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Report: PS4 to sell 51 million by 2016, Xbox One to unbundle Kinect

Xbox One, PS4
Xbox One, PS4
Photo courtesy of Microsoft and Sony, used with permission

International Data Corporation (IDC) released some bold predictions for the Playstation 4 and Xbox One on Tuesday. The research firm has put the data together and forecasted where the new console war will be by 2016 and what moves it expects Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo to make.

The PS4 will have the largest market share in 2016 with 51 million consoles sold worldwide. However IDC expects the Xbox One to take the lead in North America in part by unbundling the Kinect to make the console more price competitive.

"The presumed unbundling of Kinect and Xbox One, which should facilitate rough price parity between it and the PS4, should lead to a spike in Xbox One sales; assuming the console and sensor are unbundled in 2015, IDC expects Xbox One to recover and emerge with the largest installed base of any console in North America by the end of 2016," the firm announced via GamesIndustry.biz.

The PS4 is off to a good start if that is the case. The console has sold over 7 million units in the five months since its November 2014 launch. At that pace, it would take 36 and a half months to reach 51 million consoles sold which means it would achieve that figure in December 2016. With better availability and more games coming out for the system, we would expect the pace to pick up a little due to the holiday shopping seasons.

No prediction on sales numbers was given for the Xbox One despite IDC stating that it should lead North American sales. Microsoft recently announced that it had shipped more than 5 million units of the console to retailers since launch.

Meanwhile, the Wii U is expected to receive a $50 price cut later this year or early in 2015, according to IDC. However, the firm does not expect this to significantly drive system sales enough to close the gap between it and the PS4 or Xbox One.

Finally, the all digital future is still working its way into the industry. IDC predicts that physical game sales will decline 45 percent compared to last gen. The increase in digital revenue from games, subscriptions, DLC and other sources is expected to offset the decline.