A new report from International Data Corporation (IDC) suggests that the PlayStation 4's lower price point will help it beat out Microsoft's Xbox One this holiday season. IDC said that this will occur due to a "variety of factors," but the biggest determining factor is that the PS4 costs $100 less than the Xbox One: the Xbox One will retail for around $500, while the PS4 will cost $400. The price difference is mostly due to Kinect being bundled with the Xbox One, while Sony's PlayStation Eye will be sold separately.
The IDC report also predicts that that the number of game consoles shipped worldwide in 2013 will be "marginally higher" than 2012's 33 million. IDC also claims that prepaid full-game, micro-game, and add-on revenue generated through Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, and eShop will exceed that of worldwide PC-based digital sales of the same type for the first time ever this year.
IDC gaming research manager Lewis Ward said the online console game market is expected to exceed 165 million people worldwide by 2017.
"As a result, the opportunity to sell these gamers digital assets through Wii U, Xbox One, and PS4 online storefronts will grow substantially in the next several years," Ward said.
Ward also pointed out that the Chinese government's removal of a 13 year ban on home consoles should lead to millions of additional hardware sales for Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony within the next three years. Finally, Ward said that micro-consoles and new systems like Steam OS-based hardware are "unlikely" to have an impact on the traditional console business for a few more years.
"It appears unlikely that Nintendo, Microsoft, or Sony will be driven out of the living room from a gaming perspective by 2017 as result of non-console competition from the likes of Valve/Steam, Ouya, cable/telecom companies, or related hardware and Web service providers," Ward said.