trend (COVID-19-fueled boom in March & April notwithstanding) and is scheduled to be replaced in just five months, that's beyond improbable. In fact, I think it's safe to say that it's as close to impossible as you can get.

In Japan, the odds of the PS4 matching the PS2 are even worse. It's looking like it might not even match the PS3, so forget about it selling the 22M the PS2 did. How is it going to more than double its sales in Japan between now and the end of its life? Utterly impossible.

In Europe the PS4 might come within a few million of the PS2, but even there it probably won't match it, much less pass it. It's unlikely to have the kind of legs the PS2 did, and without those kind of legs I don't see it posting much more than 50M. It may get to around DS levels (~52M), but that's pushing it. And if the PS4 doesn't beat the PS2 in Europe, then it won't be able to make up for the significant deficits in the U.S. & Japan.

The PS4 will likely sell at least 120M at this rate, maybe 130M tops. But 155M+ just isn't happening.



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No. It will be about 20 million short.



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Can't see it going past 140m at best, but who knows, maybe some crazy price drop could do it.



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yo33331 said:
curl-6 said:

Not gonna happen.

PS2 sold as much as it did in its later life due to factors like it being dirt cheap, releasing very late in a lot of developing markets, and PS3 stumbling out of the gate and so not quickly superseding it.

PS4 is in a totally different situation. Sony is showing no inclination to aggressively lower its price, its already been out in the developing markets for years, PS5 is unlikely to have PS3's struggles, and Sony have stated that they plan to move transition customers to PS5 faster than in previous generations.

All this suggests PS4 will not sell anywhere near as much after its replacement as PS2 did, and with PS5 likely less than 6 months away, another 45 million sales from here on out is simply out of reach.

I expect it will settle between 130 and 140 million lifetime; an extremely respectable total and the third highest selling system of all time. Better to celebrate this achievement than hold it to an impossible standard that will only lead to disappointment.

You may be right, no one knows, and this is very probable outcome yes, no question.

However sony can talks as much as they want for a faster transition, but when you have 500$ or 600$ console vs 200$ or 300$ at worst console you can't do fast transition, 200 or 300$ price difference will take at least 3 years at best to transfer most of those PS4 gamers, this is not happening just with one launch or one holiday, with the PS5 being 500/600$ I can see PS4 at 200 or 250$ been bought so many times for the next 2-3 years ...

Which leads to my second point of your comment... (which I already said)

There is no need for the PS5 to be slow selling console or to be as slow as PS3, for the PS4 to continue to sell well.

It will just be okay, let's say some 10M first year and some 12-15M the next 2 years, these are very stable and good numbers for a console.

In the same time PS4 can continue to sell this first year of PS5 - 2021 let's say 10M (example PS2 did 16M in 2007 and PS3 less than that, and their difference was the same it can be with PS4 and PS5 - 350$, PS2 was 149$ and PS3 the cheapest one was 500$) and for the next 2 years PS4 can continue to sell 6-7-8M when PS5 is doing 12 or 15M 2022 and 2023

Of course those are just some possible examples.. but once again, there is no need for one console to fail for the other to be selling good, they can both sell good at the same time, see PS1 and PS2 for example, PS1 for it's sales was doing OK sales numbers after 2000, and PS2 in the same time was doing very good.

The only true fact or thing that can prevent the good sales for the PS4 that I can agree is the willing of sony to drop the price. The customers are there, if PS4 is at the right price, sales will be there. However what sony wants and will do ? Will they do a pricecut ? or 2 ? will they reach 199$ ? will they reach 149 or 99$ in 3-4 years time from now ? On this question pretty much depends the whole conversation and PS4's fate.

If Sony wants a fast transition, their success over the past 7 years suggests they are more than competent enough to make that happen.

Nothing Sony has said or done suggests they're interested in keeping PS4 around for the long haul as a dirt cheap option. It's still $300 to this day, their actions speak loud and clear that their goal is maximum profit per unit, not maximum unit sales.



Bet with Liquidlaser: I say PS5 and Xbox Series will sell more than 56 million combined by the end of 2023.

curl-6 said:

If Sony wants a fast transition, their success over the past 7 years suggests they are more than competent enough to make that happen.

Nothing Sony has said or done suggests they're interested in keeping PS4 around for the long haul as a dirt cheap option. It's still $300 to this day, their actions speak loud and clear that their goal is maximum profit per unit, not maximum unit sales.

I can agree here, you have a point. But we can't know what is in sony's mind and long time strategies ..

As for their success well pretty much everywhere you can see how everyone is talking about PS5 going to be 500 or 600$. Even sony said it won't be from the cheapest machines a.k.a. 299/399$

So there will be 200$ to 300$ difference in price, and not a word from sony can drag a person who is not hardcore gamer or family or kid with his mother to buy 600$ machine over 250/300$ one.

Their success was because they priced PS4 at 399, and at the same time left the PS3 on 299$

But yes even with this difference in price between PS4 and PS5 if they leave PS4 on 299$ for the rest of it's live it will not reach PS2 numbers, it will not reach even maybe 140M ...

Everything depends on those price cuts... and yes, they may be going after maximum profit per unit instead of maximum unit sales which in turn would give them more software sales for the console .. I think within the next 6 months to 1 year we will have much clearer idea of the way they are going with the PS4, because now it's only opinions..

Last edited by yo33331 - on 05 June 2020

I see this has brought out a bit of a discussion. I mean sure everyone pretty much agrees the PS4 won't outsell the PS2, but I wrote the article to take a look at possible scenarios and to see what it would take.



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yo33331 said:
curl-6 said:

If Sony wants a fast transition, their success over the past 7 years suggests they are more than competent enough to make that happen.

Nothing Sony has said or done suggests they're interested in keeping PS4 around for the long haul as a dirt cheap option. It's still $300 to this day, their actions speak loud and clear that their goal is maximum profit per unit, not maximum unit sales.

I can agree here, you have a point. But we can't know what is in sony's mind and long time strategies ..

As for their success well pretty much everywhere you can see how everyone is talking about PS5 going to be 500 or 600$. Even sony said it won't be from the cheapest machines a.k.a. 299/399$

So there will be 200$ to 300$ difference in price, and not a word from sony can drag a person who is not hardcore gamer or family or kid with his mother to buy 600$ machine over 250/300$ one.

Their success was because they priced PS4 at 399, and at the same time left the PS3 on 299$

But yes even with this difference in price between PS4 and PS5 if they leave PS4 on 299$ for the rest of it's live it will not reach PS2 numbers, it will not reach even maybe 140M ...

Everything depends on those price cuts... and yes, they may be going after maximum profit per unit instead of maximum unit sales which in turn would give them more software sales for the console .. I think within the next 6 months to 1 year we will have much clearer idea of the way they are going with the PS4, because now it's only opinions..

Mind you, I'm not saying they'll never cut PS4's price, they may cut it to $250 for instance, I just can't ever see it reaching the $150/$100 territory PS2 did given Sony's behaviour thus far, namely keeping it $300 even after six years.

And I still think maybe PS5 could be $400. $500 seems more likely, but they hit the sweet spot this gen with the PS4 so I can see them wanting to repeat that price point if at all possible.



Bet with Liquidlaser: I say PS5 and Xbox Series will sell more than 56 million combined by the end of 2023.

Can it? Yes.
Will it?  No.

PS4 is going to be significantly behind PS2 in both Japan and US and there is nothing they can do to change that.  They need to offset these market deficits by selling significantly more in Europe and the rest of the world.  I highly doubt they will do this, but that would be their path if they wanted to break their own record.