EA is absolutely positive on the future of the current generation of consoles, as well as the the digital sphere.
During a conference call following a financial release earlier today, EA executives made several interesting comments and predictions on the state of the industry.
The publisher expects an install base of close to 50 million across PS4 and Xbox One by the end of FY2016.
As of March 31, the PS4 had shifted 22.3 million units. We haven’t had concrete figures for the Xbox One in quite a while, unfortunately, but we know it must be well upwards of 10 million. So, at the absolute extreme, EA expects 18 million new-gen sales in the 12 months prior to March 31 2016.
EA described the 50 million install base as “meaningful”, and reiterated that the install base for this generation is tracking 51% higher than the same period during the PS3 and Xbox 360 generation.
Better Internet speeds and lower costs on storage means gamers are embracing digital this generation, EA added. As an example of how digital is growing, EA said that in the west about 20% of Battlefield: Hardline purchases were digital.
While it is “obviously better financially” for EA if gamers choose digital, thanks to reduced costs in manufacturing and distribution, EA said it doesn’t want to make a push for the end of physical sales. It has “great, very powerful” retail partners, and will let consumers “vote” with their purchases.
Nevertheless, it expects this generation of consoles to be the one that kicks off a similar revolution to that which happened in the PC space.