The latest console forecasts for DFC Intelligence have been lowered to take into account shortages that are expected to last throughout the year. The good news is demand remains at record levels and video game sales continue to soar. However, the shortage could hurt the long-term future of the PlayStation 5.
At the 2020 launch of the new systems consumers were leaning heavily towards the PlayStation 5 over the Xbox Series X/S. With the hardware shortage, Microsoft now has breathing space to convince consumers to pick Xbox over PlayStation.
Overall, the PlayStation 5 is expected to still outsell the Xbox X/S, but it is now expected to be closer than previously estimated. Long term this could be bad news for Sony as Microsoft has a large war chest and a long-term strategy.
Meanwhile the Nintendo Switch continues to set records. In 2020 the Switch sold more hardware than any console system ever. Sales for 2021 are not expected to be as high, but this year the Switch should have the second-best sales year ever.
Delays are also impacting software sales. Forecasting second half 2021 software sale is challenging because the release schedule is murky. The Cyberpunk 2077 disaster of late 2020 and limited supply for new consoles means many titles will likely not launch on schedule.
Even given the struggles video game sales, in terms of both hardware units and software revenue (including online subscriptions), are expected to set a record in 2021. Going forward 2022 is looking like an even bigger year with console software sales forecasted to reach $36 billion.