Home theatre the biggest winner in upcoming PS5 Xbox Series X console war

posted on Tuesday, 2nd June 2020 by Steve May

home cinema  Video Games  4K 

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There will be no early look at the PlayStation 5 this week, as Sony cancelled its big reveal event, amid growing unrest in the US. In a short post on Twitter the company declared ‘we do not feel that right now is a time for celebration. For now, we want to stand back and allow more important voices to be heard.’ It’s an astute, respectful move.

News on the next PlayStation launch is eagerly awaited. Sony has dominated the video games market, since the launch of the PS4 in 2013. It’s estimated that some 106 million PS4 consoles have been sold, compared to around 53m Xbox One consoles. But will it maintain this momentum into the next generation?

“From what we have been told so far, we know the Xbox Series X will, on paper, have stronger specifications than the PS5,” says James Manning Smith, Futuresource Market Analyst, “But Sony has a tight grip on the gaming market, utilising exclusive content and the continuation of key game franchises, like Spider-Man (pictured above) to attract consumers, and engagement with PlayStation Network both expected to be difficult for Sony to overcome.”

It’s a similar story when it comes to games sales and online subscriptions. PlayStation has pocketed $80bn to date, while the Xbox has trailed with $43bn. But will history repeat itself?

"From what we have been told so far, we know the Xbox Series X will, on paper, have stronger specifications than the PS5..."

Futuresource points out that sales of games consoles have slowed as consumers have opted to delay upgrading until next generation consoles are released. As a result, both Sony and Xbox saw declines in 2019 purchase volume. Sony sold a total of 15m PS4s in 2019, while Xbox saw Xbox One sales dwindle to 7m.  

Sony has managed to maintain its lead, with a strong library of exclusive content, and the success of PlayStation VR. PSVR is the best-selling VR headset to date, says Manning Smith, with only the Oculus Quest coming close to challenging it in terms of yearly headset sales.

The analyst also points to a geographical split, with Sony traditionally performing well in Europe and Asia, while Xbox has the edge in its domestic North American market.

However the upcoming tussle turns out, one winner is likely to be home theatre. Sony has committed to support for the 4k UHD Blu-ray format, joining Xbox Series X, and immersive 3D audio looks to be one of the areas where there will be significant advances on both sides.

The new consoles are also expected to usher in high frame gameplay, with some content delivered at 4k/120fps, all of which means a healthy number of custom install clients will be looking to upgrade displays and sound systems to make the most that the new technology will offer.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology specialist who also writes for T3TechRadarHome Cinema Choice, Trusted Reviews and The Luxe Review.

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